Xi3 Corporation Unveils Honest to Goodness Modular Computer

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SuperiorBeing

What would be far more usefull would be a modular computer that fints into a standardised slot, like the ones for stereos in cars.

I don't see how this is "modular" it's just a little computer.

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xbuzzer1

That would be perfect for the bedroom, where the only reason i have a computer in there is for listening to internet radio stations, it seems sorta pricey though.

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HeartBurnKid

Let me know when this gets standardized, and people other than the OEM are making expansion cards for it.  Until then, this is just another proprietary computer that'll be unsupported in 2 years.

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xeridian

I do see this being useful to the Car/Truck/Boat/Fabrication companies. They could provide options for customers in their vehicles and would be an easy mount/install/repair/upgrade scenario. Would cut down on R&D for each vehicle as they would work in any with an AC/DC Converter. Then you can add modular peripherials as need be.

Companies could then work on modular intergration with their CPUs for tunning and software that could be installed on these little guys to provide all sorts of features such as GPS, Tag tracking, media storage, data logging for diagnostc purposes, its size is what can make this possible.

I agree that there aren't a lot of current applications that seem practicle at the moment, but Automotive and even Airplane industry (Flying 1st class) does have its promises especially using it as a portable with a cloud such as Google's OS. The one thing not clarified here is if it is Wi-Fi (n), if it was, this could make it invaluable to a lot of people. You almost have to look at it as if it is an open source SDK/HDK so to speak. One of thos things you just have to put it out there and see who does what with it.

I think they would be great to have points in the mall or on a subway/bus with city/company provided hotspots. Just plug your GoogleOS usb in and use it, they could even have you pay to use by cutting power to it when time was up. Ever had something happen to your PC or Smartphone and needed a quick way to use the web without needing a lan cafe or library?

Would also make a service technicians dream to repair these, simply replace the unit or whatever mod is disfunctional. Also means less downtime with means less money loss due to a malfunction.

Oh well, just thoughts...

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mikeart03a

Actually, this would be a decent little machine for a business setting where one doesn't need a full blown system to do certain tasks (aka. thin clients), provided cost comes down. A prime example of this would be a call center where most of the workload is handled by servers and there's a simple front-end for call takers.

Also, system management would be easier as these things could be deployed using network boot in lieu of a physical disk so that all you need to do is update a central image instead of multiple installs.

Let's face it, what's the point in providing a fully functional system if most of your data management is handled on the back-end and not the front?

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matthewrhoden1

Most comments on this article have been from the perspective of a...computer enthusiast so to speak. Maybe we should consider it from a business perspective. Think about companies that can buy these in bulk. Especially for ones like telemarketers or help desk. All they need is access to the internet and a machine that can be upgraded for their needs. Seems perfect for a situation like that. After it takes off in the business market maybe it'll be cheap enough for the average "facebooker" to get online and do whatever.

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HeartBurnKid

I work in a call center IT department, and we wouldn't touch these things with a 10-foot poll.  There is simply no need to pay a premium for size in that environment; standard SFF desktops fit our needs quite well.

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MaximumMike

I think you're a little naive if you think this thing will meet enterprise needs. I could fill a book with reasons why this thing is unsuitable for most businesses, but here's one for you. Most companies are very concerned about the security of their data. The need for a removable hard disk drive would be a deal breaker for any such company. As far as your average facebook user is concerned, I think smartphones, tablets, netbooks, and even laptops are a more attractive option and all of those have a lower price entry point than this retarded cube. As I said before, there is no niche this thing could work well in where there isn't already a similarly sized device that is doing it better and more cheaply.

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matthewrhoden1

I do see your point as far as security is concerned, but aren't we moving to "the cloud?" The hard drive will pretty much just be for the software. I suppose it could be an easy way for someone to detach and replace with a cracked version of the software that does something to the network. Also if it's going to be bought on an enterprise level, wouldn't the bulk order bring the price down to something reasonable? Either way, yeah, the cubes aren't going anywhere. I just figured I'd try to add a different perspective to the comment section.

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Nimrod

its people like you who kill creative buissnines and and stifles new design in the industry. You are not very smart but at least you make up for it by being incredibly short sighted.

