The OpenSure Free Press 24th October 2011

Hello and welcome to the Free Press after a three week break. We decided to leave it an extra week so that we could include a write-up of our involvement in h.Energy week – details below.

Hard Drive Shortages and the Peekodisk
Severe flooding in Thailand has causing hard-drive manufacturer Western Digital to suspend operations as part of its factory is under water, and Toshiba’s Thai manufacturing is also experiencing problems. This article gives more details. Just as well then that last week we launched our Peekodisk, the 8GB pen drive the same size as the one in the image above, ie tiny, and ours are bright green.

Each Peekodisk has Ubuntu loaded and ready to go, together with a host of applications. There are lots of reasons to love Peekodisk – the GBs of spare capacity, the £19.95 price tag which is less than you would pay for the pen drive alone, the support from OpenSure that comes with your purchase, the lovely light operating system that will let your computer fly along – but we’re particularly proud of the Peekodisk as ’emergency disk’: in the event of a hard drive meltdown it will get you back up and running – trading, accessing email and other online services, keeping accounts, issuing invoices etc. In fact it’s perfectly feasible to run a computer without a hard drive at all and just use Peekodisk.

It also acts as a great introduction to open source operating systems, as it can run alongside your Windows system without a hitch. Simply select the ‘Boot from USB’ option when your machine starts up and you can use Peekodisk, then when you remove the pen drive and reboot Windows will start as if nothing has happened.

To order a Peekodisk, please email

The Nanotablet
Sticking with Asia and technology production, how about that Aakash? It’s the world’s cheapest touch-screen tablet computer, retailing at about $60. It sounds an extraordinary bargain, but the review in the BBC article seems to say that in terms of performance, it’s really a bit basic, but then what do you expect for that price tag? The article is a very interesting glimpse into Indian computer manufacturing (yes, really) but makes it plain that the Aakash has serious drawbacks including cheap build quality and the odd omission of Android Market.

Ice Cream Sandwich
Last week Google launched Ice Cream Sandwich, its latest Android operating system, and Rory Cellan-Jones is impressed. He’s particularly excited about Near Field Communication,

which allows you to swipe your phone and make something happen – pay for a coffee, get into a sports stadium and so on

Google’s Hugo Barra believes this will be key technology in the very near future. He’s also very keen on voice recognition, something that has been upgraded in ice Cream sandwich and is technology that Barra describes as “baked in” to Android, iOS and Windows but not, interestingly, to Blackberry.

We took part in h.Energy this year, participating in the Courtyard Exhibition on Monday 17th with the Energy Efficient IT Clinic, and running our monthly GreenLight evening as part of h.Energy week. We unveiled the Peekodisk at The Courtyard to a very interested reception, to the point where our tech director spent much of the afternoon demonstrating it. We were surprised how few visitors were interested in energy efficiency in IT, we had expected it to be a prime crowd, but there was lots of interest in open source.

GreenLight on Thursday saw Jamie Baldwin of Caplor and Pete Linnell of Life Space Design speaking to a rather small audience. GreenLight attracts lots of interest and cries of ‘what a great idea!’, but it’s not translating into bums on seats so we need to think about its future. We’re not keen to give up, but neither are we keen to waste time and effort. If you have any suggestions please let us know. Just to recap, we’re not wanting to preach to the converted, we want to demonstrate to mainstream business that there are gains to be made in implementing a sustainable approach to certain areas of their business. We titled our h.Energy GreenLight talk Lean Green Business Machine as we know for ourselves that sustainable methods (in our case moving to a 100% renewable-powered data centre) can save money and cause you to review how you do things, in our case streamlining what we offer in order to provide a more specialised and focused service.

The Worcester Green Expo
We’ll be taking our EEIT Clinic and lots of Peekodisks to the Green Expo at Sixways Stadium on Thursday 10th November, from 12.30. Please come along and say hello if you’re there. It’s a great opportunity to see the Peekodisk in action.

And in other news…

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