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Another Peep From Transmeta 91

Robrt writes: "According to this news.com article, the first Crusoe based products will be released at PC Expo. The article doesn't give much other information. " They comment that they're not sure if we'll see laptops or webpads, but we might see something. I'd love one of those webpads with the Lucent wireless, and say, 8-12 hours of battery life.
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Another Peep from Transmeta

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  • 1/4" thick? I've seen those on Star Trek, but that's about it.

    Well, I'm looking at the screen on my Thinkpad. The top screen half is about 1/4" thick. If it were made wider/taller, the battery and electronics could theoretically run along the sides.

    I don't think it should be impossible, size-wise, although the weight thing is definitely a problem (assuming we want it to run longer than 5 minutes).


  • That's where having little tiny saws built into the floppy drive comes in handy.
  • Would the code morphing work for MacOS?

    MacOS IX on a webpad. MMMMMM fruity

  • Vaio is that thick because it's got a keyboard and folding parts. A flat webpad doesn't need that.

    The Crusoe-powered S3 internet appliance on Transmeta.com looks suspiciously like an [transmeta.com]Etch-A-Sketch [etch-a-sketch.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Most of the palm units will open the serial port whenever it sits in the cradle. Many people leave the unit sitting in the cradle when they are at their desk. Sucks up the batteries real fast. I went from 5-8 days to 3-4 weeks when I stopped doing this.
  • AFAIK the difference between MobileLinux and regular L. is pretty slim. (Working battery checks and such stuff basically.)

    This is why I want one of these as well. If it's pulled off it will really slap those PocketPC 'puters. The ones that run WinCE. They are big-bloated and slow. A bad compromice between a Palm and Laptop. With the Crusoe, a touch screen and wireless LAN I'll be set. Then I just need to be able to stream MPEG2/DivX to it to be *really* happy. ;-)

    A webpad/slate is one of the things I'm going to buy this summer, and I bet it'll have a Crusoe in it. Currently that's the best bet.
  • Saws?! Pheh! You're still thinking 20th Century technology. Lasers are the wave of the future.

  • Ad Astra Per Aspera? Thought that was better translated as, "To the stars through difficulty." Hopefully that doesn't describe Transmeta's rise to stardom.


  • Not telnet, ssh!
  • It's dated Feb 21, 2000. Look at the story icons and find a story sequence which matches that pattern before Feb 22...assuming it's not a personalized page with some categories omitted...
  • "...also the attitude-control system..."
    When you reach a corner, the Palm in your shirt pocket won't let you rotate in a new direction...or else when you put it on a table, it balances upright without a stand.

    Well, maybe you should think "pendulum-powered generator" (or the weighted wheel in a movement-powered watch).

  • It seems like it would be possible to follow up with another BIOS that emulated PowerPCs, for example, and then the same box could run Mac OS. Perhaps multiple personalities could fit on one flash chip. Has anybody heard anything about further personalities for the chip? I guess if they opened the specs, anyone could write their own personalities. Anyone for a Z80 personality to play MAME on? 8-) -Elan
  • I'm not very sure about how to play quake with a webpad, without keyboard...

    But, sure, with a good mobile internet link and a 10 hours battery, it makes a remarkable all-day-long internet death match while sitting in the depths of a dark forest !

    If there is linux on it, sur it will be my next machine !
  • by Nuanda ( 179139 ) on Thursday May 18, 2000 @04:27PM (#1063468) Homepage
    Word on the streets here in Taipei, Taiwan is that Transmeta will be making a major announcement at Computex 2000, Taipei (June 5th-9th).

    Considering that a local manufacturer called FIC (First International Computer) plans to manufacture a Carusoe based web pad, and the fact that they will be making a Bluetooth demo at their booth (on PCs). I would guess that a announcement of a Bluetooth enabled webpad contract with some Taiwanese manufacturers would be the order of the day.

    Because I live in Taipei, I will certainly be at the show, and I will be making up-to-date reports on my website... so be sure to tune in!


    We will either find a way, or make one.
    - Hannibal
  • If the webpads are released first, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    The pics I've seen make them out to be pretty big (although they could always be people with really small hands :) with a fairly high resolution.

    All we can though do is wait and see.
  • Think about it. Transmeta has something that Apple didn't, and never will (probably). They've got Linus.

    A lot of geeks are going to have a transmeta device high up on their list of must-haves, just to see exactly what he's been doing for so long.

