Gdium wikipedia entry…

Just came to read the Gdium entry on wikipedia and since wikipedia is definitely not the place to answer to the controversy section, I guess my BLOG is a good place to start. I will also not amend that section since it wouldn’t be ‘fair game’ for a Dexxon employee to delete what some people believe to be facts (?).  So let’s tackle each point one by one.

Gdium was originally planned for release in September 2008[2], but after multiple hardware and software glitches, the product was delayed until end of February 2009 for its soft launch. Gdium’s soft launch was on the Belgium market and received a mild user acceptance. The product delays are attributed to a number of factors, but the choice of a MIPS CPU and its Linux implementation is one of the main factor that impacted the product stability.

I personally have problems to see how this fits into any controversy section, most IT products come out late anyway. The product was delayed, that’s a fact that no one is denying. Whoever wrote that is definitely not involved in the project. There were 2 reasons that delayed the product launch: non-working keyboard due to some firmware issues and white plastic quality (we wanted something really white and it took more time than expected to reach this quality). So no MIPS or Linux port issue.

One Laptop Per Hacker (OLPH) marketing campaign draw numerous concerns from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation, and it was seen as a pale copy of OLPC own marketing campaign. While the OLPC fundation is a non-profit organization, Gdium is a for-profit commercial project managed by private company Dexxon. The OLPC foundation argues that Dexxon campaign is confusing the market and enticing people towards a commercial project. Dexxon has yet to provide a clear explanation on those allegations.

That’s a funny one. In fact I believe this can only be written by OLPC itself since no one else mentioned it. We did receive a letter from OLPC to contact them, which we did, but no one was available to take our call. Finally the latest I’ve heard is that we have a ‘gentleman agreement’. So much for it… Now OLPH is a friendly reference to OLPC except that it’s targeting hackers and not children and without any aim of educating them. Gdium also happens to be a foundation (non-profit organization) which goal is to provide a mean for every child to exercise its right to education. As the Wikipedia introduction describes it very well “Gdium is a brick inside a wider environment dedicated to knowledge“, which is a very different approach from OLPC. We also target a different age range (secondary and high school) being complimentary to OLPC and we’ve been working with teachers from the start, not governments, to reach our goals. We sell to anyone who wants a Gdium, and not only the countries that have decided to buy into the program and we have very little chances to be corrupted by Microsoft, running on a MIPS CPU 😉 . We probably need to improve on our communication about the project itself, but I believe that like every Open Source project we focus on getting our solution out and not just talking about it.

The target price of the Gdium at Euro 379[3] makes the Gdium one of the most expensive netbook on the market related to its hardware configuration. Analysts [4] have wondered if a market actually exist for it.

Last but not least, some negative and false comments about our pricing and market taking a poorly written engadget article, poorly in the sense that the author doesn’t see what’s exciting about coming up with a non-x86 compatible architecture and bringing real competition to the market. For the pricing part, we do have monthly market survey and for what it’s worth, in Europe at the time of this article 10″ netbook where priced between 299€ (Advent 4211) up to 599€ (Asus EeePC S101) with the bulk being around 400€. But that would be probably asking too much to the author of that section to verify his sources…

I, of course,  remain open to answer any related question the community may have. I felt I had to at least provide an answer. This is now done.

12 thoughts on “Gdium wikipedia entry…

  1. Dear Fred,

    Thanks you for all this info. I remember reading about this project on Mandriva’s site, but was disappointed not to find any information regarding
    it lately. (I’ve used Mandriva now for about 8 years – and am quite happy with the distribution.)

    Now that I’ve looked at the site for the project, only one thing strikes me about this notebook compared to the others on the market.
    => No internal hard drive/disk of any sort.
    I actually use my own Mandriva Flash USB key to boot up a work laptop (that is unfortunately installed with windows, and therefore completely
    useless for my productivity) and find that I need to be very careful that I don’t damage this delicate dongle sticking out of my laptop. If I might dare, I would go on to say that if you still can, put a SD drive internal on the system. Then, the product really would be competitive with the others on the market. (I’m also disappointed that most of the others have sold their souls …. well, you know what I mean.)

    (I’m looking out to find a decent but inexpensive netbook for travelling and for the kids to use … this one could well fit the bill!)

    Good luck, and again, thanks for this info. I found it very enlightening. 🙂


  2. My OOPs 🙂

    I read a bit further on the web page. Seems the key isn’t so bad, BUT, I still like the idea of an internal storage medium.

    … so, when will they be available?



  3. Dear Vera,

    We actually use a special USB key giving much better performance and lifetime. However due to technical choices on the Gdium (we didn’t very much like the current AMD southbridge that Lemote is using) we decided to only have USB ports in the machine. We have plans for a 32 GB G-key in the coming months but there will be no other internal storage for this version of the Gdium.

    As you can see from the picture (and much better in reality) the G-key is really well integrated into the casing and doesn’t feel or look external at all. Is it a psychological problem or you need higher storage capacity?

  4. That section didn’t come from OLPC, in fact there are several Gdiums around the office. The Gdium is a great step towards ‘one laptop, per child’, even if it doesn’t come from “One Laptop per Child”.

  5. Hi Seth, thanks for the clarification.

    In fact the IP that did the modification leads to CNC (Chinese ISP). I believe you have been more vocal with your community than we have about that letter and someone might have felt unhappy about it… or were there no concern at all and this person is just trying to create animosity between the 2 communities?
    You can see it was a single edit and definitely not based on anything factual apparently…

  6. Hi Fred,

    Thanks for the clarification. I think a 32GB key would be good – and yes it is about storage. I’d like to be able
    to play my children’s DVDs on the machine when we travel. (We’ll probably need more that that – but USB keys
    can also be used. 🙂

    So, the only remaining question is – where can I get one? 🙂

    Seriously, I’d like to purchase something in a few months – around August/Sept. if possible. It seems the only
    half decent choice currently on the market is the EEE and from what I understand, the system that comes with
    it (linux) is crippled – although that boots really fast. (Although, I would install mandriva – I like it much better. 🙂

    Thanks again,


    Vera 😉

  7. Hi!

    Where can you get one… well depends in which country you live, and when we’re planning to go there (which I might not know). Let me know and I’ll see what info I can gather.


  8. Dear Fred,

    I live in Finland (but I’m not Finnish.)

    It would be nice if you can find out.


    Vera 😉

  9. Hi again,

    Sorry for the late response. We currently don’t sell in Finland which means the only way to get a Gdium is through OLPH. Keyboard can only be French or US.



  10. Hi Fred,

    Thanks for the informative responses to what is stated about “controversy” on the Wikipedia page for the Gdium. Any reason you didn’t incorporate those comments directly into to Wikipedia? Not sure many people take the time to follow links to here, unfortunately. And I would say that the whole “controversy” section came across as biased and written by someone who was doing some positioning against the Gdium and the arch and Linux that were selected as it’s foundation.

  11. Please disregard my previous post – I didn’t read your top of blog, and rather just jumped straight to your answers to the items mentioned in the “controversy” section.

    With that said, my other comment still stands – I think it would be much more effective to have these items directly addressed on Wikipedia. I would suggest that you encourage some of your customers to “fix” the perception issue, and I don’t see a reason why the manufacturer (you) cannot correct the info about why the product was late, since the original author asserted one thing and you claim it’s another.

  12. Hi Mark,

    You might be right about me/us needing to edit that wikipedia page. I just felt that the controversy part was highly motivated and didn’t want to start a flame war or anything similar. I do hope some of our customers will fix the entry and the article will have a better feel to it one day.

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