Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2015 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Another Aardvark prediction for 2013 comes true

18 January 2013

Wow, yet another of my predictions for 2013 seems to be coming true.

You'll recall that in my first column of the year, I predicted:

"Whereas we've been encouraged to "think big(ger)" for year after year, as the hardware and software vendors try to encourage us to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade -- I think that this year it might be more of a "think small" time.

With the growth in acceptance of "small" devices such as smartphones and tablets, I'm thinking that a lot of the movement will be in the area of computers you can hold or put in your pocket"

And then, just yesterday, this news.

Woohoo... Aardvark's predictions are now 2 for 2 and it's only the third week in January!

So what will this little USB-sized piece of computing power do to the market?

And, while others are focused on bigger better screens, newer OSes with different interfaces and attempts to get you to buy into their online marketplaces -- why does Dell's offering stand out as being so very different?

Well for a start, the projected price is just $50.

Sure, that's more than a Raspberry Pi - but this isn't some bare-board geek-piece, it's a piece of consumer-electronics that (they claim) will run as fast as a regular PC and do cool stuff -- such as turning your dumb TV set into a smart one.

Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth means that it can immediately use a host of already available peripherals while also relying on The Cloud for storage and access to media or other data. No farting around connecting WiFi cards, modems, cabled mice or keyboards -- which makes this a far easier option for 99% of the computer-using public.

Details are still sketchy at this early stage but there's talk of the device working with most mainstream OSes -- okay, that's perhaps not quite true. In the linked article it *actually* says "Ophelia, a USB-size self-contained computer, can provide access to virtually every major operating system there is -- from the Mac OS, to Windows, to Google’s Chrome OS" (the bolding is mine).

Another story on Arstechnica clarifies the situation though, pointing out that the stick actually runs Android but will "power virtual instances of other desktop operating systems on a remote server or in the cloud" so it's simply acting as a thin client in such cases. Never the less, this could be an exciting concept, effectively delivering *real* computer performance, despite the relatively low powered CPU in the stick itself.

At $50, this would be an excellent value-point -- however, watch for the hooks!

In order to use your Ophelia as a thin client for some more powerful virtual machine, you'll almost certainly have to pay a monthly stipend to Dell.

I'm also picking that this system will also be released alongside some kind of "Dell marketplace", similar to the Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google offerings. Hardware manufacturers and software vendors are already learning that the best way to make money is not to try and sell new versions of their wares every year -- but to use their core products to create a much more consistent revenue stream -- by connecting users to products through a marketplace. Every time something is sold, they get to clip the ticket, whether the customer is using the latest version of their products or not.

Dell has obviously figured out that if they don't embrace the marketplace concept, they'll get left behind so they're producing this uber-cheap computer to gain some "ownership" of their customers.

So let's see... that's my prediction about new display technology come true and now my prediction about the focus on smaller devices. Hmmm.. perhaps I ought to go buy a lotto ticket now, while I'm on a roll :-)

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say on this...

PERMALINK to this column

Oh, and don't forget today's sci/tech news headlines

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines


Apart from the kind support of the sponsor, Aardvark Daily is largely a labour of love that involves many hours of hard work each month. If you appreciate the content you find here (or even if you don't) then please visit the sponsor and also feel free to gift me a donation using the button above.

Remember, this is purely a gift, you'll get nothing other than a warm fuzzy feeling in return.


Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Previous Columns

Tech failure and war
GPS (the global positioning system) has become an essential part of our modern lives...

Publishers versus ad-blockers
The war between Net publishers and those using ad-blockers is starting to heat up...

Communications ideas that tanked
When I visited the USA back in 2003 I marveled at a piece of communications technology that seemed like a really good idea...

Send a message by referendum
By now, we will have all received the voting papers for the first of two referenda on the choosing of a new flag...

Happy Birthday Windows(TM)
It was 30 years ago today that Microsoft rolled out the first version of Windows...

Anonymous versus daesh
The war against terror has moved onto the internet's centre stage...

Happy Birthday 4004
Boy, do I feel old! ...

Kiwi VPN users to face $25,000 fine
The government has announced its intention to start levying GST on imported goods as of October 2016...

daesh, not ISIS
The daesh terror attacks of this weekend will doubtless be used by governments around the world as further justification for destroying the rights of the formerly free nations of the world...

Our discriminatory democracy
I have been trying to get a meeting with my local MP for several months now...

US court ruling may be a blessing for Kim Dotcom
A federal appeals court in the USA has ruled that a digital transmission is not an "article" -- ie: a tangible item...