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back to article CherryPal out sweetens Apple with 2W, ultra-cheap PC

Here’s how you to get to CherryPal. Gather up all of the hot technology buzzwords – cloud computing, going green, communities – and mush them together into something about the size of sandwich. CherryPal has unveiled a device that’s billed as a cloud computer. Don’t be intimidated by the name. We’re just talking about a PC that …

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Bronze badge

Cherries are sweeter than apples - I like it.

This looks really nice, if they come in at the advertised price point then I vote for some USB disks for my backup server.

Oh and a pair of NICs might be handy for a firewall, mind you I suppose you could us a USB NIC /shudder/

So add a version with an extra NIC and I think we have a winner.

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Unhappy

It's 17th June ...

... not April the 1st.

Is this all for real or I am having a sense of humour failure?

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Happy

It is a joke because

the logo for CherryPal is a representation of a man sexual organs.

The cherries are the testicles and the leaf the penis.

Or have I been looking at too much porn lately?

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Silver badge

@John Robson

Exactly what I thought...

It's got "My new firewall" written all over it...

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What about the other bits

If you're a sufficiently casual user to be happy with something of this spec (and millions are) you'd probably prefer an Eee for its portability (no computer desk taking up space in the spare bedroom)...

... unless the "cloud" element is really really special. Which it probably isn't.

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Thumb Down

Paperweight

Looks like a paperweight to me.

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Coat

Nice machine, nice idea but..

Are we back to 1983 here? Apricots, damsons, acorns... anything that falls off a tree becomes a geekish joke about a prior computer brand?

Please, no.

Loganberries. Satsumas. The Mk 2 Granny smith.

"ladies and genetlemen: The Conker"

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Dead Vulture

400Mhz

When I moved from a 266Mhz PII to a 600Mhz PIII with 512MB KDE ran smoothly and I was perfectly happy with the speed of the desktop. A 400Mhz Freescale should be decent enough to use as a desktop machine, so there's no need for the sneering in the article.

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Paris Hilton

I hate their website so much I want to incinerate an orphange with fiery puppies

I sat through a tedious flash animation to be given diddly squat information, that always gives me a sunny disposition to a company.

And their logo resembles a freshly whipped pair of testicles.

Paris - because she's flashy, devoid of useful information and has doubtlessly seen reddened testicles.

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Coat

hot jobbies...?

Yuck.

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Silver badge
Coat

Logo fun

Aimed at kids, eh?

Is it just me or is that cherry logo just begging for a little tippex modification to resemble certain body parts. Assuming kids still use tippex, not as much fun since they changed the thinners into something less mind-expanding. When I were a lad etc, etc....

Taxi for one.

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Happy

Neat

although "faster than Vista" isn't a huge claim.

The last time I used Vista, the hourglass was replaced by a calendar...

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Coat

Green?

Its not green its black?

No, no, I’ve got it from the back of the door already...

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Black Helicopters

Pricing

Desktop will be shipping at $199 and is aimed for full release in early August.

The Laptop will be shipping at $299.

Of course, you'll probably have to factor in the standard US > UK conversion so you may as well change the $ for a £ but it's still a good price.

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Paris Hilton

Point of order Mr Editor

Can we please not have preferential marketing here, please?

We need a picture incorporating a suitably decorative totty draped over a Cherry box on a beach somewhere.

OK, if the Cherry guys can't oblige, then the Cherry box isn't a mandatory requirement, just so long as the caption makes it clear the aforementioned totty is not draped over a Cherry box.

There, that should do it.

And I also want to be the first to get a cheap laugh out of mentioning "Totty" and "Showing a cherry" in the same sentence.

There, I've done that too.

My, what a busy afternoon.

Too warm for a coat. Totty instead.

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"Mac OS X-addled machine."

Oh Ashlee, something rotten in the state of Vance? ... your bias is showing again ... you need bigger "pants" (trousers).

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "Mac OS X-addled machine."

Remind me which bias that is, mate.

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Phallic logo?

Is it just my childhood-like innocence, or isn't it just some cherries?! Sure you could say they look like balls if you want but I think you're grasping for something that's not there. So to speak.

As for the box, colour me sceptical- especially of the graphics performance. If it can do what jobby says it can it could even work as my new media playing box. Bet it won't, though.

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Compare this with...

Here's a review of a similar-spec box using a 500 MHz VIA chip that takes 7W (at the mains socket):

http://linuxdevices.com/articles/AT4708024578.html

It gives a pretty good overview of the experience you can expect from this sort of device. Another one with similar performance is the BeagleBoard (http://beagleboard.org/).

BUT: so far I haven't seen any non-x86 devices of this sort that support respectable screen resolutions; like most of the ARM-based systems, the Freescale chip in this box manages only 1024x768. How many of the potential users will be satisfied with that on a desktop? If you want 1600x1200 the VIA x86-based chipsets, or similar things from AMD and Intel, remain the only options.

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No audio...

audio out would be nice, and a second NIC, preferably.

Still, even without either of those it's interesting.

At 2W it could be powered on a load of AA cells (at least for a few hours)!

