Gecko orders

I have just placed an order for two Gecko Edubooks. The manager Michael Barnes has offered one for free, but I am buying a second unit also.

I won't be keeping the second, I'll be donating it to a charity organization in India. A member of an NGO in India, someone I know, will be visiting Perth soon, and I'll give the laptop to her. Hopefully it will arrive in time.

So, it's kind of like the OLPC scheme where you buy one, and one goes to a third world country

Posted on 18 Jan 2010, 20:27


Posted on 18 Jan 2010, 21:27 by RockDove
Good On Ya
I'd be curious to see the Hardinfo - esp. for the processor - for the Edubook.

Kudos for your BOGO (Buy One Give One).

Posted on 19 Jan 2010, 3:24 by rhadon
Gecko Edubook + Puppy Linux
maybe you like it:
~ Rolf

Posted on 19 Jan 2010, 3:47 by adi
New design
Intersting hardware but too difficult to use it with different sdcards. I saw the film on youtube and in my opinion there are too many screws for changing sdcard. Why not an external slot for sdcard as for usb and a top cover for batteries? I have an old dell laptop and even the harddisk is removable from outside. How did you order it?

Posted on 19 Jan 2010, 8:30 by BarryK
Norhtec website
The Norhtec website is:

However it is very strange, I cannot connect to that site via my satellite Internet (company: Skymesh). My browser does say "connected" but that's it, just times out waiting for the page to load. I have tried many times over 5 - 6 days.

So yesterday I used my fallback dialup account (company: Netbay) and no problem whatsoever accessing that site.

...isn't that interesting? anyone know any technical reason why I have this problem with my Skymesh connection?

Anyway, that's how I ordered. went to their secure site, and paid by credit card. The cost per unit is 199 USD plus postage.
For that you get a 8GB SD card with WattOS (Linux), 512MB RAM.

I'm not sure, but I think the production models have two SD slots. Anyway, I will be reporting on usability. Especially on-the-go, as I'll be travelling a bit this year.

If you are interested in a recent review:

There is also a forum thread currently active, discussing the Gecko. Someone posted some speed tests on the CPU/FPU/GPU -- prepare to be underwhelmed!

Posted on 19 Jan 2010, 9:11 by BarryK
Gecko forum links
Here are the forum discussions:

Note, that 199 price does include an internal wifi module -- plugged into the internal usb socket.

I never asked them what postage is going to cost me -- I presume around 50 USD.

Posted on 19 Jan 2010, 19:24 by Raffy
Screws on cover
Right, Adi, the screws on the back cover could be troublesome. I had to open the cover because it was improperly fit. Guess what - the tiny screw flew into the laptop chassis!

Posted on 19 Jan 2010, 21:38 by adi
Thank you for all information about this laptop. I'll try to order one for me. But overseas the price could increase due to transportation and custom fees. In the meantime there are several ssd netbooks in computer shops (vat included) at about 400 usd (I hope fanless too). So it's difficult to choose between opportunities!

Posted on 19 Jan 2010, 24:29 by Gulk
Norhtec website
Hi Barry,

it might just be the DNS server you're using. I'd be curious to see the IP you get when you ping the norhtec website from your Skymesh connection and the one you get from your dialup.
FYI, I use the openDNS servers ( // for my DNS needs :) Not only they are very much up to date, but also help correct the URL when mistyped in the browser address (and avoid ending up in phishing or scam websites)

Posted on 22 Jan 2010, 20:14 by x
travel plans
[quote]Especially on-the-go, as I'll be travelling a bit this year[/qoute] tell us of your travel plans some of us are experts in this feild perhaps we can give you some tips.
i still fail to see how you lost/wasted money or became poorer by traveling to india.

Posted on 23 Jan 2010, 4:00 by Anonymous Coward
Alternative Supplier
Hello BarryK, I actually sourced the Edubook from an alternative supplier. It turns out that the Edubook is actually manufactured by DMP (see, the same people who gave you the Vortex86MX aka MSTI PMX-1000, which NorhTec rebadges as the XCore86.

Sandget Technology ( currently distributes the Edubook. I was quoted a price of US$192.50 for the model with 1GB RAM, 4GB SD and a pirated (and unwanted!) copy of Windows XP, and US$38 for shipping to Singapore. Hope this helps.

Posted on 23 Jan 2010, 4:10 by Oops
Alternative Supplier
I meant to say 8GB, not 4GB SD Card, sorry!

Posted on 24 Jan 2010, 10:01 by Kevin Bowers
Hardinfo Report
"I'd be curious to see the Hardinfo - esp. for the processor - for the Edubook."

For some reason Hardinfo's report generation fails on the Edubook, just outputs a blank file, but "copy to clipboard" works. Here's the processor output:

Name : 05/08
Family, model, stepping : 5, 8, 6 (Unknown)
Vendor : Vortex86 SoC
Cache Size : 0kb
Frequency : 1000.08MHz
BogoMIPS : 2000.16
Byte Order : Little Endian
FDIV Bug : no
HLT Bug : no
F00F Bug : no
Coma Bug : no
Has FPU : yes
Cache information not available
fpu : Floating Point Unit
tsc : Time Stamp Counter and RDTSC instruction
cx8 : CMPXCHG8 instruction
mmx : MMX technology
up : smp kernel running on up

The cache size finally explains why this machine is so sluggish: it doesn't have an internal cache at all!

There's one more Forum topic on the Gecko Edubook:

Yes, the screws are troublesome, but you only need one. I transport my unit in a small camera case with foam-rubber padding and have had no problems with the back cover coming loose while being held in place with only the center screw.

Barry, I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine. Puppy turns the Gecko into a pleasure to use instead of a poor choice of equipment, and I thank you and the team for that, with special mention of pskin who configured Puppy 431 to work with the Edubook.


Posted on 26 Jan 2010, 19:56 by Anonymous Coward
The processor _does_ have a cache...
At least, if the official diagram is to be believed...

See also: