Today seems to be the “shubh muhurat” for quite a handful of product launches. First, the biggest of them all. HTC has launched their HTC Hero in the Indian market. It has been a while since we had been bombarded by “leaked” photo shots and demo videos. What makes the news all the more exciting is the belief among the community that HTC has finally managed to achieve with the hero, what Android had lacked till date. HTC Hero is a part of the A series and features a 3.5mm audio jack, multi-touch capabilities and the HTC Sense interface. What more, this is also the very first Android phone to support Adobe Flash. Another thing that’s unique about the phone is it’s design. It is very bold of HTC to tilt the mic section of the phone a little closer to the mouth. Looks sexy and, along with the completely revamped Android, looks absolutely ready to take on the whole wide world. However, just a word of caution, Gizmodo sounds pretty pissed with the phone’s speed and usability. As for us, we are eagerly waiting to get the baby in our hands.
With the advent of the “netbook” age, Linux is becoming an extremely popular choice for the consumers. Keeping that segment in mind, the community had launched a Ubuntu-based netbook distribution Easy Peasy, formely known as Ubuntu Eee. Easy Peasy uses the Ubuntu Netbook Remix graphical user interface and provides a mix of popular open-source and proprietary software. The USP of Easy Peasy Linux is that all the applications that one might need to regularly use, like Pidgin, Skype, Firefox and Picasa, are all brought in together to provide fast access. However, we believe that the 1.1 version had issues with detecting the wireless network card, on Acer Aspire One, one of the most selling netbooks around.
I guess, the increasing dominance by Linux in the netbook market is making the suited folks at Redmond quite sweaty. If Linux Pro Magazine is to be believed, Microsoft has been trying their best to prove their operating system, Windows’, superiority over Linux, even if that might demand them to ‘bend their fingers’ a little bit.
On the other side of the world, Intel released its new P55 chipset. The new chipset is a replacement of the earlier Intel P45 chipset and is compatible with the DP55KG motherboard. The earlier Core processor and chipsets were not compatible with the Intel series of motherboards and they did not support Nehalem microprocessor and Lynfield architecture. However, the new P55 with LGA-1156 socket is. Lynnfield is basically the codename for Intel desktop and mobile x86-64 microprocessor, which uses the Intel Nehalem architecture. Further, Intel Core i7 processors are compatible with the P55 as with the Core i7 800 series. But, Core i7 900 series is compatible only with the x58 and not P55. The P55 is using Socket LGA-1156 where as the X58 has Socket LGA-1366. Some of the key features of P55 are 8 PCI Express 2.0 x1 ports(2.5GT/s) for flexible device support, 3 SATA 3 Gb/s portswith Intel Matrix storage technology and 14 USB 2.0 ports. Inte has launched four new motherboard in the P55 series, the DP55KG “Kingsberg”, DP55SB “Sharpsburg”, DP55WG “Warrensburg”, and DP55WB “Whitesburg”. The main features of these motherboards are supporting NVDIA SLI and ATI CrossFire to number of SATA. It also has support for eSata ports and integrated bluetooth.
Well, the P55 and the Lynnfield processor find support in Linux. The Intel DP55KG works fine with Ubuntu 9.04 and its kernel 2.6.28, but with a glitch in the Gigabit Ethernet card. However, with an upgraded kernel, that is, kernel 2.6.28 upgraded to kernel 2.6.31, you will find the Ethernet card working. One area in which Linux still lacks behind is the support for Intel Lynnfield / Ibex Peak with both the motherboard and the CPU is the lack of any LM_Sensors system monitoring support for being able to read the fan speeds, temperatures, and voltages. When run with new Intel Core i5/i7 processor on Linux the performance of it was not up to the mark. This is the case with both Core i5 750 and Core i7 870. With the default Linux setting, CPU core frequencies also never increased to their Intel Turbo Boost frequencies when they were encountering a load. But, with Turbo Boost setting disabled in the BIOS you can get rid of problems. Overall, Linux runs well with the new P55 chipset, except for a few glitches. But, with proper tweak ups we can see better performance of Linux with the Intel P55 chipsets.
Lastly, Google Chrome recently turned one and LifeHacker posted a wonderful article on Chrome’s journey, till date. As for Google Chrome OS, let us just keep our fingers crossed and pray that the competition stays healthy.