With all of the Web 2.0 startups that are popping up everyday you can’t help but wonder if one of these days our computers will be doing everything online. One desktop computer, called CherryPal, appears to be going that route.
The $250 machine (available for pre-order) is about the size of a hardcover book, and claims to boot up in under 20 seconds. On top of that it uses under 2 Watts of power, which according to CherryPal can cut your electricity costs from $37 per year down to $0.65 per year.
What operating system powers this unbelievably small computer? They say that it’s a customized version of Debian Linux, and that it comes pre-installed with OpenOffice.org, Firefox, iTunes (presumably using Wine), a CherryPal-branded media player, and a CherryPal-branded instant messenger that supports most common IM networks.
On the hardware side of things it’s obviously not a powerhouse, but when the focus is on using web-based resources your hardware doesn’t need to be very extravagant:
- Freescale’s MPC5121e mobileGT processor, 800 MIPS (400 MHz) of processing
- 256 MB of DDR2 DRAM
- 4GB NAND Flash-based solid state drive
- WiFi 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
- Two USB 2.0 ports
- One 10/100 Ethernet with RJ-45 jack
- One VGA DB-15 display out jack
- Headphone level stereo audio out 3.5mm jack
- 9vDC 2.5mm 10 watt AC-DC adapter power supply
- Weighs 10 ounces
- 1.3″ high, 5.8″ x 4.2″ wide
CherryPal also plans on helping the push into an online universe by giving users 50GB of storage absolutely free, which apparently isn’t used solely for storing documents and files:
Cloud computing means most of your applications are kept on the Internet and managed by CherryPal. We take care of all the technical details, like upgrading or installing software, keeping the system free of viruses, and dealing with the operating system. Turning on a CherryPal computer is like turning on your TV, just push a button and your desktop is there within seconds and you are ready to go.
You control all of the functions and applications of the CherryPal through the browser; you never need to go into the operating system to fix settings, configure your system and locate files. CherryPal’s online administrators do all of the system maintenance for you.
This all sounds pretty crazy, but I’ll admit that they’ve definitely got my attention. I can’t wait to see how these really handle when they are released.