Thoughts on TurboLinux Wizpy

Thoughts on TurboLinux Wizpy

Summary: TurboLinux is about to attempt to lure Windows users over to the world of Linux when they begin selling worldwide the Wizpy media player.


TurboLinux is about to attempt to lure Windows users over to the world of Linux when they begin selling worldwide the Wizpy media player.  This is a pocket-sized device that not only plays audio and video files and can pick up FM radio, it also allows users to plug it into their USB power and boot up into Linux.

Wizpy has a 1.7-inch OLED color screen and keypad on the front.  On the media front it can play music in Ogg, MP3 and Windows Media Audio formats, and to display XviD and MPEG4 video files and JPEG images.  With it you'll also be able to record sound to MP3 files and display text files ... oh, and don't forget the FM radio.  It'll ship in two flavors - 2GB and 4GB.

Wizpy  Wizpy

Here are a few thoughts on Wizpy:

  • It doesn't look too shabby at all, the design is quite reminiscent of a cellphone.  However, if you put it on a design scale with the iPod at one end and the Zune at the other, it's closer to the Zune than the iPod.
  • It's an interesting idea for sure.  An interesting way to get people into Linux.
  • Memory capacity is too low.  About 1.2GB of the space will be taken up by Linux, so that leave those shelling out for the 4GB version with 2.8GB of space for media.  Those falling for the 2GB version are left with 0.8GB of free space to play with.
  • Why FM radio only?  Where's the DAB?
  • Price.  The Japanese price is ¥33,800 which works out at US$278.  Too high.  Way too high in fact for a 4GB machine, Linux or no Linux.  The combination of limited storage space and high price could be the double-whammy that gives the Wizpy the KO.

Overall, I think that the Wizpy is an interesting idea, but I am left wondering whether overpriced hardware is the best way to promote Linux.

Your thoughts?

Topics: Microsoft, Linux, Open Source

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  • Embedded Linux is already in use...

    ... and probably doesn't require much advocacy. So that doesn't seem much of a sales point.

    From your description alone, this seems to be a hardware device intended to install a version of Linux on the computers of unsuspecting users.
    I may be misinterpretting, but how else would the device connect with an ordinary Windows pc?

    Does that mean Linux has been made into malware?
    Anton Philidor
    • I imagine it would present as a VFAT device ...

      ... that is how most things connect up to Windows. Running a tiny Samba server would be overkill!!

      I'm surprised that the Embedded Linux takes up 1.2Gb. Most embedded versions fit in a few Mb. OF course, it depends what you compile in to the OS, but it seems way too much.
      • Yes, at that size...

        ... there's room for a partitioner and installer. 1.2Gb is overkill otherwise.

        The connected computer has to interact with the Woozy... uhm Wizpy. However the connection is made, that's probably the source of the bloat.
        Anton Philidor
    • You've never tried a Live CD?

      That's essentially what this is, except it is a probably presented as a USB hard drive device rather than a CD. Although it could present as a virtual CD the same way U3 USB sticks do. Either way it in no way interferes with what's on the hard drive unless the user specifically attempts to do an install, and there are plenty of warning signs along the way to inform the user of exactly what will happen before anything is ever written to disk.
      Michael Kelly
    • Don't imagine it would do anything to your hard drive

      Unless you wanted it to. I'm not familiar with the device, but it sounds like if you wanted to boot from it, Linux would load, you'd see all of your devices and you could work with whatever software came with it. Your Windows system disk would be undisturbed, unless you wanted to disturb it.

      Kind of like booting from a live CD, except you could write to it.
      John L. Ries
  • This is another good Linux idea

    ruined by poor implementation. Something like this needs 10 GB minimum, and can't be over $200 for the low end. The idea that people will buy this for the Linux and will ignore the fact that it has too little storage space and is overpriced is foolish. In fact the only ones who would pay more for a Linux device would be turned off by the fact that it has proprietary codecs.
    Michael Kelly
    • I suspect teh h/w is expensive

      before the OS has been put on it so the price would have been a lot higher with a proprietory OS on it
    • My Thoughts... Very interesting

      It may not appeal to everyone or even that large of a demographic, yet despite its pricey~ness, (compared to its capacity) some may find its feature set appealing.

      First off ~ TurboLinux is a Commercial (Japanese) distro that is more well known outside the US. for Enterprise & Internalization.

      As a Media Player supports most major formats, Adrian seemed to leave out that it does AAC as well as MP3, Ogg, WM & Divix, Xvid, MP4 etc.

      More info can also be found here.
      And the earlier info here.

