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back to article CherryPal launches $249 mini PC into ad-backed cloud

Start-up CherryPal is taking pre-orders today for its partly cloudy "desktop" that mashes web-hosted computing, going green, open source, and social networking into a 10 ounce box. The (self-titled) CherryPal systems are $249, and surprisingly won't require a monthly subscription despite the fact that most of its storage …

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Linux

Custom OS

So how long will it be before this is unlocked, running new linux software and acting as an interesting dumb nas or something...

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Heart

Logo

Do people ever look at their logo before releasing it to the general public? Put that one upside-down and you are left with the obvious conclusion as to what the 'pal' of the cherries is representing.

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Unhappy

Er.. what?

Ok, i can see the attraction of a dinky little pc, and remote data hosting seems like a good idea, but $250 to receive extra adverts? Worst idea evar!

Now, if they were offering a $250 web access device that was designed to *block* all adverts and store 50Gb of media files remotely, I could see people buying them and plugging them into their tv.

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Stop

iTunes

Well, that is entirely possible given that iTunes works under WINE. First supported under Crossover Office a few years back, and now the Win32 version works in native WINE too.

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starting a pool

Based upon what was just written im going to give this company 4 months. You would have to be and idiot to think this is actually going to work. Didn't MSN and several other try this.

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The competition

“Note: we still haven't seen a working unit with our own eyes.”

While you wait, you could see if Anders Electronics will lend El Reg a fit-PC. At this stage, both that and Asus’s Eee Box look far more attractive, ad-free propositions. CherryPal have some serious competition.

http://www.fit-pc.co.uk/

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Boffin

So $249 buys you what?

Does a monitor, keyboard & mouse come with it? Because if you have to pay extra for those, you are better off just buying a PC.

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Pirate

hacked in a month, out of business in a year

someone will come up with an alternative OS with no ads and supporting homebrew apps. nerds everywhere will snap them up and then the lawsuits will start pouring in from lost ad revenue.

meanwhile, the idea of platform independent ad supported access to 50gb of web based storage will never occur to executives and the company will go under.

the ill will about using open source to hawk cheesy ads will upset the community and the business will go under just like before:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-Opener

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Webplayer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3Com_Audrey

if history has taught us anything, it's that if you build a proprietary service on a crippled computer, someone will un-cripple the computer and circumvent your service.

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(Written by Reg staff)

@AC

What you get is just the box. No monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc included.

CherryPal CEO Max Seybold's justification is that most people already have those kinds of peripherals laying around. Obviously if you don't, that's something you need to factor into the price.

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Silver badge

No peripherals???

As mentioned above, it's no match for the fit-PC or, better, the Damn Small Machine

http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/store/Mini_ITX_Systems/Damn_Small_Machine

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Anonymous Coward

*sigh*

Proposing a small linux box as an alternative to this is like proposing building your own solar powered bicycle as an alternative to a vespa. Yes, it's possible to run linux on inexpensive hardware. We know. That has nothing to do with this. At all.

In other news: "...and Seybold promises never to artificially delay a load for the benefit of ad screen time."

Yes. But Seybold makes no promises about how much pressure will be put on developers to optimize their startup code...

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Pirate

Ho Ho Ho

Are these guys insane? The only way they will sell these is if geeks descend upon them for their hacktastic pleasures which, in the ultimate irony, will totally destroy their ad serving business model.

re: iTunes. iTunes only works under wine if you are prepared to use the older 7.3 version and you don't want to connect your ipod. Even then it is horrible and slow. At least this was the case a few months back when I made a concerted effort to get it work so I could ditch windows completely. If it has improved since then I'd be glad to be corrected!

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Bleh (@ *sigh*)

iTunes? I don't need no stinking iTunes! (especially when Rhythmbox does the same work).

"Proposing a small linux box as an alternative to this is like proposing building your own solar powered bicycle as an alternative to a vespa."

You mean, proposing a small Linux box with good specs and connectics as an alternative to a small Linux box with crappy specs and poor connectics is irrelevant? Damn Small Machine is the same size, about the same price, and has better specs. I comes fully loaded with an OS that is not less intuitive. And it relies on removable storage instead of network, which means good security, better reliability, less risk of being pwned. And it is backed by a huge repository of software (installable in a seemless one-step point-and-click manner that makes Windoze install wizzard look ridiculously complicated). Oh, and it comes with no ads, too. Not the straightest OS eva, it's a heavily stripped down and customized Linux so it does lack the easy customization of more complete distros, but that's precisely why the comparison with the CherryPal is relevant. And if you really want to be in the cloud, you can. While still being able to choose your own sowtware.

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Anonymous Coward

What's so special about this? There are other such products and cheaper

I don't understand what all the fuzz is about this CherryPal thingie. Everybody seems to be under the illusion that this is something new, even The Register was fooled by their PR. Or is this article paid for by CherryPal?

Well, this isn't new. In fact, CherryPal are very late to the party. There was this Thai company which released and shipped a micro desktop PC running Linux off Compact Flash more than a year ago. I remember it was about 110 USD a piece and there was no advertising involved. I can't find any link now but I know a guy who ordered a couple when they were released about a year ago. He was very happy with them.