    There is another reason. Transmeta make only the chip, and not the whole device. This means that they are not gambling everything on one consumer product, but rather supplying others who will do the gambling for them.
  • Laptops that DON'T auto-shutdown during meetings.

    However, low-power means more than just battery life. It also means less EMI, at least from the processor. That might make for embedded processors in areas computers couldn't otherwise be in.

    Now, if Transmeta could only come up with room-temperature superconductors... Now, THAT would reduce heat output!

    After that, what's left? The hard disk is a big energy user, but you only need energy to overcome friction. Reduce friction, reduce power requirements.

    Then, there's the floppy drive. Hardly anyone uses those, any more. (Apart from me. I've carried around the entire source for X11R6.3 on 3.5" floppies, before now!) Not a whole lot you can do, there, though. I suppose you could try spinning the read heads, rather than the disk.

  • Think Apple Newton. Need I say more?

    But this will not be an Apple Newton type device. It will be a variation of an existing theme running existing applications, mostly.

    It will be as new as a Deleron or Curon (or whatever the names are this week);a new processor running industry standard apps. What's the point, then? Battery life...that's the difference.

    It won't be anywhere as dangerous a platform as the PcoketPC.

    I can't wait.

  • My understanding is that Transmeta is not in the business of developing/deploying any devices of their own, but rather, just providing the chips to those who will build and market devices (read, value-added services) as they see fit.

    As stated by Ditzel earlier this week, there is quite a "horse race" going on between the companies that are developing webpads vs. those that are developing notebooks.

    Perhaps, we should all just wait and see.
  • Just this morning, I was wishing that these things would debut already...

    I needed to review a pile of code, walk aroun with it, get comfy like with a print out..

    Something a half-inch thick, with an 8.5x11 screen, with hand-writing recognition, would be ideal. If I could sit "indian style" on my desk, and review/edit some code... Mmmm...

    Personally, I don't think it should be MEANT for web browsing. Browsing is an application. This thing should be an actual computer - a 'full size' PalmPilot if you will.. With a virtual keyboard or graffitti, full color. 128MB Ram, a several Gig of drive space...

    Something the size of a large notebook's screen, with all the functionality of the notebook. Yeah, that's what I want. If it's a dedicated browser, forget it - I have too many other things I want to do.
  • It won't be anywhere as dangerous a platform as the PcoketPC.

    or, the PocketPC, for that matter!

  • What would probably help-out with the battery consumption as well as the cost would be to make the webpad device essentially just a wireless display -- something like an X-station. Maybe it could boot from a small PROM/flash and then hit the wireless LAN to finish booting.

    This would allow the manufacturers to keep the flash/non-volatile memory smaller and it would allow you to update the "OS" with a normal CD-ROM on your Linux/BSD/Winbloze machine. Without the large memories, disks, or whatever, the webpad's batteries would last longer and the cost would be less.

    Additionally, by making the webpad just a "display," you could run programs on the server, thus saving your batteries, reducing cost (lower powered CPU in the webpad), and you wouldn't have to worry about compatibility with the CPU used in the webpad itself. Just imagine "setenv DISPLAY mywebpad:0" and then run whatever you like...

    Granted, you'd have to have the "server" on whenever you wanted to use the webpad, but it's likely that you'll have to do that anyway to have a connection to the internet. Plus, many of us have full-time servers running in our homes anyway, right (especially if you have a cable modem or DSL)?

  • While I, too, am looking forward to the release of a Crusoe-based product, I do not think that they will be initially offering devices that can offer the level of performance as standard notebooks. If you only need a PIM, than the Palm or Windows CE devices will offer long battery lives, instant on (which Crusoe is not likely to offer) and limited application support at a fraction of the price that Crusoe is likely to be offered at.

    However, I know that there is no substitute for a high-end laptop for typing reports or development. The screen is responsible for a lot of the power consumption and I do not want to have a miniscule screen and an equally miniscule keyboard when I want to be productive. Sure, it would be nice to have outrageously long battery lives, but I (and I'm sure many of you) will not be willing to give up the high-performance, feature-rich laptops that you have come to enjoy.
  • The huge win that they should be looking for will not be in a proven market.
  • Think flywheels [epa.gov].
  • Butbutbut didn't all the fallout from Discovery cause a huge setback in personal technology? I think I remember a scene in the movie 2010 where Dr. Floyd sat outside, typing something into...

