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back to article 'Jisus' Eee-alike sub-notebook to use Chinese Atom-smasher

Need a Jesus Laptop to go with your Jesus Phone? Next month you'll be able to get one: a new Eee PC rival dubbed the Jisus [sic]. Dutch supplier Van Der Led is spreading the word. Jisus' specifications are classic Eee: 8.9in, 800 x 480, LED-backlit display; 512MB of 667MHz DDR 2 memory; 4GB of solid-state storage; 802.11b/g Wi- …

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a title is required

er... £240??!! isnt that a bit steep for a cheap chinese laptop with unknown processor! I was expecting for something half that price...

Id rather get the HP when its out! a tier 1 brand with support and an english manual for the same amount as a crappy far-east thing?! no contest!

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Anonymous Coward

Haven't we seen this one before

Some of us still remember the first superscalar x86 CPU to hit the market. It was not Athlon - it was U5 by UMC. It was co-processorless CPU which could run circles around 486SXs of various kinds and on integer math. In fact its integer performance was on par with 486DX2 at 66 while costing a fraction of the price and using a fraction of the power. According to UMC there were E-series of CPUs with FPU and 66+ double the frequency models in the pipeline.

We all know what happened next. Intel sued them into the ground and made sure that the performance of its lousy silicon is not challenged by anything revolutionary for the next 3+ years. Interestingly enough, the first challenger to successfully claim the performance crown in the are used a very simiilar design - it was AMD Athlon nearly 5+ years later on.

We all know what will happen next this time. After all this is what patents are for. History keeps repeating itself.

Me coat, with the U5 Green logo on the back.

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I'm interested

Larger screen and faster chip for about the same price as the 4G Eee...

By the way, the sales link doesn't work - try here:

http://vanderled.com/uk.php?p=news&id=8

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Pointless

i was getting interested, until the fateful specification "800 x 480" came in to view. It's the only think stopping me from being interested in any of the current crop of UMPCs. Maybe the HP will do...

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Anonymous Coward

What would Jisus do?

What on earth possessed them to call it Jisus?

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Linux

Loongson

I thought that these chips were MIPS compatible rather than x86 compatible? And it's WinCE that people got to run on them, not windoze in the proper sense?

Mind you, sub-portable running Linux on a proper risc chip has considerable appeal.

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Go

Where are Nokia and Symbian?

It now appears that the Psion 7 and Netbook were years ahead of their time: brilliant, but not mass-market machines. Now that these things are taking off in the mass market, and flash memory is cheaper then ever, wouldn't it be a good time for Nokia or another Symbian Licensee to produce their own version?

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Re: a title is required

"steep for a cheap chinese laptop with unknown processor!"

Uh, of course you know that most laptops really come from China, no matter what brand it says on the top. Buying explicitly Chinese just cuts out the middleman.

I wonder if I can order one of those in Finland. The site seems inaccessible right now..

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Gates Horns

@What would Jisus do?

> What on earth possessed them to call it Jisus?

The Devil, presumably.

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Pointless at 480 vertical pixels

Wake me when they ship at least 600 vertical pixels and preferably 1024x768. Until then, it's a glorified PDA, especially if it ever needs to run Windows.

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Linux

Re: Where are Nokia and Symbian?

Nokia N810, anyone?

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Jisus pronunciation

Surely it is pronounced "Aesus" or just "asus" 8-0

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Jon

Jiz'us

The dutch making pr0n more protable

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Stop

@Simon re Nokia N810

IIRC the N810 is Linux-based and doesn't have a keyboard.

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Eee PC Girl

Why, may I ask, is there no photo in this article which clearly relates to the Eee PC??

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Anonymous Coward

Longsoon is MIPS, not x86

As an ex-MIPS engineer, I agree with Warhelmet: the Longsoon chips are MIPS clones, and not x86 compatible. And they're now legal, since they've bought a MIPS licence.

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@Neil Hoskins

The N810 does run Linux, and does have a (small) keyboard. Not really in the same category as the Psion 7 and Netbook though, I suppose.

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I said it before, I'll say it again

Any manufacturer could take the UMPC market from Asus just by releasing a picture of their Eee-alike along with Jessica Alba in a very very small bikini.

(Better be quick though, before the lump gets too noticeable.)

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Joke

Naming it "Jisus"

Good job they didn't decide to call it "Muhammad". That wouldn't have been a very good start at all.

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Linux

Will it be called Moohammed in the middle east?

Squashing more pixels onto an 8" screen will not help - the pixels are already small enough unless you are really short sighted. I would prefer a bigger screen, but that would cost more money.

£240 is perfectly understandable for small batch production. It takes massive investment to get the economies of scale needed for a lower price. I am amazed he got enough investment to reach £240. Perhaps he did not tell his investors the Vista cannot run on MIPS.

