Linutop create new model

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Linutop 3

This is the Linutop 3, a small form factor PC running Linux.  Linutop promote these PCs for various usages; kiosks, digital signage, standalone usage, but we think these PCs also work well in a couple of other scenarios too; as fanless PCs, they can serve well in bedrooms, or in the lounge to act as a quiet PC for various internet tasks.

The Linutop 3 has a Via C7 1GHz processor (compared to the Geode 500MHz in the Linutop 2), and features 1GB DDR2 RAM (up from 512KB) and 2GB of Flash (up from 1GB).

In fact, we’ve had a Linutop 2 in for review for some while, and really accpreciate the additional effort Linutop has taken with the OS; as well as providing a customised Ubuntu install (based on Ubunto v8.04), it also features additional controls, such as locking the whole OS so nothing is preserved between boots (very useful for kiosk environments).  On top of that, Linutop update their OS image every few months, incorporating the latest software updates into the core Flash image, allowing valuable space that the software updates take up to be reclaimed.  You can also backup to a USB key, or boot and restore the device from a key (providing a nice easy upgrade path when they release the new OS images, although you do lose all data).

Within that OS image, Linutop include Firefox (with Flash support), OpenOffice, VLC Media Player, and even Pidgin Instant Messaging.

The Linutop 3 is larger than the Linutop 2 (9.3 x 9.3 x 2.2 inches, compared to 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.4), is a little heavier, and now draws 20 Watts instead of a more average 8 Watts from the Linutop 2.  This low power consumption makes these devices very good for leaving permanently on all the time, without the normal overhead of a full PC.  However, these devices will never compete on speed of tasks, so be prepared for a slightly slower experience.

In other areas, the Linutop 3 offers DVI support and a higher resolution that than the Linutop 2 (now 1920 x 1080), more USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet (up from Fast Ethernet), and an internal PCIe expansion option.

Our biggest issue with the Linutop 2 is the difficulty in getting BBC iPlayer working on the device, which would make it a lot more useful…

The Linutop 3 sells for €340, and the Linutop 2 is still available at €280 (both require an additional €28 for delivery) direct from the manufacturer here.  By the way, if you think the Linutop 2 is the same as other manufacturer’s devices in the same form factor (eg the Viglen unit), think again; the Linutop 2 is a higher spec device, both in terms of memory, flash and processor.


Nokia N86 released today on 3UK

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Nokia N86 8mp in Indigo

3UK have today released the Nokia N86 for sale, both online and in their stores.  As well as the super-wide angle Carl-Zeiss lens on the 8 megapixel camera, the phone offers a whole range of features, from SatNav (via Nokia Maps including a compass), to the vibrant OLED display (with a hard scratch-resistant glass front), a kickstand, 8GB of memory, TV-out, and an FM transmitter.  If you are an existing Nokia N95 or Nokia N95 8GB and are coming out of your existing contract, and want to continue with the same form factor, then this device is most likely the one for you!

On top of all of this, 3UK have ensured that their Skype, Email on 3 and Windows Live Messenger clients are available at launch too (they’ve also got Facebook support, but that’s just a link to  In fact, most of the apps aren’t pre-installed, but linked from the Favourites, to allow them to be installed.  However, the BBC iPlayer client will be included as well.

In terms of colour, 3UK have the Indigo Black version available now, and are planning to have the white version around January 2010 (which may imply another network has a 3 month exclusive on the white version).

If you are interested in the Nokia N86, head over to the 3Store to find out more about this phone.


Nokia E71 and N95 to get formal BBC iPlayer support

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

BBC iPlayer

It looks like later today BBC will formally release their iPlayer client for the Nokia N95 and Nokia E71 phones.  Although there have been tricks and hacks to get the iPlayer working on these phones, BBC are going to formally support them as from today.  If you head to from your N95 or E71 you will be able to download the iPlayer client for your phone.  However, it will only support downloading content via Wi-Fi, not via 3G.

Update: We’ve now had more information from the BBC (from here); although BBC programme downloads are available on the Nokia E71, they are not available on the Nokia N95 or Nokia N95 8GB due to a lack of DRM certificates pre-installed by Nokia. Also, the BBC have stated that 3UK and Vodafone are able to offer 3G access to the programmes, but at this stage, access is not available to the other UK networks .