    ...an Apple IIc with a squished, monochrome LCD monitor [obsoleteco...museum.org]. Was this scene actually there? Or was I on drugs when I (thought I) saw this?
    New empires...began ebbing and flowing all over the place like Moon Pies on a hot sidewalk.

  • It's true. Here's why!

    -- web pads are bulky. Condoms fit easily in your wallet.
    -- Condoms are plug and play.
    -- Portable web pads probably would use infrared technology for data transmission, requiring extra expense. Condoms use older parallel port technology: just need a female port and a male adaptor.
    -- If you're running anything crucial on a web pad, you'll want a firewall. Condoms have their OWN protection.
    -- Condoms come lubricated for better access.

    and, of course, something that most of us will never really come to terms with:

    -- Sex is better than Slashdot. Sorry, but it's true.

  • So with mobility and constant access, does this mean that the risk addicted can go into full afterburn?

    I mean online blackjack, game shows, ebay, shares, options, and bank accounts...as if this isn't risky enough; all this over ip!

    Wasn't it in Neuromancer that some third world nations lost alot through fences due to immature security policies? The protagonist, an early entrepreneur in this exploitation? To give in to temptation and slice a little off himself...to then have his synapses low-level formatted?

    Its amazing how many forces are in place to make security-sensitive elements of our life; public, and easily compromised.

    By malicious individuals, intervening governments, and oppressive corporations?

    Or deceptive marketing tactics, mediocre software engineers, differences in philosophy, and weak standards?

    Webpads so efficiently unveiled by Transmeta can only seem to be the first steps toward complete digitization of our hopes and assets.

    There is that network solutions/register.com commercial on TV - with the golden testaments and inspirational theme #7 music.

    I register my CONTEMPT!

    Screw your information campaign.

    It still comes down to personal exploitation and the mutation of liberty into a digital certificate.

    Its all a menagerie...

    Chew on some dirt and plant a tree.

    Climb a mountain and buy a cellphone scrambler.

    Wrap yourself in electromagnetic silence.

    Smell the whif of silicon factories and wince.

    Remember the day when answering questions took effort.

    And how it made us ask better questions, write better music, and lead more fulfilling lives.

    Walking away is like finally hanging up the phone on endless chatter.

    Clouds of packets, storms of broadcasts, the thunder of DOS attacks, and the flash of a trojan's call home.

    Our hero is lost and far from coming home.
  • I don't know about you, but I don't see anybody selling web pads. I'm very much looking forward to a nice wireless pad that I can use on my home 802.11 network.
  • I was referring to the speed/price of the actual processor. And yes, there ARE webpads... There are also hacks for them to make them into PCs. Where have you been?
  • Why am I responding to my own message here? So I can answer two questions at once! :-)

    Yes, the screen and it's back may be 1/4" thick, but that doesn't include the touchscreen part. I figure the thickness of the touchscreen media should be a little less than the thickness of the keyboard that we are getting rid of. And I'm ignoring the thickness from the folding part of the Vaio since (IIRC) that is usually on the very end of the unit and adds mainly to the depth of the unit, not to it's thickness.

    In my view, the battery thickness is what's going to hurt most of all. You can get the motherboard pretty flat with some work, and depending on how much you want to be able to upgrade it. No upgrade for the RAM? Keen, we can solder it to the motherboard. I don't think we'd need a HD for the OS. It could be in FlashRAM or the system could boot from a CF card (is that possible?).

    I would think the Bluetooth would have to be part of the system. I can't imagine creating a webpad and requiring that it be hooked to the Internet via cable. IR is nice, but requires that you have it aimed directly to the recieving port. Nice for sync'ing a PalmOS unit to your laptop, not nice when you want to sit back on the couch and browse the web.

    I think that covers it until someone hits me with a Clue-by-4 for something I've missed.
    I'm a scientist! I don't think, I observe!
  • Interesting point. Linus is one of the big reasons Transmeta has gotten a lot of press, but I think it also has something to do with the Linux connection.

    After all, Corel got press for all of their "non-annoncements" not because of Cowpland, but because of the Linux connection.

    Having said that, the technology is interesting, it has some big money behind it, and it's hitting all the current industry buzzwords (Internet, wireless, Linux ... and it runs Windows!).