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MaximumMike

Most people who disagree with someone's point of view try explaining why their alternate point of view is logical. You, on the other hand, make your point by insulting the intelligence of others, while saying nothing of substance. At least I can spell. Normally I overlook bad spelling on the internet, but Maximum PC has a spell checker built in. Also its bad manners to insult someone's intelligence while using words like 'buissnines'.

 

However, I will address your one point, unfounded though it may be, that my opinion of this cube computer stifles technology. I am a proponent of technology, and I want to to see it work well. In the interest of progress, there are things the technology industry is doing to further that interest, namely component miniaturization and integration. Although there are exceptions to the rule, these techniques generally lead to technological breakthroughs. When I see someone taking a step backwards, I don't feel compelled to applaud them for their ingenuity and out of the box thinking. I think to myself something like, "If we ever adopt this thing we'll be shooting ourselves in the foot." As I have already elaborated on why I think this thing is moving technology backwards, I won't reiterate it here. However, its my belief that people, like yourself, who jump all over a new product just because it is new, without first evaluating it to see if it has any real merit, are the people who stifle progress. Perhaps you should go some place like art school where meritless ideas are generally applauded.

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ptellini

I see definite use for this computer. People thought that usb wasn't going to last.

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Kamicrit

Would this make a good Folding@Home Farm?

Oh nevermind, Secondhand/Used goverment computers are cheeper then "$850"

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MaximumMike

What could this possibly be good for that there isn't already a device about the same size that will do the task better? These guys are saying that this thing will replace the desktop. Who wants an external graphics card, external hdd, external cd/dvd/blu ray drive, and external whatever else they need cluttering up their desk? Its like these guys think you can put the processor and i/o interface in a box and leave everything else outside of the box. Ridiculous! So, what should I do? Build a rack to hold all of it? There's a reason people have been putting all their computer peripherals together inside a case all these years.

They also talk about attacking the embedded market with these things and putting them inside devices like dishwashers. But there are already devices that do this and operating systems, like Inferno, that are conducive to this kind of computing. These devices are generally smaller, rugged, and efficient. So, how do they posit they will be able to compete in this market?

It looks like the only real achievement here is that they have managed to deintegrate key components of a computing system that are better left integrated, and that will soon be further integrated by companies that know what they are doing. Unless there is some magic element we are all missing with these "modular" computers, like the ability to easily and cheaply stack them and create a powerful parallel computing system, I predict this will be a big flop.

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Biceps

I don't get it either... this is so odd.

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thetechchild

I agree on some points. For instance the price is obviously far too high, and its lack of key components internally does present some issues. Its use as an embedded device, to use their example of a dish washer, is limited, considering its huge size. (in comparison to existing units) This will definitely not replace the laptop. But it just might replace netbooks (or notebooks, but more unlikely)

An external HD is tiny (look at cards, flash drives), and GFX cards are within a case -- you already have the space, after all! A CD reader -- plug in an external one also, for the rare instances you need it. I haven't used a single CD for over a year now. Anything CDs provide, USBs and the Internet will also.

I can't see this becoming mainstream, ever. That's true. But for the enthusiast, assuming a lower price and some more features (c'mon, DDR2, Athlon 64?! how about Phenom II, DDR3... USB3??), this may in the future be a viable product. Much easier to replace parts, much easier to move around (try lugging your 10 lb+ laptop... then try moving a 4x4x4 inch cube and a GFX card)...

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MaximumMike

Really, you would prefer to lug around this underpowered cube, a keyboard, mouse, monitor, cdrom drive, and external video card as opposed to a laptop that requires no extra clutter, performs better, and can be bought at a cheaper price? Well... maybe you would buy one, but I don't anticipate many other people are going to be running out to get one after they see you unload the backpack you'll inevitably be lugging all that stuff around in. 

As far as it replacing netbooks, the whole point of netbooks is the low price entry point, which this device does not have. Also netbooks are more portable as the screen, monitor, and mouse are built in. Additionally, netbooks are trendy, which this thing will never be. Tablets and smartphones are the devices most likely to replace netbooks. I could see this thing possibly replacing my book end or paperweight, except that netbooks and smartphones are rapidly reducing my need for those items in the first place.

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thetechchild

... double post cut out. Why isn't there a delete post option?! -.-

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