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back to article Dell's PC-on-a-stick landing in July: report

Dell's project Ophelia, an Android-PC-on-a-stick effort revealed at CES last January, is apparently set to debut in July. PC World brings us news that Dell will bring the product to the world in a few short weeks at around $US100. The idea behind the device is to offer user a very lightweight client device that users can chuck …

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Anonymous Coward

Yawn

It looks suspiciously like this, which I has been plugged in to the HDMI port on my monitor for several weeks. Except I paid a lot less for mine on eBay.

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Anonymous Coward

"which I has been"?

Please excuse sparbled geech.

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Unhappy

Re: "which I has been"?

I find it disturbing that I didn't notice the error until you pointed it out.

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Re: Yawn

I might go for one of those when I eventually get a modern TV.

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Re: Yawn

I know, they're quite common now. I have one that is a webserver and print server.

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Re: Yawn

Your TV is a webserver and a print server?

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Pint

Re: Yawn

His/Her Mrs/Bloke obviously doesnt like a room full of servers.

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Joke

Ophelia ?

Perhaps they should call it Jose Jalapeno.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Anonymous Coward

Re: AND it has begun...

Yeah, just like when MS bailed Apple out... Err...

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Re: AND it has begun...

I believe the Nokia deal is USD250m per quarter 'support' payments from MSFT to Nokia with royalty payments going the other way on Nokia WinPho sales. Eflop believes Nokia will be in net receipt until sometime in 2014. I believe Nokia will be in net receipt until the end of the year.

Eflop will not be in the job by the end of the year. The new CEO will renegotiate the existing MSFT contract and Nokia will bring out its first Android device within 6 months. It will then sell more Android handsets within the ensuing 6 months than the entire number of WinPho handsets it ever sold.

As to Dell's Ophelia: they got the wrong Shakespearian reference. They should have called it Much Ado About Nothing.

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FAIL

Re: AND it has begun...

You havent predicted anything.

Android on a stick has been banging around for ages before Dell came out with this.

You can buy the things for about 30 quid off Ebay right now and have been able to for a long time. I have one, and it works very nicely.

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Sil

Greedy telcos

Telco's did not loose to Netflix because of technology but because of the outrageous pricing of their pay per view.

In the same way that tobacco substitute companies have gorged themselves for years by selling their much less taxed products at the same price as a pack of cigarettes, they are now finally getting destroyed by e-cigarette companies with a more decent pricing.

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Re: Greedy telcos

Agreed. Telco price gouging sent customers away in droves. But the Telcos will never admit it. They'll come out with some 'spin' crap on how consumers don't want quality this-or-that. Just like what we're hearing about Silicon Roundabout and a 'shortage of developers', when what they really mean is a 'shortage of developers willing to take a hefty pay cut just to work in Silicon Roundabout when they can get better paid elsewhere eg. The City'.

It's another FAIL.

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Thumb Down

Must work harder

Several easily cheaper devices available already as has already been suggested and as many people carry tablets to meetings its going to be a bit of a gimmick given I could access a tablet whilst actually on the road but not this device which requires extra hardware.

Now if they integrated a form of "gesture control" to the device it might actually make some headway in the home market as you wouldn't need a mouse and keyboard

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Instant PC

Just add a HDMI screen, keyboard and pointing device!

Well, you also could buy a smartphone or tablet and use it with a large screen, which has the advantage that you'd have already an integrated keyboard and a pointing device...

Besides, there really is nothing new about this. You can buy such things today and they all suffer from the fact that you need a BT keyboard and BT mouse/trackpad even for just connecting to WiFI (or doing anything with it actually) since touch screens on TVs and computer screens are still rather rare. Is Dell really ignoring this?

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Re: Instant PC

Aye, why use this when you have a smartphone in your pocket anyway? If its for people who can't afford smartphones, then what are they doing with multiple monitors and IO hanging around?

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Devil

Re: Instant PC

Probably because you are deep into a film and all of a sudden **RING RING!!!**

That scared the bejesus out of me and is a reason I no longer use that feature from my phone.

*Phone connected to the TV with volume up high

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Silver badge

Re: Instant PC

>Aye, why use this when you have a smartphone in your pocket anyway?

Because you can plug this in to your telly, and control it using your phone from your sofa.

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Anonymous Coward

Love to get one of the USB sticks but.......

A lot of the cheap chinese ones allegedly have crap wifi range, hopefully this will be better. If anyone has experience of a good cheap chinese stick with at least dual core please can you share you experiences here ?

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Happy

Re: Love to get one of the USB sticks but.......

Here yah go dual core stick from Japan; better made than the Chinese variant, more useful and reliable.

http://www.bamboogarden.com/Sinobambusa%20intermedia.htm

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FAIL

Ophelia?

I think she's the crazy chick in "The Scottish Play."