  • I *have* a StrongArm laptop - a NetBook from Psion. (www.psion.com). Still very rare in the U.S., but the coolest portable computer I have ever owned. Instant-on symbian OS, cute little browser, enough pre-loaded software to do some *real work* with the thing, touchscreen instead of touchpad, and a keyboard *just* big enough for real typing.

    Everyone who's seen my NetBook wants it. And no, you can't have it. It's MINE!!!

    (manical laughter)

    - Robin
  • Funny that Apple claims the iBook should last up to six hours with normal usage. I suppose you could squeeze that much out of it if you copy a stripped-down system folder, your applications and documents to a RAM disk, reboot from the RAM disk and spin down the hard drive.... but Mac OS 9 is big and complex enough that setting up a RAM boot disk is a pretty serious pain in the ass (carefully picking and choosing exactly which extensions, control panels, preferences files, shared libraries, and other files are absolutely essential for what you'll be doing and leaving everything else behind). Besides that, you'd definitely need more than the standard 32MB RAM anyway.

    I wonder how long Linux would run on an iBook? I hope Pat Volkerding et al can find the time to do a PPC port of Slackware sometime soon....


  • What appears to have happened is that Apple lost many of the developers of the Newton, laid off some more, and then (if rumor had it correct) lost a lot of the development notes and such when the remaining bits of the development group moved from one building to another.

    Throw in the politics that Steve Jobs came back, and really didn't want anything that wasn't MacOS, and it pretty much turns into a situation of having no way of being able to support the product.

    You might find some Newtons out there; there may be some useful things to learn from it. Practically speaking, it's now more a curiosity than anything important. Which is fairly regrettable...

  • Cool idea. Somewhat similar to the idea I had when I was a kid.. there would be a "computer" inside your watch, but it'd really just be a terminal that'd connect to a server wirelessly.. If we could handle the wireless stuff (allowing for potentially billions of devices to connect to servers simultaneously..), it'd be quite nifty. :) And for people that didn't have or want a computer at home to be their server, there could be a service.. similar to the web-hosting services of today, but instead of paying for hard drive space you'd pay to run your little task on their server. Kind of a cool idea.... :) Pay $10 a month to have a quad G4 in the palm of your hand, running off two AAA's. ;)
  • Would you really want a webpad that is 1/4 inch thick?

    I would prefer something from 1/2 to a little over an inch. Think about it. Do you really want a fragile, expensive lcd screen to be thin and flexible?

  • OOOps! I just read an FIC May 8th Press Release, and their Web Pad, code named "Aqua" will be using Wireless Lan technology.

    I've written a more detailed scoop at: www.mobilelinux.com
  • Pshaw! Lasers will heat the surface of the disk and shorten its life.
  • I think the web pad is so darn cute! I'm not certain what application one would have in my business, so I'd better get one and write some apps! The thought of having a wireless transmitter to a Point of Sales server would be interesting... then my waitress might be able to get my order right... regards, Benjamin Carlson
  • Ooh, I do hope it a web pad. The pictures I've seen (with /. on the display) look so cool.
  • I was wondering if there has been any prices quoted on any of the devices that the crusoe chip is going to be in. Does anyone here know how far along the linux port has come for the processor also?
  • So far I'm not that impressed with the quality of WAP in wireless devices. I don't really care to search the web or view stock quotes on a 1/4 or 1/8 vga screen (or even less!)

    Gimmie something like a pocket PC, or at least larger, color screens on these cell phones.

    I'm gonna wait a while, and stick with my Intermec 6642. [intermec.com]

  • I think that while these low powered CPU's are great, the real solution will be better batteries. 8-12 hours may seem like a long time, but if you want these things to become truly convenient, it will need to be much longer. A new type of battery could extend the life of electronic devices much more than a CPU that takes less power.
  • Grabbed the market by the balls...

    2 months ago...

    Lets hope they have another ace up their sleeve
  • what i'd really like to see is a strongarm based laptop - less power consumption than the crusoe and a nice chipset compared to the ugly hack that is x86. who need VLIW when you got a clean RISC with less power consumption ? Linux/ARM rocks too.
  • Think Apple Newton. Need I say more?
  • Given PC Expo's current leanings toward corporate and high-end users, it would make more sense for Transmeta to go with Crusoe-powered laptops and leave the Webpads for another time. Besides, the appliance market is still somewhat unproven, while pretty much everybody (myself included) is salivating for a laptop that can last for more than two hours. The laptops are potentially a much better market for Transmeta.
  • I would love to install an X server on the webpad and use xterm to admin my box or program those CS projects from the comfort of, well, anywhere.. :) If the webpads do indeed run mobile linux, this should be really easy, right?

