It looks like a couple of my gadgets are going the way of all things. My Chumby, which I got for myself a couple of Christmases ago may shortly turn into a paperweight rather than the Flash Powered internet connected appliance that I’ve had on my desk at home for the last couple of years. This illustrates a flaw in the business model of companies that sell these devices. Once you’ve had the initial hit of profit from the customer buying your product you are then committed to a lifetime of support for it. Advertising doesn’t always work in these situations and so once your funding runs out it is time to shut down those servers. And all your customers become paperweight owners. It’s not all doom and gloom I suppose. The servers are staying up at the moment and there is always a chance that some enterprising folks will stop in and provide their own solutions, but I think that would require some “unlocking” of the devices themselves that might not come to pass.
Then I find out that Alienware are discontinuing the M11x range of high performance gaming netbooks. I got one of these last year, mainly because a student had one and I loved the way the keyboard lit up. I’ve carried it around the world on trips and it has never failed to turn heads. It is a genuinely nice machine, that benefitted greatly from the solid state drive I dropped into it to speed things up a bit. Battery life is good and you can play games on it too. Having said that, I think it might be a laptop too many for me just at the moment. I can get by on my little “twisty top” machine most of the time. So if anyone wants to make me an offer…..