gdium-whiteThe folks behind the upcoming Gdium netbook have launched a new program they’re calling “One Laptop Per Hacker.” The goal is to build a more robust developer community around the company’s unusual netbook platform. The Gdium uses a custom version of Mandriva Linux which runs from a removable USB flash drive called the G-Key. Because the OS runs on a removable stick, you can carry your desktop environment and files with you from one computer to another (which honestly seems like it would be a much more useful feature on desktop PCs than on ultraportable laptops).

Developers who are selected to be part of the program will get a pre-release version of the Gdium netbook, a G-key, and a chance to work with the Gdium develoment team.

In order to qualify, you’ll need to register for the program and describe your plans for the platform. If you’re selected to be part of the program, someone from Gdium will contact you with more information.

via Blogeee

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14 replies on “Gdium launches One Laptop Per Hacker program for netbook developers”

  1. Add Splashtop on this and it begins to make a bit more sense for the general public. Think about it. Even without the “key” you can surf the net, use Google docs, youtube, skype, etc. No hard drive / SSD means less heat and power consumption. Add the “Key” and you are back to a full computer. Nice thought anyway. I would love to see a netbook with splashtop.

    1. This one makes more sense than the products that first caught my eye
      as “Convenience Netbooks” –

      A 10 inch’r, company already targeting the educational market,
      already has an open invite out to independent developers – – –

      Note: The Pandora development is also open to the community,
      but the machine is a bit small for a “student edition” –
      Or a school provided, “first computer”.

  2. Interesting little device, mainly due to the 64-bit MIPS (Loongson 2F) processor on board.

    There are some decent write ups on Loongson devices out there, including:

    Lemote’s netbook version:

    Loongson 2F Features:
    * Superscalar, out-of-order 32/64 bit MIPS Architecture processor core.
    * Little endian MIPS III-compatible ISA
    * Separate 64/64 KiB instruction and data L1 caches
    * on-chip 512 KiB 4-way set associative L2 cache
    * 4 execution units including 2 ALUs and 2 FPUs
    * SIMD unit is integrated with one of the 2 FPUs
    * Integrated DDR2 memory controller
    * Integrated, very simple video accelerator
    * max 4W at 1 GHz

    I may have to try signing up. The device is intriguing enough, and I do have some time to hack on it.

  3. I really don’t see the utility in a removable operating system for a netbook. As you said, much of the benefit of a netbook is that its portable, and can rely instead on information stored in the cloud. This completely removes the necessity for portability through a USB stick, and contradicts the essential point of buying a netbook: portability.

    Read more on netbooks at

    1. Cloud computing services are slower than USB keys since they are locked to the internet connection speed, and also it’s insecure since you have not control to data that you store on a server.

      Also, it can be portable if they locate the usb port for the key deeper into the laptop and if a hard drive is necesary they can put a docking system in the usb port and produce usb hdds with the dock shape and no cable but the usb port sticked to the product.

  4. They (Gdium) have also set up a full-featured electronic community system.
    I will be letting the PC703-LX thread die a natural death here and move the
    information on my personal, general build system project over there.

  5. But seriously, this is a neat concept that has been espoused by Shingledecker, Andrews, and the other Damn Small Linux people for a long time.

  6. Does this mean I can buy two Gdium units and one will be donated to a hacker 😕

  7. Yes, this is more a better idea for desktop pcs/nettops, and you wouldn’t be able to use the G-Key on other dispositives since the netbook uses a MIPS processor. Except they somehow make the modified Mandriva multiplatform, forget using it on other netbooks/pcs.

    1. I have been reading between the lines of their postings – –
      They have an inclination to serve the educational institution market – –

      Do you recall when textbooks where stocked in the classroom and the
      student had the use of the textbooks plus their own “workbook”?

      For that model, substitute a Gdium machine for the textbook and
      the removable, personal, USB system device for the workbook.

      From that viewpoint, their system makes sense. The machine belongs
      to the school system, the USB system device belongs to the student.

      Soon to come:
      “The dog ate my USB stick.”

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