If this box does not need a fan, and if I can read the display in sunlight and when running on batteries, then it will be far more useful than the fragile noisy box I am using now.

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How many times will the mini pcs be released until the market buys them?

I dont get these to be honest, over the years there have been countless "mini pcs" and they never took off. I know that was mostly because they were excessively expensive, but it was also because they were rubbish!

Why would I pay £240 for a small laptop with tiny screen, limited storage, mini keyboard and some odd operating system when I can buy a pretty good spec proper laptop for £299?

I just dont see the advantage? I have a pda/phone if I want carry about functionality or internet access, I have a laptop if I want to use a proper PC on the move. Why would I want this half way house? It seems to be filling a gap that doesnt need filling.

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@Matt Bridge-Wilkinson

Matt, you might not "get it" but hundreds of thousands of other people do (including me 8-) and have bought the mini eeePC.

I don't want to lug a big laptop around and the "proper" £299 laptops are all 15.4" huge beasts ... those are for workie people not the general populous who don't want to look like dorks dragging the big beasts of burden with them.

The eeePC (of which this looks a carbon copy clone (tm)) will fit in a {hand,man}bag with no probs and when combined with a Three USB wireless modem works brilliantly as a mobile device ... with a full copy of OpenOffice, Skype, email, OpenSSH, VNC, VLC/mplayer ... you name it. Skype video calling over Three works great, MP4/MP2/etc video playback is excellent. The OS is not "odd" but it does not suffer from the 1,000,000 viruses for Windows 8-)

I think a 9" (something x 800) screen and built in HSPDA wireless modem would make it better. For a high-end version add a swivel and touch pad to the screen and you have a very useful tablet.

The key points to this "ultra-mobile" section of the PC market is SIZE and PRICE.

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Heart

"Help me, Jee-Bus!"

When's the Homer Simpson decal'd one coming out?? :oD

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Pirate

MIPS instruction set versus x86 instruction set

http://www.st.com/stonline/products/families/computer/microprocessors/loongson.htm

As shown in the above marketing link at STMicroelectronics, the Loongson processor has historically been (throughout its development by the China Academy of Science's Institute of Computing Technology and throughout its initial marketing by STMicroelectronics) a MIPS-based instruction set, not x86.

Is this claim of x86 instruction set a misleading factual error in the article or is this actual news that x86 instruction set has been somehow added to the not-fully-revealed Loongson III processor? The Register, please correct/retract or more fully reveal more information to justify the x86 claim.

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@ac

"What on earth possessed them to call it Jisus?"

It's what most people shout at their laptop when it's not going wrong.

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Linux

MIPS

YES!! :) RISC is go, thanks to Loongson we may get cheap, portable laptops that can hack it with the big boys and MS aren't invited to the party :)

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For those who miss the advert for Eee...

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/entertainment/2008-03/21/content_6555901.htm

Here's something rather similar !! Enjoy !!

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Anonymous Coward

@Ralph B

Judging by the thigh size of the eeepc girly, Jessica Alba would be to skinny to appeal to the market of would be miny laptop owners.

My choice would be a more voluptuous celeb such as JL-H

http://www.theliberalblogger.com/231/jennifer-love-hewitt-fat-beach-pictures/

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Linux

Whats the benefit of mips

over x86 not disputing it mind you, but I honestly don't know.

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Coat

Don't use this for Anger Management!

Buy this, get cross?

Err, the cloak of many colours, if you'd be so kind......

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@Alan Donaly

It's a much argued point but RISC processors are generally considered to be better suited in compact and embedded systems. Lower power consumption and smaller for the same kind of performance and adding extra peripherals and functions is also simpler for manufacturers than with the quite strict x86 configuration.

The Motorola processor in pre-intel mac's was a RISC (when they really where better suited to multimedia than PC's), as is the core used in the playstation3 and IBM's servers, add SUN systems to that list too etc etc.

That's the trouble, right there. Which one of these systems runs windows? None. The only version of windows that runs on architectures other than x86 is CE, kind of limited choice there. This has fixed the majority of PC hardware development on the x86 path and while x86 is very well suited to a general range of tasks it doesn't allow much room to build hardware with defined requirements or for choosing the path of least resistance in development. As I mentioned above, Motorola mac's really where better suited to multimedia than PC's, as where Amiga systems.

If the cheap, compact laptop market does grow as much as eee sales suggest then we could soon see IBM's core processor being used in ultra-compacts and heavy development of RISC cores from competitors.

It would also leave room for more task specific systems, mac already knows the multimedia business and the BSD base they use runs just fine on existing RISC systems with unusual hardware. But if they can take off in the consumer market then MS will be playing catch-up and will be facing the kind of driver nightmares open-source developers have been dealing with for years as they try and cover a much wider range of hardware and communications layers. Personally I don't think it would be possible for them to compete using a closed source OS, there are too many kernel specific issues for them to addapt to every kind of hardware.

