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Corel Netwinder GS Available 48

Garrett Goebel wrote in to let us know that the new NetWinder GS is available for purchase from Corel Computer, even though it is suspiciously absent from their web site. It's apparently a Qube-like device, functionality-wise, and since their is no URL for the story yet, they hopefully won't mind the submitted email pasted below.

Here's a copy of the announcement I received via email

Dear Corel Customer,

Thank you for your interest in Corel Computer and our NetWinder family of products. The response to date for our Linux-powered thin clients and servers has been tremendous, and we appreciate all the great feedback that customers like you have provided.

Corel Computer is proud to announce the commercial release of our latest NetWinder product...The NetWinder Group Server, a powerful new Open-Source Web server ideally suited for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), workgroups and small businesses. Powered by the Linux operating system, the NetWinder Group Server sets a new standard for Internet and intranet appliances, and comes complete with Apache Web Server software and an easy-to-use, comprehensive set of HTML-based configuration tools.

Special Introductory Offer: To celebrate its launch and to reward our customers who have been waiting to purchase the NetWinder Group Server, we are extending the following special offer: Order before February 12, 1999 and receive a discount of US$100 on each NetWinder Group Server ordered (discount offer applies to a maximum of three NetWinder Group Servers per customer; discount applied at time of purchase).

Order Information: To have a Corel representative contact you and process your Online NetWinder Order, please complete the form at link A Corel representative will contact you as soon as possible after receipt of your submission.

Or call our Toll-Free Order Line (in North America): 1-877-282-6735 Call Direct (outside North America): 1-613-788-6001 (When ordering, please have your credit card ready, or arrange to place your order via a corporate purchase order.)

For more information on Corel Computer and our NetWinder family of products, please visit link

For announcements about Corel Linux software and hardware, and for announcements of general interest to the Linux community, please visit "> link and ."> link "

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Corel Netwinder GS Available

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  • Soon to be followed by the Netwinder IIGS ;)
  • I hope they have plans about more serious rebates as this is simply too pricey! I have DM already and it is wonderful machine but this price is at least 80% over edge.

    Size/low power is nice, but I can have dual PII 350MHz PC100 256MB SDRAM 2x43 UW SCSI for same or smaller price. 700MHz od PII...

    My first thought was "ok, I'll have three of them then" before I knew they were above $1000 range which I think is last acceptable for 6GB EIDE/64MB SDRAM machine. Probably $1200 if it was SCSI / 128MB SDRAM.

  • I'll buy when they release USB for the Netwinder. The *day* they release USB for the Netwinder! :)


  • 15 Watts. 15 Watts. 15 Watts.

    Run it on a battery all day long.

    Put it in your car.

    15 Watts. 15 Watts. 15 Watts.

    Just needs USB, so you can hook all the new cool peripherals to it, and lots of them...

  • Thanks to a place called pricewatch, I can go build an x86 box with an amd running at 400mhz, four times the ram, and use scsi hardware for about $800 less. Not only that, but my box would end up being much more configurable. I'm all for being able to drop the server on to the network and just using it, but not at sacrificing all of that flexibility. The Netwinder is a good idea, and I'll probably get one just for vanity, but it just has too many design flaws to really be a great server. If they cut the prices and pushed Netwinder as more of a workstation they're probably sell a ton more.
  • Can anyone figure out what the difference is between the GS and the DM machines? It seems to me like the DM is a much better deal, even with the rebate.
  • Use the DSP capabilities.... ;-) For MP3 decoding, that should be better than an FPU.
  • I thinks it's 15 watts MAX and only 7 watts AVERAGE!

    I've got one. It saves me money on my electric bill, doesn't heat up my very small home office, and takes up virtually no desk space. Plus the two ethernet ports makes it perfect for a gateway between my home network and the Internet.
  • They could discontinue it, but it's not likely. Corel is quite pleased with sales of the Netwinder to date and it fits their challenge-Microsoft corporate attitude.

    I keep seeing the big time computer market analysts predicting a huge growth in "thin-clients" ("network computers", or whatever) in 2002 or 2003. My guess is that Corel is thinking along these lines and is trying to get into that market early. Not only can they make money off of hardware, but it helps with sales of WordPerfect. How else could they take on Microsoft Office?

    I can't see them going out of business. Sales of CorelDraw and WordPerfect should keep the company going for a long time.
  • Hmm...