    Any other ideas?

  • No kidding...hadn't thought of portable sys-admin functions... that actually is interesting... then instead of having to log on and off many terminals at other places in the building I could just bring it with me, and stay logged in. Would it auto-logout if you go out of range? I also wonder how you could set it up to logout if the battery dies, it gets dropped, and on and on... regards, Benjamin Carlson
  • I thought that because the Crusoe had a x86 translator you would just use the existing version of Linux.
  • "We hope to have a variety of interesting and sexy products shipping in high volume in time to be under the Christmas tree," he said.

    It's getting all hot and steamy in the handheld industry. People in the lab are drooling in anticipation... just don't tell our significant others about the objects of our fancy. =)
  • Perhaps it's an old problem. When an old boss and friend of mine bought one, it was when the first version came out... I remember him complaining about the batteries running out too quickly on him... perhaps it was defective, but it probably imprinted a bad impression in my mind. =)
  • Bonus question: Can anybody figure out what day's slashdot appears in this picture [transmeta.com] of Quanta's Crusoe-containing web pad?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    StrongARM laptop (200MHz) + 640x480 + VGA output +USB+PCMCIA+... Will run Linux RSN :)))
  • The Apple Newton was a fascinating system design; the underpinnings were an advanced dynamic system providing scripting capabilities to the user along with pervasive use of persistent objects.

    The "advanced link of the day" today is Oleg's Scheme Environments [lh.com] that add a hierarchical data store that consciously remembers NewtonScript "soups," which essentially represent a useful way of throwing "queries" from one place to another.

    In contrast, while PalmOS does make pervasive use of persistent data, it doesn't have an equivalent to "soups."

    The point here is that while "web slates" and the like may make neat "eye candy," some of the stuff Apple has discarded (and they had to discard Newton; they had lost the ability to maintain it...) is more advanced than some of the fancy things we think are k001 today.

    That being said, I carry around a Palm III. Newtons were a bit too expensive, rather large, and, importantly today, the fact that they're complex critters that are not supportable by anyone because the technology was lost makes them unacceptable for future use...

  • Quoting Steve Roberts: "Anything that stores a significant amount of electrical energy makes a good boat anchor" There are some good battery technologies, but high energy densisty, rechargable and cheap can't all be used in the same sentence. We might be able to give you a device that fits in your current battery slot, and gives you the duration you seek. Got $20k? per unit (not including development costs). Recharge will be simple (just add hydrogen). Unlike computer hardware, battery technology doesn't follow Moores Law. (unless you change the time term to 20 years or so) Its a whole lot easier to make the cpu take less power than it is to engineer the battery to hold more
  • Note that the voltage drop across a superconducter is zero. Zero voltage drop means zero power (though I suppose zero times infinity can be just about anything you want it to be, but in this case, I think I want it to be zero).

    Also note that the current will not actually be infinite (duh). Current is defined as the time rate of charge (IIRC), which translates into the time rate of electrons. Unfortunately, electrons are bound by that nasty speed of light thing.
  • by mikpos ( 2397 )
    Forgot the standard disclaimer: IANAEEAIKNASC.
  • Christopher, could you explain your statement about how apple had to discard Newton because they'd lost the ability to maintain it?

    How exactly did they lose the ability to maintain it, and would they have if they hadn't wanted to discard it?

    I always wanted a newton, but never could afford it; I will probably be buying a portable mac soon, although I don't like a lot of stuff apple's done (a lot of that decision has to do with a couple hundred CAD files in a mac-only format) over the past couple years.

    I looked at the site you linked to, BTW, and it seemed to be a Newton-Soup-like data structure rather than a Soup itself, from the description.

    I also checked back into the site from the top level, and it's somewhat interesting too.

    I am beginning to think I still need to get a Newton, just to see what Newtonscript and the interface was like.

    How much of soups could be implemented in python? Would it be more appropriate to make it a more basic service of the OS, more like a "soup file system?"


  • No way, a coked up PC is much more dangerous.
  • I belive Karma has a Use-by date. It will expire after a certain amount of time. So as you get use to high levels of Karma you have to keep working harder to keep it. Just like drugs really :)
  • However, low-power means more than just battery life. It also means less EMI, at least from the processor. That might make for embedded processors in areas computers couldn't otherwise be in.