Nealy on a par with IBM's Ferenghi.

So this is what Dell have with Wyse.

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Re: Ophelia?

I read the Scottish play for GCSE, so I know it's not that. IIRC, Ophelia is Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Trading Places, and she says something like "yeah yeah, I know, it's Hamlet's girlfriend name".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ophelia?

Here I thought she was from the simpsons.

"Hi is Ophelia there? Last name Buttocks."

"Is Ophelia here, Ophelia buttocks. Hey Everybody I want Ophelia buttocks."

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FAIL

Re: Ophelia?

Had the Dell Marketing Team asked me I would have suggested:

Project Iona ................... Stick

Project Sh1t ...................on a Stick

Project Sticky ................... Sticky Stick

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Bah. A Raspberry Pi in an old cigarette packet can do all of this. And its cheaper.

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@len goddard

not bought fags lately then?

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umm it can't run andriod

unless they actually released it by now I stopped getting my hopes many months ago

also the video playback on the ras pi (at least 1st gen like I have) is very lacking, and laggy like hell. Even the UI I find to be pretty bad.for the video player, and extremely unresponsive.

will say the ras pi does a semi decent job as a SNES though

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Linux

As far as video goes...

Chances are that this PC on a stick is no less limited than the PI. It's just that the PI is more open to things that will make those limitations painfully obvious. It's no worse than a similar streamer appliance. You just don't have any artificial restrictions that make it less obvious how lame the hardware is.

A Dell on a stick may suffer from the same problems. There is no tour guide to keep you out of trouble.

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Go

Android TV Set Tops

Dell is a little late to the party. I have been using one of these devices for quite some time I have the Minix Neo G4 it is about half the size of an Android Phone it has an HDMI video out port a USB power in port and a USB data out port as well as a mini SD port.

I originally bought it to experiment with, thinking that an Android desktop would make exploring all of the Android apps much easier than trying to do so on a phone. I used the lone USB data out to go to an independently powered 7 port USB hub I have a Logitcech USB wireless keyboard and a Logitech USB (wired) mouse that I use with it.

Don't throw away your PCs, Linux Desktops or MACs just yet. These things are severely limited in what they can do with Internet content. Flash content is non existent (No Flash for Android) can't watch Netflix movies (one of the reasons I wanted to experiment with it in the first place was to stream Netflix movies on to an HDMI TV via the Android TV Set top unit. (Not happening)

I use an Office Suite called Kingsoft Office and I access a Samsung Wireless Printer SCX3405W (must be set up from a windows computer on the LAN) via my wireless router using the SAMSUNG Mobile Print App which works quite well. (I also use this to print from my Android phone)

To use this device as a desktop you have to go into your browser setting and set the Browser to act as a Desktop not as a phone.

All in all it is a simple (relatively) cost effective Desktop if all you need is basic office suite, email and limited browser experience. If you want rich multimedia Internet content these devices are not the way to go.

But all things considered they are much better than the desktop experience afforded by Windows 3.1 or even Windows 95. They fall well short of Windows 98. ME, XP, NT, 7,8,9, most current Linux offerings and MACs.

The best thing I can say about these devices is that if you know someone that just wants a simple email and browser system, with light office apps (word/excel) but doesn't need rich Internet content and doesn't want to be bothered with maintaining anti virus, Adware and Malware programs, these things may be just what you are looking for. One touch factory reset (pin hole) reconfigures the software to the factory configuration in less than a minute. This task often takes ah hour or more on PCs.

And a real plus is you don't really need to get ahold of one to get a feel for the experience, with the exception of an HDMI TV for a screen a USB or Blue Tooth Mouse/Keboard set up, the GUI is identical to what the same software version on a cell phone looks/acts like.

One thing I haven't checked out is using a web cam, I suppose I should give it a try so I can tell others how it works or not, but I just don't have any use for video chat, web cams etc... So sorry no info on Webcams for it.

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better than ... Windows 3.1 or even 95... well short of Windows 98. ME, XP, NT, 7,8,9

Better that 3.1 I'll give you. But since Windows 3.1 was a better user experience than windows 8, and 9 doesn't exist yet, I'll take issue with this statement.

95 was a better experience than ME and 98 too.

I have an MK808, and it's certainly much more pleasant to use than Windows 8, (and Windows CE) a little better than 3.x, but a decent Windows 9x - 7 device is nicer to use. But it cost £30 is silent, tiny and takes far less power.

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Youtube

Forgot to mention that while Netflix is a no go, Youtube works quite well, using the Youtube App from the Play Store.

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HDMI?

This needs to work in the Marketing Director's big-screen pc or mac to be taken seriously - HDMI won't cut it.

Build it into screens (with USB, (maybe thunderbolt) and a wired ethernet switch - the screen becomes a docking station and is stationary and programme the "SIM" to hook into the corporate VOIP solution. Use it as a lync replacement.