      It also has Text & Ebook features. as well as FM radio.
      and recording abilities. (which maybe of value)

      And then a portable Linux environment, that supports 12 languages. that you can take to practically any machine.

      Some things (features) seem a bit unclear, and I have to guess are as part of the portable OS ability rather than a stand alone feature. Like IP Telephony, & Office (ODF) compatibility.

      Again unclear about its wireless/standalone abilities, yet if there's a will & a USB port (or other port) there may be a way? Yet that may or may not be that important to some?

      Would like to see a review by a real user/owner, who is aware, interested & Creative......

      So it seems pricey, but it is really in the mid range of various devices out there.

      Zune appears to not even really contend or count. iPod as there a tools/mods/hacks to do the same/similar things and greater capacity.

      Archos~ Like the 604 with wifi & touchscreen... but pricey.

      Yet there are also less expensive models with less abilities.

      Then there are things like some ofthe Creative Zen models which have a partition tool and far better price/capacity.

      IF you just need a very portable distro on Flash/USB and to lazy to make one of your own. There are things like 1 ~ 4 Gig USB drives that come with Knoppix starting @ $30 Like from MadTux..

      All in All the Wizpy seems Pricey yet could be of great value & benefit to some.
      • I had meant to respond to the story rather than the post.

        Yet it seems appropriate here as well, and even reposting in the proper place~ again

        Still while there may be tools & Devices which suit some better or cheaper
        this may also have benefit & value to some......

        And good to see in the market......
  • TurboLinux Wizpy: Say goodbye to Windows?

    What kind of title is that for a story on this product? That is totally without merit....without a clue really. What is the deal with that? I've not even seen an iPhone: goodbye Windows? let alone some overpriced music/video player.
    I guess you can't be blamed for the National Inquirer-like titles to you have to find someway for people to read your blogs.
  • Lets be accurate...

    It plays non-DRM files.
    • Seeing as DRM files on the way out

      I don't see that as an issue.
      • Your dreaming if you think so.

        But hey, if it makes your littel world go around to think so go for it.
    • ...and your point is?

      Did anyone suggest otherwise or made an insinuation to the contrary or tried to hide such detail?

      [quote author=article]
      On the media front it can play music in Ogg, MP3 and Windows Media Audio formats, and to display XviD and MPEG4 video files and JPEG images. With it you?ll also be able to record sound to MP3 files and display text files....

      I think they were quite clear except regarding DRM in WMA files. Then again, MS is just as unclear. WMA does not in and of itself contain DRM code but can be streamed in containers with DRM codes.

      Nothing in the article remotely suggested it can play DRM files and there was no reason for anyone to infer that it could.
    • And With DRM Dying A Painful Death (Thank You ITunes)

      What is your point?
      • Death? Naw, wait and see.

        Just changing gears and EMI is already regreting their decision.
        • You're just in denial - nowhere have I heard EMI express regrets

          Now you're just in denial. Nowhere have I heard that EMI is regretting the decision.

          DRM doesn't work and won't work. All forms of it so far have failed to stop the criminals, and future versions will fail as well. More people are starting to realize this, and this is the beginning of the end of DRM.

          Sorry, you're just in denial about all of this. It's happening as we speak.

          In case you didn't catch it, Apple said they'd have over half of their catalog DRM free by the end of the year - which means they're making deals with the other companies as well.

          It's not just EMI. Nobody has announced it, but with Apple's hint that over half their catalog will be DRM free, it's clear that this is just the beginning, and that others are going to follow suit soon. DRM is on its way out - whether you like it or not.
    • That puts 'peak oil'(and offshoring) in perspective, now doesn't it?

  • It's official. Linux is a Trojan.

    I personally think it's quite stupid really. Chalk up just one more reason to ban these type of devices from the corporate environment.

    Leave your iPod, Zune, Wizpy (Wespy?), ect., at home where it just so happens is a place that Linux is not used.
    • One of us does not know what a Trojan is...

      ...and I think that is you. Why is Linux a trojan?

      Maybe you do not understand what this device can do. It can be used to [b]boot[/b] your computer into a Linux environment. That is, if your computer is powered off and your computer has the ability to boot from a USB device --not all can-- and you choose to allow the computer to boot from the USB device --not necessarily a default behavior-- then you are booted into a Linux environment without touching your current OS.

      You probably also have the [b]option[/b] to install Linux to your HDD if you so choose and it probably will not destroy your current OS installation.

      What I have just described is nothing more than an MS Vista CD on my PCLinuxOS system except that Vista will destroy my Linux installation. Heck, I asked Windows to format a particular partition on my USB HDD (with Linux) and it overwrote my MBR and boot sector which it did not have to do. That is what viruses do.

      Is Windows a virus?