    Cobalt Qube 2700WG, 32MB RAM, 6 GB disk: $1449
    Corel NetWinder GS, 32MB RAM, 6 GB disk: $1839

    The Qube has a 150MHz MIPS chip in it, and the NetWinder has a 275MHz StrongARM. The Qube has a backup system (backup to workstation disk), while the NetWinder doesn't (at least, not that they mention). The Qube has a PCI slot and one 10MB Ethernet interface; the NetWinder has no slots, but lots of different interfaces (parallel & serial ports, sound, video). You can have a local console on the NetWinder, but not on the Qube.

    It seems that the Qube is more aligned towards the thin server market; the NetWinder is more general-purpose. The Qube is also cheaper, which is a major factor at this price point, and the feature set seems better thought out. OTOH, the NetWinder is faster, more expandable, more flexible, with better power requirements.

    I'd give the edge here to the Qube. The lack of a bundled backup strategy and the higher price are the two deciding factors. Fortunately, both are easily fixable.
  • >The Qube has a backup system (backup to workstation disk), while the NetWinder doesn't (at least, not that they mention)

    With the Netwinder, you'd just use any normal network backup method (rdump, tar to an NFS-mounted drive, etc). I don't know if Corel has any GUI frontend for this, but it wouldn't be hard to add (maybe I'll put it on my list of Netwinder projects).

  • >Is there some reason to warrant the incredible amount of money they're charging for it?

    It looks like with the GS you're paying for software and setup convenience (definitely targeted for corporate users). The DM (same hardware, DIY software) is much better priced, and does have some advantages over a bare x86 system:

    - Integrated video and audio in/out
    - Low power (add a $30 gel-cell for a UPS)
    - Quieter (good for 24x7 in your bedroom), though the fan is still a bit too loud
    - Small real-estate requirements
    - IrDA and IR remote control interface
    - 2 Ethernet ports (great home server for ADSL/cable)
    - Coolness Factor
    - Help to encourage other companies to support Linux (this should be worth at least $50)
    - New architectures tend to expose hidden bugs in software and encourage greater portability, thus helping the rest of the free software community.

    However, the price is still a bit on the high side, and has gone up since I got mine in the summer. Presumably Corel will bring the price down when they want to sell more units, but if the current price sells enough to keep their manufacturing near capacity, they will probably keep it there (I have no idea what their actual sales/manufacturing numbers are, however).

    But then, I paid over CDN$500 for a 14.4 modem a few years back, and I remember when even a 4M SIMM was a few hundred. All computer hardware is obscenely cheap these days.

  • I was just wondering what the difference is between purchasing one of these small boxes versus purchasing a real x86 box, and having Linux installed? The price doesn't seem to be the difference....

  • Hmmm, I go this message too.
    I somewhat fail to see what the big deal is.
    A computer with say 2/3 the Integer performance, and 1/3 the fp performance of an AMD K6-2, with Red Hat installed ( of a highly proprietary nature) with a bunch of Open Source apps on it, with some severe hardware handicaps ( RAM upgradability, no SCSI port, IDE disks only, pathetic video etc.)
    And they want HOW MUCH??

    Even IBM and Compaq don't charge like this any more..

    Also, what is the difference between the Group Server and the Web Server models, other than the price tag???

  • So this company decides to build computers and install Linux, Apache, and KDE on them. The fortune they must have spent on R&D.. and to think that no one had thought of this for the last 6 years! Incredible.

    Is this anything besides a glorified Linux distro which happenes to come with its own CPU and pretty little case. Is there some reason to warrant the incredible amount of money they're charging for it?
  • by AShuvalov ( 6816 )
    StrongARM chip itself is... $10 i think?
    Corel is not a big company, they need volume to get price down.

  • See
    http://www.corelcomput [] for details.

    I think it's way overpriced, though I dig the design. I'm hoping the LC desktop model is cheaper.

  • ...then don't forget to convert. I believe the current exchange is something like one American dollar is worth three pounds of loonies.

    Act quick, though. Our buck is rising. Not on its own, though; merely because the Euro is trashing the American buck.

  • When you work a 50-hour week, there's something to be said for a machine with preinstalled, preconfigured, pre-integrated installs of server software and 100% identical hardware configurations.

    When you want to set up 8 departmental webservers, you come to appreciate a machine that's always the same, fully supported in all regards, and can be slapped into a rack and running 20 minutes after you tear off the bubble wrap.

