|Frequently Asked Questions:
When will it be available?
We'd love to have released this to you about a year ago, but our goal has always been to build the best quality device that is functionally a computer, but works like a radio. We don't want crashes, we can't have a big screen for debugging, and we need a quick boot time so people who are used to radio (and not accustom to computers) won't give up trying when they use this device. Adding this level of functionality to a small device is tricky.
We are accepting e-mails from those who would like to be a beta tester. This requires a bit of experience with devices and the Internet and the right attitude (i.e. not someone who cries everytime something breaks and knows how to work through problems). Drop us a line if interested...
How much will it cost?
Our price point, retail, is between $200 to $250 US. That might go up depending on parts and license fees, or it might go down given subsidization (i.e. like a cell phone with a service plan).
Can I use my existing Internet Service for the PenguinRadio?
Yes, with some exceptions. We're testing our device with some of the major ISPs to see if we can handle the authentication, and we're also talking to our broadband partners about utilizing this device as part of a home network.
Do I need broadband?
No. The PenguinRadio has both a modem and ethernet port, but for some functions (like MP3 on Demand) you will WANT a broadband connection so you don't just sit there and stare at the machine while a large files is downloaded.
What processor are you using?
At present, we have two design models competing amongst the staff. One uses an Intel Celeron and the other uses and AMD K-6. We're testing both, but it is likely the final device will use a smaller embedded chip. We've looked at the Cyruss Maverick and the Intel StrongArm, and are very excited by chips like the Transmeta and some other things we've been seeing in the LINUX device world.
What version of LINUX?
We've created our own version scaled down from the standard release. We are also in talks with some embedded LINUX shops to use a commercial version of an embedded LINUX operating system.
Who is building this device?
We've enlisted the help of JB Design of Petworth, United Kingdom and the PDC out of Worthing, United Kingdom, to aid us in designing this product for the mass market. We also utilize some contractors in Silicon Valley, but tend to favor a European design shop as we hope to market this to both the domestic and international market.