Archive for July, 2010

Netbook Sizes = ?

Ideally, if I was going to get a netbook, I’d want one no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper, so that I could carry it around with my other stuff – (ie 210 x 297 mm (8.27 x 11.7 inches)).  However, while there seem to be a lot of netbooks smaller (10.1″ = about 168mmx268mm total size) and larger (13″+ – 15.6″ seems particularly popular for some reason)  than this, there don’t seem to be many (if any) which are roughly an A4 size.  The 10.1″ model have a good 30mm of room in the long axis.  Only one (the comparatively expensive Acer Ferrari One is a reasonable fit to A4 with dimensions of 204mm x 285mm).  There were apparently a number of 12″ models from various manufacturers which were discontinued last year.

Ideas why?

Determined by pixel dimensions?

Microsoft’s licensing restrictions?

Use of letter format in the US?

Some weird ergonomic issue?

No one thought about it?

Bad sampling on my part?

Thank you web2py

After tearing my hair out last night trying to install TurboGears or Zope I had to give up.  The reason?  They both use egg based distribution systems and I could not, for the life of me, get setuptools to install properly root or no root, zypper or source install (on openSuSE).

I had decided to give up on looking into Python web frameworks, when I stumbled upon a mention of web2py.  It had a link to a comparison document – hmmm, that looks interesting, I’ll download that.  Oh, I see, hmmmm….  It also had a list of example apps to have a look through and actually see working.  By example 31 I was sold.  It wasn’t the normal obtuse surely-you-already-know-what-this-application-does partial  information – which is a particular failing of open source projects in general I find.

The icing on the cake was that it really, truly, can be downloaded, installed and with a test instance up and running in under 5 minutes (probably under 3, I didn’t actually time it).

I am so grateful that they have made it so easy for me to get up and running.

Thanks web2py.

Example: Copyright Damages Australian Industry

Example: Copyright Damages Australian Industry

Python in a Nutshell from Dymocks: $69.95 + $5.50 for shipping = $75.45. “Usually ships in 5-21 days”

Python in a Nutshell from Booktopia (best price): $59.36 +$6.50 postage = $64.86

Python in a Nutshell from Amazon: US$26:39 + US$9.98 for shipping (single item)  @$0.84 exchange rate =AUD43.30

Even with the exchange rate and shipping from the US, it is roughly $20 cheaper – or about 30%!! to buy overseas.  Or looking at it the other way, it is roughly 50% more expensive to buy the book in Australia from an Australian bookstore. GST at best accounts for $4 of the difference.

This is copyright’s fault.   When businesses pay too much for inputs like this, their outputs are similarly diminished.   What of the inefficiencies in our productive sector for those businesses which are priced out of buying the right knowledge?  US businesses only pay AUD31.42 for this book, with free shipping from Amazon – less than half what an Australian business would pay.  How are we to compete in a knowledge economy with businesses which can afford to give their workers proper reference materials?

Woe be to the country for buckling to power and failing to implement the productivity commission’s recommendations on parallel importing.

See also: How Copyright Ideology Costs the Country

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