Nokia N97 news

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Nokia N97

Firstly, Nokia have announced the Nokia N97 will ship in the UK with the BBC iPlayer, similar to the Nokia N96.

More importantly, we’re hearing that the Nokia N97 may well be available on pre-order / pre-registration as early as tomorrow.  This will be on Vodafone, although it’s not yet clear whether they have any form of exclusive on the device.  Of course, a pre-order could still mean the phone is 6 weeks away, so don’t get your wallet out quite yet.

We will provide more details as we get them.


ShoZu now supports twitter directly

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

ShoZu on iPhone

Last week ShoZu announced that it is now even easier to get your photos from your mobile into your Twitter feed. Although they have supported TwitPic for some while, ShoZu have been suffering from some technical problems with TwitPic, and hence are now offering the ability to work directly with Twitter.

All you need to do is to log into your account on the ShoZu website, and add Twitter as a destination.

Also, if you use ShoZu to send pictures to Facebook, there were some technical problems with that at the start of March then you’ll be glad to know that it was all fixed in a couple of days too.

If you haven’t tried ShoZu before, take pictures with your phone, and have a decent mobile data plan or easy access to Wi-Fi, you should look into it, if only as a method of backing up all your pictures online for safekeeping.

The list of supported sites is amazing, and to give you a flavour of some of the supported sites, their list includes: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, YouTube,, Kodak Easyshare Gallery, Nokia Ovi, Photobox, Picasa Web Albums, plus many blogging sites such as Blogger, Vox, Moblog, LiveJournal, Typepad and WordPress.  On top of that, you can upload pictures to BBC News, Reuters, CNN, ITV, and if that’s not enough, you can even email the pictures to friends or upload to an ftp site of your choice!  ShoZu is available for many phones, with some even coming with it pre-installed.


BBC iPlayer now available for S60 5th edition

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

iPlayer on 5800

Along with the other applications we mentioned last week, BBC iPlayer is now available for the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, which uses the new S60 5th edition Symbian OS.  Right now, it can only stream video from the BBC to the phone (unlike the Nokia N96 S60 3rd Edition iPlayer client, which stream or download for later viewing), and there are a few little other issues with it, which All About Symbian list in their article, but it’s a very good start.

The application should be available in the Download! section on the device itself for UK users only.

Story and picture courtesy of All About Symbian [Via]


BBC iPlayer now supports Mac and Linux

Friday, December 19th, 2008

The BBC have announced this week that their iPlayer service now supports Mac and Linux, such that viewers can now download programmes.  The BBC have achieved this by working with Adobe to produce a solution in AIR, which is cross platform.  However, this is only available to BBC iPlayer Labs users in the short term, with it being rolled out to everyone during 2009.  Right now, there are also only a handful of shows that are supported by the new platform, although more will be coming in time, so although the BBC are happy for people to apply to the new beta service, they recommend you don’t uninstall the old version for a while.


Chumby add Pandora support

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008


Remember the Chumby we featured last year?  Well, the developers have kept working on the device, and it now supports Pandora Radio.  Even better, Chumby Industries believe in supporting their devices, and provide free firmware updates to allow new features to work on every device.  The addition of Pandora Radio helps to round off the device, adding to their previously supported iPod support (although they have not, and may not be able to support the iPhone or iPod Touch, due to the different way these products connect to computers), video support and general internet news and information resources.

Providing Pandora Radio adds internet radio support, although many users are still hoping that Chumby will be able to add support at some point in the future.

More information at Chumby.  As time goes on, more and more of these are finding their way to the UK, so there are now widgets for things like London Tube status, live departure information from most UK rail stations, BBC news / sports feeds, and don’t forget the UK Gadgeteer International Orders offer of a free power adaptor is still available.


BBC update iPlayer client

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Shortly after the formal launch, the BBC have upgraded the Symbian iPlayer client.  The new version supports accessing the content over 3G (although presumably still limited to UK 3G networks), and also supports the downloading of some shows for playing offline.  Head over to the BBC to download.


BBC iPlayer for Symbian phones

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

BBC iPlayer for Symbian phones is now live.  Although it was announced that the Nokia N96 would ship with the iPlayer client, the BBC has released the client here for any recent Symbian mobile phone which also encompasses the WRT (Web Runtime) client.  If your N95, N95 8Gb, or N85 is running the latest firmware, it should work for example.  The iPlayer client only works over a WiFi connection as opposed to a 3G connection at present.