Also, there is the Swiss company PC Engines, known for their previous micro servers for firewalls and WIFI access points, a platform known as WRAP. PC Engines have a new tiny little box called the ALIX which is available as both a micro server version (no VGA, no mouse/keyboard/printer ports) and as a desktop PC version (VGA/mouse/keyboard/printer ports). The desktop version has been shipping for almost a year now and it costs just under 150 USD.

The ALIXes run various Linux distros and the main three BSDs, they use the AMD Geode LX700 and LX800 CPUs which are roughly equivalent to a PIII @ 700/800 MHz, but only consume about 1-2 Watts. They are smaller still than this CherryPal thingie. You still have to buy a Compact Flash card which is not included in the price, but how much is a 4GB CF card these days? 100 USD? There you go, 250 USD, shipping already and no adverts. And PC Engines are not the only ones who have a shipping micro PC based on the AMD Geode CPUs. Look around and you will find more such products.

So what is all the fuzz about I ask. Why does The Register tell us about a questionable product that doesn't even ship yet when there are other such products which have shipped for almost a year?

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Alien

Awaiting delivery of mine

Mine should be delivered this week. I'm one of their "brand angels", who will receive one and blog about it's capabilities. I will certainly let everyone know what it does, what it doesn't do and how the user experience is. It won't replace my desktop and laptop, but will be an interesting addition to my home network....

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@Someone

Re: http://www.fit-pc.co.uk/

How much?! £234, and there is no screen or keyboard. Someone forgot the "cheap" part of SCC.

But at least the Windows tax is transparent (£50+VAT).

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Why?

Seriously, why?

So you get a piece if hardware that is dependant on BT and a new company to keep it running? So what do you do when your internet connection dies or Cherry go tits up.

Make a nice paperweight I guess...

Why not just buy and eeeeeeee and get a better system with monitor and keyboard.

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Alien

Incoming!

I'm also expecting mine soon, should be interesting as I'm keen to see how it behaves in relation to its geographical appearance, how it handles data privacy and if it could handle being a replacement for the xbox360 as a media centre.

I'm hoping that the local storage behaves like a simple NAS box with the capability to plug in additional capacity via a USB HDD.

It looks like it could be a neat solution, but then its all about how it stands up IRL

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Paris Hilton

Do it yourself for less

How about getting that old heater of a 7-year-old PC out of the cupboard - the one with an old processor, 256Mb of memory and a 10GB hdd and then installing something like Xubuntu or DSL (Damn Small Linux) on it. Either wire it up to your hub or buy a usb network card for £10 and gosh - you'll have a working PC that you can surf the net, play games and do word processing on.

It's really not that difficult - I'm sure some helpful soul has already published instructions on how to do it.

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Paris Hilton

To the haterz.............

Give it a rest! Till you've seen it running you've no idea if it'll be impaccted by initial ad's. The fact it runs on 2 watts and represents cloud for the masses (is that a storm?) is a great idea.

All you geeks out there may know better, but this isn't targetted at you sad no brainers who enjoy sleeping in your old Sun E10k converted into a bunkbed. This is for the populous. Those who are a bit more technically retarded. It's an attempt to get Linux to the masses. Therefore it's all about branding and branding means advertising. You don;t get something for nothing in this world (unless you're a thief) so sacrifices have to be made.

Lets see the audience that CP go for. I can safely say it won't be most of you. They'd be too terrified of the bewildering sarcasm and Monty Python quotes you'd throw i their face..............

Having said all that, I have to confess I am a geek, only one who get's laid regularly and drinks lager not "ale". And yes, I am also getting a free Cherrypal for assessment. Which makes me completely unbias. Obviously. Is that my doorbell ringing?

Paris, as even she will give something different a chance........

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Happy

Hope

I hope it succeeds, too. If it does (and that is probably quite a big if) then it will be interesting to read all the armchair critics telling us what a good idea they always thought it was...

(I'm old enough to remember when the Walkman was a novelty, and not many people rated that, either!)

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Silver badge

"Imagine only using 2 watts of energy"

But bang goes the saving energy idea when you plug it into a 40 watt 17" monitor or 150 watt 42" plasma screen.

I suppose you could get some OLED 'VR' glasses that power off USB (using 2.5 watts max) but they'd cost 3-5x the price of the CherryPal...

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@Goat Jam

Try Virtualbox. http://www.virtualbox.org. I have a virtual install of Windows running under Linux, so that I can still use the Yahoo Messenger (Haven't found a linux client that handles photo sharing), and MS Money. Have been able to sync my smartphone via USB, too....

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Happy

Promo code

I got in on the Brand Angels gig, will let you know what its like once it lands with me, in the meantime if you want one you can use my promo code to get a discount: CPP234

Cheers

A

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CherryPal for Everyone

Thank you for talking about the CherryPal C100. I am linking to this page from my blog, CherryPal for Everyone, at cherrypal dot blogspot dot com. I am excited about how the CherryPal can bridge barriers to people who have not had access to computers or the internet because of money, fear, education or other challenges. I will be commenting on my experience of using it on my blog as soon as I get my own CherryPal C100! You can use CODE CPP206 to get your own CherryPal for $10 less than purchase price at Paypal

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