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Coat

Another 'Apple-Killer'...

... from the embittered old Reg- if you still remember it by Christmas it'll be

miracle.

/Taxi!

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re: re: "Mac OS X-addled machine."

I mean the addition of "addled" to imply (or allow the inference of) something rotten or confused and vague about Mac OS X ... which seems odd considering your normal Apple neutral alignment and good custom of Apple Inc.

Has something caused a new cut (bias 8-) to the fabric of your Apple world?

Whoops .. forgot the "Joke Alert" icon.

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(Written by Reg staff)

re: re: "Mac OS X-addled machine."

I was really speaking more from CherryPal's perspective and the relative bloat that is either Vista or Mac OS X when compared to an embedded OS.

Still like my Macs, while disdaining Apple PR>

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VGA?

No DVI in this day and age?

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Alert

Ah, the great smell of vapourware

and burning start-up capital

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Sounds like a lot of things

Most low end pdas or gps devices on the market now have a 400mhz arm risc processor and a sd card slot for gbs of memory. Sounds identical to this with less ports. Boots in seconds running windows ce. So unless this is extremIy cheap I can't really see the originality.

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Anonymous Coward

@Ashleeeee

"We remain skeptical" - Is that like sceptical?

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I might plug one of these into my TV.

I've got a VGA port on the back of my LCD TV, and a wireless keyboard that I don't use much. I might consider springing for one of these to get a web browser in the living room. (Though maybe I'd be better off putting the cash towards one of those "media extenders" instead).

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Anonymous Coward

Price Comparison

"Of course, you'll probably have to factor in the standard US > UK conversion so you may as well change the $ for a £"

At least one vendor - Apple, seems to have understood it annoys anyone outside the USA, particularly those in the UK, that we were being ripped off when converting US prices. Hence Steve Jobs' commitment to fix prices of the basic iPhone at $199 (if he keeps his keynote speech promise). Oh, I don't own a single Apple product - not yet.

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Paris Hilton

@zxcvbnm - a little better than that.

400MHz PowerPC e300 dual-issue core with 32K caches is about the same as a 700-800MHz ARM 1136EJ-S. I'd buy one. It'd be a fun box to program.

Paris 'coz I'd like to hack her box, too.

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Anonymous Coward

To compete with UMCs

people need to start installing monitors and keyboards into coffee houses.

I cannot help thinking this device is a little ahead of its time. Most who want a small computer buy mini or nano-itx and just build one. But, without the peripherals this is going to be a hard sell to the average consumer.

Clock speeds have never been that accurate, I would prefer to see MIPs or bogomips even, so what if the chip oscillates at a certain frequency, I want to know how many instructions it can pump through in a second.

Could be useful for clustering though, if it is cheap enough, but I do feel visual technology needs to make the leap (laser keyboards are about, so input has done its bit, it is output's turn now). Where is our holographic display or cheap small projectors.

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Paris Hilton

you guys see balls ...

I've rather associated cherries with ... errr .. virgin territory

Paris, because she lost her cherry long ago ...

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Anonymous Coward

oh, how 'cute'

sorry but cheap, green and completely unremarkable won't move boxes... Anybody else remember the hype of "Network Computers" back in the early to mid 90's? They were interesting for about 30 seconds and then reality set in.

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Linux

iTunes?

If they want this thing to run iTunes, the lack of storage space is one issue. The fact it's running linux is going to be another blocker. Or have Apple decided to hug the penguin of late, and I've missed it?

Still, good luck to them. It should be perfect for some situations (as with the new range of laptots out there). If this thing does take off, it'll be interesting to watch MS give XP a further reprieve in the hope of staying relevant.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: iTunes?

Yeah, that's exactly what I asked Seybold, regarding the local storage and apparently missing iTunes for Linux. I dunno. He had some weird smile when he answered the question. The only thing I can guess is some cloud like thing where you're storing the songs somewhere else, but I can't imagine why Apple would agree to that or why anyone would want it.

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Stipped down iBook

While the unit may consume 2 watts of power, I'm guessing that the power adaptor that runs it uses about 20, most of which going off as heat.

Why not just get an iBookG4 off ebay (ignoring the ones with the gpu-o-death) and mod it yourself? you get more ports, and you have the fun of ripping an iBook apart - with a LCD, CD-R/DVD, WiFi, Microphone, Trackpad, keyboard, (and modem if your being really over zealous) - left over.

I've seen boxes like this for ages now, and they have never taken off.

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Thin client - if only it had DVI

This has "great thin client" (be it LTSP with remote X11, RDP/ICA, or RFB/VNC) written all over it - except for one little problem.

DVI.

Without a digital display option it's really not attractive for much except use as a firewall in some limited situations, as a low-power home server, or with some crappy cast-off screen as a workstation for someone you don't like very much.

As for firewalls, it turns out that the eee PC is an awfully good choice, at least if you have a VLAN switch or only care about wifi. I'm using mine as a great little ubuntu firewall/router/server and wifi access point. Once connected up to a 1TB USB HDD it does an impressive job as a file server. It runs silently with very low power consumption once you enable CPU power management, and it has plenty of grunt to spare when it's required. The built-in battery backup, keyboard, and display is just a bonus.

