The Evangelist

Worldwide Technology News

After a not-quite-so-brief hiatus, The Evangelist will be returning at a new address.

This blog will continue to exist as a separate site with all of the articles intact. I hope you will visit the new site and consider bookmarking.

-The Evangelist

I realize I haven't had much time to publish new articles to the blog lately.

In light of this, I would simply like to wish everybody a happy, healthy new year.

Stay tuned, there is more to come.

-The Evangelist

For those of you who haven't heard, an official native port of Google Chrome is now available for Mac OS X and Linux.

Before this, Crossover Chromium offered an alternative way to run Chrome on OS X and Linux.

It should be noted that these are still in beta, and therefore there still may be bugs that need to be worked out.

The Linux port can be downloaded as either 32- or 64-bit .deb or .rpm packages for both Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu and distributions that use the Red Hat Package Manager, such as Fedora.

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There can be no doubt that netbooks have become extremely popular over the course of the last two years. While many (including AMD, as was discussed in Why Intel's Atom May Revolutionize Mobile Computing) doubted that there would be much of a market for netbooks at first, this doubt would be quickly eliminated by the sheer amount of netbooks flying off of the shelves.

Netbooks certainly have their advantages over other classes of portables. They are lighter, smaller, and cheaper than your average laptop. While there are some ultraportables such as the MacBook Air that are typically slimmer and more powerful, they come at a hefty price.

Netbooks are useful for those who are on the go and don't need that much processing power. Students can undoubtedly benefit from the advantages of a leightweight and cheap computer.

That isn't to say that netbooks aren't useful around the house as well. They make for great secondary machines, so that they user has processing power when they need it and mobility when they don't.

Intel's Atom processor has become the mainstay of most netbooks. The processors have truly revolutionized mobile computing by helping to create the netbook market.

A number of operating systems are now preloaded onto netbooks. Microsoft's Windows XP Home Edition has historically been the popular choice because it is lightweight and because XP is still very popular. Microsoft is now pushing their much-improved Windows 7 onto netbooks.

In addition, Linux has made some headway on netbooks. Projects such as Moblin and Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) have been created to create distributions optimized for use on netbooks. These interfaces make it easier to get to what you want and help the user cope with the smaller screen size.

Unlike the highly portable devices of yesteryear, netbooks have become an unqualified success.

The only question that remains is where netbooks are headed next. The category is rapidly changing, and innovative new classes of devices are being created, such as the smartbook.

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Google's Chrome OS has the potential to challenge Microsoft on the netbook front. The interface is sleek and very minimalist, much like netbooks themselves.

The operating system is based on Linux, and is specifically designed for netbooks. It's interface is similar to that of Google's Chrome web browser.

Instead of desktop apps, LinkGoogle Chrome OS will take advantage of Google's extensive cloud services such as Google Docs and Gmail.

Netbooks with Google Chrome OS installed will probably be cheaper than their Windows counterparts, although it is hard to tell what will happen (as Microsoft will undoubtedly want to keep their dominance). Chrome OS netbooks will include solid state drives. While these drives surely won't be able to store as much information, with Google's cloud services it is doubtful that much storage will be needed.

Back in October 2008, I wrote a couple articles about Apple's Brick. At the time, there were quite a few rumors as to what Brick would be, from a new Mac Mini design to a Mac netbook. Of course, the "Brick" turned out to be a manufacturing process for the MacBook line of laptops.

With the introduction of Brick, a unibody aluminum 13" MacBook and 15" MacBook Pro were released. Later, the 13" MacBook would be replaced by a 13" MacBook Pro and a 17" MacBook Pro would be added to the lineup.

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When the line was originally released, the only option was a glossy display. A matte display is optional on the 15" and 17" versions for those who would prefer that option.

The mouse button has been integrated into the new glass touchpad, eliminating another button in traditional Apple style.

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There's no doubt that the new unibody MacBook Pros are a leap forward in design. Sure, unibody laptops probably won't supplant traditional processes anytime soon, especially for cheaper models, but the fact remains that the unibody design not only looks better, it makes for less pieces of plastic and breakable parts.

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