msi-whiteDuring our last trip to Morocco which resulted in our engagement, Nina and I both took Netbooks. She took her fancy MacBookAir. I took the MSI Wind that my friends had turned into an amazing triple combo of Mac, plus Ubuntu, plus Windows XP.

Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but thanks to a special install by some friends, this 400 euros machine runs all three operating systems. And on top of that the battery lasted over twice as much as the MacBook Air, it has 3 USB ports instead of one and for pictures it had a great SD slot that of course Apple would never install because it would ruin its hardware aesthetics. In the desert climate, with a rare connection to electricity, frequent dust and sand, the MSI Wind performed like a star. Why am I telling you this?

fonera-20Because when I shared my enthusiasm with Jordi Vallejo, from Fon, he told me that the managers at MSI Wind loved Fon and it turned out that this was the case cause they loved the idea of doing a Fonera 2.0 / MSI Wind bundle which we launched today in France, Italy and Spain with more countries coming soon.

Basically, we are selling both the MSI Wind and the Fonera 2.0 for only 379 euros introductory price. I hope you like the MSI Wind as much as I do, because it has become my portable computer of choice beating not only the MacBook Air, but all the other netbooks I tested including the Dell Mini and the Asus EeePC. Here´s the link to order the bundle in Spain.

I would also like to share with you what the blogs say about the Fonera. And for technical questions I recommend you read this.

Wired, boing boing, PR News, Gearlog, dv-depot, pc mag, Endgadget

Yesterday we had our first in person presentation of the Fonera 2.0. It was in Paris. During this presentation I announced that the Fonera 2.0 will go for sale everywhere in Europe on April 21st. USA and Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan will start in May. The promotional price for the launch will be 49 euros.

Here´s a video in English that explains some of what the Fonera 2.0 does which is basically to upload and download while you take your computer somewhere else and to convert 3G to WiFi.

Here´s a video of the event. It is in my poor French which is only as bad as Emilio Botín´s English as you can see in this video. In case you don´t know who Emilio Botin is he is the CEO of Banco Santander.

The unofficial unveiling was very understated and included pasta dinner, Spanish wines and French Cheeses at my Paris flat in Place des Vosges. Nina and my two sons were there. In an informal atmosphere with discussed the pros and pros of this new product (sorry, I just can´t get to say pros and cons). Reaction of the unveiling in my Spanish blog was very negative probably because we did not do the unveiling in Spain but then the French have adopted Fon in bigger numbers something the Spanish Foneros still can´t stomach.

Here are some pictures of the event.

Here´s one of the articles that were published after the event that includes a comparison chart.







We should bring this to Europe!

I have been getting comments that one of the negatives of switching to Ubuntu is that the Linux version of Skype is bad. Yes indeed, it´s bad. No SMS, no video, no other features. But help is on the way.. As for the other criticisms that you can´t have Picasa, Google Earth and other apps in Ubuntu I fixed all that with Automatix yesterday. It works great!

Around a month ago my Windows XP Lenovo had a major crash and left me without some of my data for 5 days and I was so angry that I swore never to use Microsoft Operating Systems again. In this video I described my experience using Ubuntu. It was a great one.

Ok. I tried to live without Microsoft for two weeks now and I confess…I’ve failed miserably. Like everything in life, there was some good and some bad in not using Microsoft anymore. But personally, as much as Firefox worked really well and is much better than Internet Explorer, Thunderbird is no match for Outlook. The rest of Microsoft Office is marginally superior to Openoffice, with the not-so-negligible fact that Openoffice is free and Microsoft Office is really expensive. For one person, the hefty price of a licence is tolerable, but buying licences for a whole company or NGO? No, thanks.

Bottom line: You definitely gain some things living without Microsoft, but you certainly lose out on other things.

In the WiFi world, you have different types of users. On  one hand, we have the Bills, who yearn to buy their Linksys access point and then go out and fish some gringos and charge them. For them, FON will be available around mid-november.

Then,we have the Linuses, who simply want to tell other Linuses where they are so they can connect and roam for free. This is fairly obvious considering that if you stroll the streets of Spain, you will find that between 30% and 70% of WiFi networks are OPEN. FON will be available to Linuses by early November.

Today, the problem is that no one really knows where the Linuses are. And this is what FON aims to solve. How? Well, if you’re a Linus and your WiFi is OPEN, then you can register on our website and tell us where exactly your access point is. Reciprocally, FON will tell you where the other FON access points are and we will share this information only with other Linuses. If your WiFi is password-protected, you can give us the password so we can input it in our database and we will give you roaming through the open WiFi networks of other Linuses. If you want to be a Linus with a password, we can give you one so you can replace your old one.

To be sure, FON will set up access points in important sites where no WiFi coverage currently exists. In this respect, Linus will enjoy free access to the FON network while Bills and Gringos will be charged.

So basically, FON will have two types of access points: those that we will be able to see and monitor from our headquartes (using Linksys access points for now and then other brands later on) and those that we won’t monitor but that we will put in our maps based on the information Linuses send us.

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