Hmm, I think we need a TLA soup icon.

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Silver badge

2W + monitor > laptop power

2W is one thing, but you need to look at the system power. Add a monitor and you're using more power than most laptops.

Still, good to see another company that is not wed to Windows. The only reason EeePC uses x86 is for windows. Going with ARM, even a PPC gives far better power figures and pricing than any x86 - even the Atom.

Break from x86 and low power/cost is much easier. For instance, the Atmel AT91SAM9G20 (400MHz ARM) only uses 80mW and costs $7. Add more power and cost for the RAM, flash etc.

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Dead Vulture

PearPC

The name reminds me of that CherryOS, the ripoff PearPC PPC emulator clone. I guess they share nothing in common other than the apparent ability to run iTunes but it just seemed interesting.

Me? I'll just keep my ol' dual-floppied Apricot with the glowing green monochrome monitor for when I'm feeling fruity.

Dead birdy 'cos it looks like he's just dribbling cherry hooch.

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Stop

Trademark?

Mightn't they have trademark problems from a certain well-known keyboard manufacturer?

http://www.cherry.de/english/index.htm

Unless of course we've just found their new business model...

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Thumb Up

@Nice machine, nice idea but..

"ladies and genetlemen: The Conker"

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Splutter!!! Brilliant! Even as an Apple user I think the whole fruit/vegetable/alien naming of computers is so... thick.

Now, where's the tissue to clean up my keyboard....

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Could be big...

Back in the day when the Amiga was wowing everyone with a multitasking desktop, it had only 1MB of RAM (if you were lucky) and a 7MHz 68000. Worse, the graphics chipset only had a bandwidth of around 10MB/sec - most hard disc controllers today could trounce that! The cheapest of graphics chipsets today would make the Amiga's abilities back then seem laughable now.

If you were clever, and wrote an operating system to the hardware (just without going off on a tangent like Apple has done), you could quite easily make a machine fly on a 400MHz processor - and still have power to spare. Face it, most of the reasons we've needed multi-GHz PCs in the last 10 years have been done to one thing: Microsoft Windows.

We've come so far, so quickly - yet everyone seems to have such short memories...

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Pirate

I'd have one

Who cares about graphics! Use a proper PC / games console / pack of cards for that. However, I've started to hate the fan noise and heat that computers and other electrical stuff chucks out, and if I'm going to leave a computer on, I want all that to go away.. If this thing uses 2W, it's probably fanless, and I could leave it on happily to handle my backups - hang a couple of disks off it, install Subversion and you're done :) Add a screen and the kids could use it for web access as well.

More manufacturers should at least try to keep power usage and software bloat down. I bought a laptop last year that shuts off every now and then when it overheats, because the fan's not efficient enough, and can barely run Vista, which it shipped with. Rubbish!

Skull and crossbones because Windows will be a thing of the past in 10 years.

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"intellectual property...." = death knell

He mentioned IP, which means venture capitalists, which means it is a dead duck. I'm guessing some awful lock-in to some net-based service. It's a goner....<quack>

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Linux

DVI++

Just to say it needs a DVI output, and the specs of the Ethernet aren't clear, but it really should be gigabit. Then it starts to make sense as a little box for a non-power user who lives with a power user. Or it could go in a kitchen etc where 1024x768 is OK.

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Re:Re: iTunes?

@Ashlee

I cant fathom how storage on the Cherry affects the storage capacity of my MP3 Player?? If I can get tunes from web2pod by using the cherry then why do i need PC storage? (yeah backup yadda yadda but not critical!)

@John Robson - USB-NIC not good enough for your internet connection? please tell me who your ISP is! there may be a driver issue though.

My reason for posting...

anyway if this thing will stream video from my NAS then I'll velcro it to the back of the TV in a jiffy! sold.

(wot no dvi/video port - well my tv has a vga connector so who cares!)

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Alert

thin client

tied into the cloud cluster for bigger processing??

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Stop

Flexibility

The one major drawback for this device compare to a normal PC or even that new low-powered PC that was being bandied about ASUS EEUC (or whatever the acronym is), is that this device is not flexible.

Lets not forget the fundamental reason PC's took off so quickly over Mac's in the old days was due to flexibility of use, by the details that i read in this article it would appear that this device is only ever going to cover a niche market.

I can't see any mainstream business opening up their firewalls to allow this device to run those necessary apps like Outlook etc, (forget iTunes!), which means it has already limited itself and isn't flexible.

What about future upgrades of HW, but a new CherryPal every few years?

It just doesn't appear to be that that flexible, I think this CEO missed a trick, the market isn't crying out just for a green low wattage device, they are crying out for a green low wattage PC that still has flexibility...

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Not VGA nor DVI

...but this little fella needs a nice, modern HDMI port instead. And by 'cloud', I rather assume that the idea is to buy 5, 10 or more of these things, put them on the same LAN and have them share the CPU load - it really could be quite cool in the right application.

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