    Not really. The processor still runs at full power, and the electrical signals still have fast rise and fall times. And the variable frequency aspect will make EMI testing harder, because you have to test for EMI compliance under all system operating conditions. Lots of frequencies means lots of conditions. (And you have to test at all frequencies, because there might be a resonance at a particular frequency that greatly increases the EM radiation.)

    Now, if Transmeta could only come up with room-temperature superconductors... Now, THAT would reduce heat output!

    If they came up with with a room temperature superconductor, they could all retire and live like kings on the royalties. Heck, their great-great-grandkids could live like kings on the royalties...

  • Please think before you post such obvious "flamebait" in the future. If you look carefully at the moderator guidelines, you will see that all moderators are required to moderate down comments which do not treat Transmeta with the appropriate level of reverence. By having a post such as yours at Score:1, you are forcing other people to read your blasphemy and you may corrupt the minds of the innocent. Moderation to Score:0 or Score:-1 is undeniably the correct punishment for your post. Similarly, it is a capital offence to post anything to Slashdot which discusses Transmeta rationally.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for posting such heresy, and trying to excuse it by saying that this is your own opinion. Remember, this is Slashdot - you are entitled to your own opinion, providing it is the same as everyone else's. Please proceed immediately to the nearest correctional facility [overzealous.org] for a new course of brainwashing. Beware, any similar offences will result in your account being bitchslapped [slashdot.org]. :-)

  • just my honest opinion...
  • I wasn't thinking SSH either. Couldn't this little device act as a standalone workstation? then you could use both graphical, and terminal based apps, and be able to do all but the most intensive work on this device hooked directly into your network as another workstation. Hmmm, I could think about this all day! regards, Benjamin Carlson
  • Yes, you could be walking around with a SPong display full of status lights, the TkIned screen of your network devices, and some xterms ready for action. But you should be using SSH for communication, particularly for administrative activities, rather than splattering powerful passwords around your LAN without encryption.

    It's not as if it's difficult to use "ssh somesystem.com" rather than "telnet somesystem.com"...once you drop the keys in the appropriate files.

  • IDEO created a prototype webpad for Transmeta - looks pretty cool to me. Check it out:

    http://www.ideo.com/studies/transmeta.htm [ideo.com]
  • Well, since my submission has been rejected from the queue, I might as well post this link here, in a relevant topic:

    Transmeta's magic show [ieee.org]

  • Palm already makes it. I have had a PalmIIIe special edition for the past 7 months, and I carry it with me everywhere, in my pocket, no neoprene case or anything. And I have not had a problem with it so far.
  • Don't say I can get a webpad in time for Christmas.

    I want one now!!!
  • > I thought that because the Crusoe had a x86 translator you would just use the existing version of Linux.
    you know what? now that I think about it, it was mobile linux, not full blown linux.
  • When handhelds can last for more than a 1/2-day trip and come close to a realistic business trip in battery life, then I'll be impressed. One of the things that kept me from buying a Palm was the low battery life and the lack of a frickin' recharger...
  • Personally, I want something I can leave on a coffee table and not worry about it. Something about a quarter inch (say, the thickness of a CD case) and less than a pound. About a 14" screen.

    Does anyone know any size details of any of the upcoming web pads?


  • Check out http://slashdot.org/articles/00/ 01/19/1452243.shtml [slashdot.org], (Motorola's methanol batteries), and http://slashdot.org/articles/98 /12/31/1414239.shtml [slashdot.org] (same kinda article).

    --Remove SPAM from my address to mail me
  • My iBook usually goes between 3 and a quarter to 4 hours as long as I don't run the CD too much.

  • Scary thought. Hate to see it happen to Transmeta.
  • by Guppy ( 12314 ) on Thursday May 18, 2000 @10:17AM (#1063532)
    "I think that while these low powered CPU's are great, the real solution will be better batteries."

    Better batteries would be great for extending running time, but as processor speeds increase, at some point you'll run into a fundamental problem. With such small form factors, these devices are going to have problems dissipating heat.

    You could put in a small fan, but the fan takes up space and consumes part of your power budget. Heat pipes are compact and passive, but the heat still has to go somewhere, so they're only good up until the power dissipation is enough to make the case uncomfortably hot. At that point you must reduce power consumption.
  • A StrongARM laptop, that would rock. Start with a Sony Viao (cool alloy case), but get rid of te touch pad the IBM like nipple IMHO is much better.

