mirrorbright

Someone should do this. It’d be me if I had five million quid around the place. One of the big advantages that Apple have over Linux is that it’s easy to buy a laptop with Mac OS X on it. You can buy them online, and there are Apple stores if you’re near a big city, but the key point here is that there’s a brand. Buy an Apple laptop. If you want a Linux laptop, though, you’re less able to do so. You have to buy someone else’s laptop and put Linux on it. Now, there are places slowly arising from the market that do this; System 76 and Emperor Linux in the US, Transtec and The Linux Emporium in the UK, and doubtless others across the world. What I’d like to see, and what I’d like to buy, is this sort of thing; not a Windows laptop that someone’s installed Linux on for you (and the SD card reader doesn’t work, and nor does the wireless) but an actual Linux laptop. Make a deal with ODMs to build it. If I had the money, I’d set up a company called mirrorbright. They’d do laptops. There are a few important facts: The outside of the laptop, the whole external case, is a mirror. Not chromed, not just shiny, but an actual mirror. You should be able to shave by looking in it. This is tricky but not impossible; there are plastics firms around that do mirrorised plastics which you then lacquer. I think this would involve making a case for the laptop bits; you can’t take an existing case and mirrorise it, because you can’t get the surface flat enough to avoid imperfections in the mirror. The firm should do two laptops. The important point here is that that’s not “laptop ranges”, that’s “laptops”. Call them the “mirrorbright one” and the “mirrorbright two”. A mirrorbright one has a 12” screen and 1GB of RAM; a mirrorbright two has a 15” screen and 2GB of RAM. Each has 120GB of disc space (or something like that; lots, anyway). Each does wifi and bluetooth and has a small webcam built into the case, above the screen. You don’t get to choose the spec of it; every mirrorbright one is the same. Twelve months from now, release the three and the four which are updated. Every part on the laptop is supported with free drivers, including the graphics card to do dualhead. This will involve some fairly careful hardware choices but it’s critical. Install the latest Ubuntu on the laptops, with a custom mirrorbright theme. If these existed I’d buy one tomorrow.

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