    Mmmmm. Yummy. Though I'm a little torn on their use of the StrongARM CPU: peppy and cool-running, yes. But I can't use those oh-so-convenient x86 binary .rpms. That said, I like their approach so much I'm sure I'll be ordering a couple for that big hardware expansion I'm doing in the next month or so.

    Gimme. Can't wait for the rackmount one. 80 CPUs per one-sided rack and all sorts of preinstalled stuff set up for practical use! Joy!

    And any machine with an IrDA port is a friend of mine.
  • Yes, you can get faster hardware and more capacity for less money. If you build your own (which corporate and institutional buyers seldom do) or if you buy from the DellMicronGateways of the world.

    But for that smaller price tag, you gate a case 5x the size of one of these, you have to supply your own NIC and install drivers for it yourself, plus, worst of all from an institutional perspective, ordering the same model from the same non-premium vendor doesn't get you the same parts from system to system. Unlike the HPs and Compaqs of the world, who charge more but make their boxes identical, the lower-cost vendors will use different suppliers from week to week. You can order two "identical" Dells and get an IBM hard drive in one and a Western Digital in the other. This doesn't make busy techs happy.

    This is why the high-road mainstream vendors like HP, Compaq and IBM continue to do well against the likes of Dell in corporate, government and education markets, despite Dell making quality machines. Quality is sometimes only a starting factor, and this is what Corel and Cobalt seem to understand. (Notice how Cobalt Qubes still run a fairly old kernel and a 1.2.x Apache? Their market sees this as a Good Thing.)
  • What are you talking about? What is this mythical "new OS load"? Have you ever actually seen a real NetWinder?

    My Netwinders are pretty stable most of the time, but I'm running one of the farthest things from a stock Corel Computer NetWinder that's around.

    And no, they do not have to deal with Red Hat. Actually, currently there is nothing from Red Hat on a NetWinder. It is partially based off a Red Hat 5.1 distribution that the people at Corel Computer put together. Current NetWinders do not ship with anything from Red Hat.

    Hey, but what do I know. I just play with versioned libc, fix the odd package and have a small ftp site with NetWinder stuff.

  • Well I don't believe that is exactly the deal, it is close enough. But the point is, the release from Red Hat is still in beta/alpha development. It is not yet possible to install a system from Red Hat.

    Rod m. Stewart
    stewart (at) nexus (dot) carleton (dot) ca
  • When is the Rack Mount version due out?

    It really isn't viable (for me, anyway) until they have SCSI!

    (Does anyone know if the SCSI support is via the daughter card, or on the main board?)
  • just the software, and marketing strategy. The hardware is the same on all of them, as i understand it.

    (cleaner packaging... Snap concept)
  • In their 'video products' section, they claim that their 'compression cam' is written in Java for 'platform independance'.. but under 'system requirements' it says 'win95 or NT4.0'...

    What's up with this?
  • It looks like the NetWinder would be very good for use in an MP3 vehicle. [] has some cool vehicles, and since the NetWinder is cheap (somewhat), and uses very little power (like 15 watts) it would be ideal for sticking in a car...
  • If I had some cash, the things I would buy....
    (This would definately be one of them).
    I just can't really figure out what the BEST use for it would be, any suggestions? ; )
  • I too have a DM Netwinder (now) although it's gone through a couple of incarnations. I origianlly purchased the WS (Web Server) and there was some problems with the RPM system on it. Basically, I downloaded a new image, NFS mounted it on another box, and expanded the new image. On reboot my WS machine was a DM machine.

    It's real simple and they make it that way...the bios is all set to be able to easily upgrade the whole system image. The system draws only 12 volts and is always up on my desk with KDE. I agree that it's a beta machine in that there's much development going on for the strongarm ports but it reminds me of the earlier days of Linux.

    I love it....
  • The NetWinder RM will provide twice the density and has a faster cpu? And what do you use the FPU for on a server ?
  • I would sell my DEC Alpha and plunk down the VISA for a notebook like this. Especially with Netscape and Word Perfect 8 installed. I'll probably end up settling for an LC if/when they arrive.
  • by PDG ( 100516 )
    The GS seems much too expensive but the other models are in the price-range. Mebbe they're playing the game where you start out at a super high price, and then offer a great deal with a discount 2 weeks later?

  • Have you seen a Netwinder before? I don't see any proprietary code on my NW except Acorn's FP emulator, and Corel is working hard to replace that with an open source one.

    So what's the beef about being proprietary??

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