  • It's been posted before that AOL & Gateway threw money at Transmeta for wireless webpads... I'll betcha that's what will appear. No time for links, gotta run.

    Score -1: tantalizing, yet lacking real info

    (Search for aol & gateway press releases....)

  • by Wattsman ( 75726 ) on Thursday May 18, 2000 @10:25AM (#1063535)
    To quote one of my favorite movies, "Yeah. And maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot."

    I figure you'll see a screen size from 10" to 12", with the 14" being at the very top of the line. Especially for a touchscreen model. Sony's Vaio computers are weighing in at about 3 pounds for the really slim models. The only thing that has a touch screen that's less than a pound are the PalmOS units and the PocketPCs.

    1/4" thick? I've seen those on Star Trek, but that's about it. The Palm V, which I believe is the thinnest of the Palm-sized PDAs, is still 0.4 inches thick. The Vaio's are about 0.9 to 1.2 inches thick, so I'd expect the touchscreen webpad to be about 1.25" or so. Remove any floppy drives (Compact Flash cards, only), install a Bluetooth unit into the back (and turn the back of the unit into one huge antenna), and it might come down in thickness to 0.75 inches.

    There's my US$0.02.
    How about .. the Tazer?
  • What you are looking for might be something that SPT - Symbol Technologies [symbol.com] (makers of "rugged" PalmOS machines) would build. Or perhaps Husky Dev [wpihusky.com]. Or DataRover Mobile Systems. [datarover.com]

    In contrast, the point of Transmeta is to design a family of microprocessors. They don't build the boxes to put them in. [transmeta.com]

  • um you couldn't really spin the heads on the floppy drive since there is only that small window on the disk under the metal part where the magnetic part is visible
  • Yep--I typically get well over four hours with my VAIO Z505S (granted, with the "extended life" battery, but still).

    And it runs Mandrake quite cheerfully :-)

  • by idot ( 130605 ) on Thursday May 18, 2000 @10:44AM (#1063539)
    The register [theregister.co.uk] reports that Transmeta has now 0.15 micron Crusoe CPUs. This leads to even lower power consumption than anticipated. Maybe with this they will be able to keep up with the new ARMs powerwise and the mobile Athlon performancewise.
  • I want HAL back there in the back room feeding it the information, and letting me talk to it.

    But I won't let HAL control the doors.

    We were supposed to have HAL in 1997, and the NewsPad was a piece of toss-off technology so mundane that it should have apparently been old when HAL was new. But we still don't have it, primarily because of display cost. If a big color flatpanel is so expensive, mate it to more electronics and call it a laptop, instead of a mere limited-function display. Besides, Clavius base was SO big in 2001 that it must have been in existance for several years. And here we are flirting with a space station about to fall out of the sky before it's ever really occupied.
  • Well the idoits at slashdot are too busy worshiping Transmeta because their hero Linus Torvalds works there to acknowledge Transmeta's market hype. Their revolutionary chip. Laugh!!! Your are totally right the StrongARM chip is much better then the Crusoe.
  • Instead of going after the gadgets and doohickeys market, Transmeta should go a bit more mainstream to establish themselves. Laptops, etc.

    They're established with us geeks, but the rest of the world doesn't know who they are.

  • I know what I'll use one for.

    Being an admin, I'm kept busy running everywhere to fix people's silly problems. Sometimes it's a matter of permissions et al, and it'd be nice to get to my system quickly. Well, I can't do everything by telnet... enter - webpad. I carry it with me, it wirelessly connected to the network with all of my regular permissions. Heck, I'll be happy to just run an X session on it.

    Can you imagine?! I can't wait.

  • Something that can fit into my pocket and not get ruined by my car keys. No carrying case, no pouch, no weirdness. Just dump it in my pocket and go.

    If Transmeta makes one, I'll buy it.

    Maybe. :o)

  • If your Palm has low battery life, you either have a broken device or bad batteries. I've owned two different Palms (Pilot 5000 and IIIe). The first one lasted several (>6) weeks on a pair of AAAs. The second one still has the original batteries in it three months after I bought it--and they are only about 30% used.

    Clearly these results depend on usage patterns, but even if you used your 10 times more than I do you should be getting multi-week uptimes.
    Have Exchange users? Want to run Linux? Can't afford OpenMail?

Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.