That would put computing back into the kind of situation that existed up to the early 90's with a range hardware and operating systems on offer. A good thing from my point of view but it would make choosing and upgrading systems more complicated.

cheers

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Bronze badge

Screen Size.

The screen format is wide-screen, slightly taller than 16:9 ratio, which would give a larger possible text size with fewer lines.

Porting Linux software to MIPS might be a bit of a barrier, there's a big x86 bias, but if the Eee can sell, so can this. How many people are going to care what's in the box, as long as they can write letters, browse the web, watch a DivX movie, and add naughty speech bubbles to the pjotographs on their cellphone?

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@Stan

Windows runs on RISC machines... all modern X86 chips are RISC,... Microcode translates traditional x86 opcodes internally.

All those things you mentioned, i.e. RISC cores having better power consumption properties, aren't really a product of RISC instruction sets being "superior" to CISC ones.

Modern cores tend to be RISC or RISC-like, and modern designs exhibit nice things like reduced power requirements, smaller physical footprint etc. If a RISC machine can crunch instructions in the same amount of cycles as a CISC one, but the RISC machine takes 6 instructions instead of 1,..... things aren't as clear-cut as "RISC - good, CISC - bad".

>As I mentioned above, Motorola mac's really where better suited to multimedia than >PC's, as where Amiga systems.

The m68k was CISC. Any multimedia ability in the PPC line would be a result of lots of registers and SIMD extensions.

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Why choose

A MIPS CPU is a lot simpler than an x86, which means less transistors in the CPU's heart. But almost all the transistors on a CPU chip are cache and interface anyway, so it won't ever make up for the huge economies of scale in the x86 clone market. But while you can't buy a chinese x86 yet (for legal and political reasons, you can get the chinese MIPS.

It will never run Vista, so you won't even be tempted. That's got to be a plus, too...

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Why choose

A MIPS instruction set (RISC) CPU is a lot simpler than an x86, which means less transistors in the CPU's heart. But almost all the transistors on a CPU chip are cache and interface anyway, so it won't ever make up for the huge economies of scale in the x86 clone market. But while you can't buy a chinese x86 yet (for legal and political reasons, you can get the chinese RISC.

It will never run Vista, so you won't even be tempted. That's got to be a plus, too...

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Flame

@Daniel Palmer

My mistake with the Motorola processors, they are definitely CISC. As for x86 being RISC with added layers, I wouldn't go as far as a flame icon but the 'reduced' part isn't anything like as usable as in a chip that clearly fits the RISC description, and as far as I know it doesn't match the one instruction per cycle definition of RISC.

I would go as far as a flame icon for the 'windows runs on RISC' part though. CE maybe but as far as I know there are no 'real' versions of windows that will run on anything other than x86. If I have got this wrong I'll be upset as this has been my biggest gripe with MS due to the damage it has done to hardware development.

Apologies for my mistake on the m68k processors, I seem to be getting a lot of bad blocks as time goes by :) They where better than IBM compatibles for multimedia though. (no, I'm not a fanboy. Anyone stupid enough to buy a mac just 'cos its a mac should be taken out and shot before they get to piss in the genepool).

As for this little laptop thing, hope it does well but if we keep getting more things like this then the 'cheap tack' label will get stuck on anything PC-like coming out china and some folks may try sticking them on linux too. Seem's a bit like the cheap tack 'jap crap' cars and motorcycles that japan broke into the market with, the easily affordable ones that did their job very well for many years (until the tinworm got them) and put down the foundations for the world dominant force that is the modern japanese motor industry...

(BTW, Complex Instruction Set Computer and Reduced Instruction Set Computer)

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@Matt

"Why would I pay £240 for a small laptop with tiny screen, limited storage, mini keyboard and some odd operating system when I can buy a pretty good spec proper laptop for £299?"

The clues are in your question ... "small" ... "tiny" ... "mini". It's, well, small. I have a couple of real laptops as well - my trust old R40 Thinkpad and a dreadful one-year-old Toshiba (when did they start making flimsy rubbish?) but the Eee is still very useful.

Sure, it's harder to do some stuff on it. But I can use it in an economy airline seat, or on a non-table train seat, and afterwards it fits in a pocket of my coat or a small corner of a small bag.

I'll probably look for an excuse to get the larger-screen 900 model soon, but I'm not really that bothered.

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Silver badge

No porting involved

Unbelievable as it may sound, there is *no* "porting" of software involved. Just cross-compile the software for MIPS architecture instead of i686, and it will work. Once you have a kernel, compiler and toolchain ready to run on the target architecture,

I'm surprised they went with MIPS, though ..... ARM patents will begin expiring soon.

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DEC Alpha

Windows NT ran on x86 and the DEC Alpha 64 bit RISC chip. I never saw one though and few Windows apps were cross-compiled for it.

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