Also, find a way to "remote" apps onto the windows/mac/linux desktop.

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Re: HDMI?

"This mini is too small, it needs to be a transit."

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Linux

Re: HDMI?

> This needs to work in the Marketing Director's big-screen pc or mac to be taken seriously - HDMI won't cut it.

HDMI will likely be fine for anything that isn't trying to be pointlessly different and needlessly incompatible.

This may pose problems with Apple users but those are a small minority.

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Coat

On a steeek!

Sorry...

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I'm tempted with one like the rikomagic that was linked in the first post here... connect to WiFi, install XMBC, configure access to NAS and job done, one more media centre deployed. It's the additional wires that may be needed that could be annoying, these things are unlikely to be attachable direct to a display or will look appalling stuck out of the side if they can therefore they'll need a (short) extension cable.

But the same would apply to the original item this post was about, may often be unfittable without an extension cable and would need the hassle of external power as well.

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Go

Alas XBMC will disappoint you - the Android port has no hardware acceleration ATM.

I have had an MK809 II running Android 4.1.1 for about a month, hooked up to my "SmartTV". Those of us that have such things know already that your "internet-enabled" TV is just a client to a server from $TV_VENDOR, which runs those apps that $TV_VENDOR sees fit to make available to you as long as $TV_VENDOR's server is up. OTOH these stick things give you direct Internet access plus pretty much all Android apps for, let's face it, next to nothing.

It does a ton of things that a RaspPi can't and has much more powerful graphics, but it has no GPIO. Horses for courses: I personally think that nothing can be gained by comparing the two.

What does work: Youtube, as already mentioned. Skype works perfectly. VLC and MXplayer also work very well. It runs GTA Vice City for Android superbly at 1920x1080. I haven't yet tried the various emulators (psx, sega, nintendo) but I would expect them to work as well as they do on a tablet. Teamviewer gives me my Win7 desktop's screen on the TV which can be handy. Droidmote makes it possible to use the TV screen as a big tablet. It's delivered rooted, so new ROMs can be easily installed (Finless Bob FTW), and it can be directly connected to a CIFS server

What does not work well: WiFi. It's an open secret that the WiFi implementation on the current generation of these things is manky, and many surmise on various fora that it has to do with inadequate antennae. Solutions: a) open up the case to expose the antenna, b) stick a cheap access point right next to it, c) use a USB Ethernet port.

I paid 35 euros direct from China and am completely satisfied with it. I think that we're going to be seeing a lot more of these things.

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Go

Well I have one like this...

http://www.maplin.co.uk/point-of-view-hdmi-smart-tv-dongle-android-4.1-685649

Got mine when Maplin had a special on them for £39.99. It came with the dongle and a little wireless keyboard/pointer.

Not sure if they still do but mine came with Flash pre-installed. I have used it with Netflix with no issue. It is pretty basic but it does work, and is very portable. It does not replace my laptop or tablet though. Wifi range is okay, but the wireless keyboard range is a little limiting and seesm to be about 2.5 metres. (I am a lazy ass, so have to lean forward in my chair to ensure that everything I type gets to the unit).

All in all for 40 quid it has been a fun bit of tech to play with.

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Linux

Where this needs to go next

The end game here is for a device like this to be built into every decent screen (both "televisions" and "computer monitors") as standard equipment.

It will be: "Here's your nice 24" LED-backlit monitor, and it's got a DVI input on the back so you can connect your PC to it ... or leave out the PC if you want to, it's got an Android chip so if you want, just plug your mouse and keyboard straight into it"

In a couple of years, there will be quite a few consumers who, faced with a $150 bill from the "we're the local computer shop and we can remove viruses for you" again, may simply say "forget it, I'll just use the Android built into the monitor, it never breaks"

And of course us geeks will simply have the one server in the garden shed running remote desktops and all of our other "computers" will be screens with Android chips or sticks in them. Network Computing is here! It just arrived 20 years after they wanted it to :)

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Re: Where this needs to go next

IGnatius - us geeks do not want a server in the garden shed!

Never work in the distillery for health and safety reason if nothing else!

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FAIL

Wyse management software

Isn't the point here not that the device is unique, but that Dell aim to combine it with the Wyse management software? I have been evaluating thin clients to replace our ageing fleet of Igels and had a look at Wyse. It was that management software that ruled them out! Truly awful.

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Interesting...

So I did some googling and there's an ubuntu port with everything working (including xvideo and opengl). It's nice that you can get a USB-stick-sized device, plug it into a montior and use it to run as big a screen as you'd like.

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Happy

Some pi for you

Uh, late to the party. Its called the Raspbery PI and its been around for quite a while now. AND it's only $35

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Comparing an Hp Server

HP's SL390s G7 1U Server and the SL6500 Scalable System Chassis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2FQq_3BmDA

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