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Monday, May 9, 2016

Black Lab NetOS and Black Lab Cloudbook Released

Today PC / Opensystems LLC is pleased to announce the release of Black Lab NetOS. This new and web-centric version differs from our main distribution in that its primary applications all point to the cloud, and this focus makes NetOS the perfect Chromebook replacement. Unlike ChromeOS, any and all applications from the Ubuntu repositories are readily available and installable locally on your system : LibreOffice, The GIMP, Steam, Banshee, developer tools (Geany), IDE’s (Eclipse, Android SDK) for use on the system. Develop and compile Android apps; participate in application development using familiar tools instead of being hamstrung by limited web-based editors.
NetOS can be installed on a wide range of representative 64 bit consumer PCs (Dell, HP, Lenovo) as well as a Chromebook if you’re inclined to free yourself from its limitations. And as of today, PC/ Opensystems is announcing the Cloudbook, a dedicated PC hardware to run Black Lab NetOS exclusively.

Black Lab NetOS includes :

Local apps:

VLC
XFCE 4.12
Google Chrome
Skype

Web apps :

Google Docs / Drive / Photos / Hangouts / Play Music
Gmail
Outlook.com
Microsoft Office Online
Slack.com
Facebook
Facebook Messenger
Twitter
Netflix
Hulu

Black Lab NetOS can be managed through the Chrome Management Console.

For those of you that want to download and use Black Lab NetOS on generic PC hardware you can download it here:


Interested in the Black Lab Cloudbook? It’s an optimized ACER laptop, designed with the cloud in mind with the following system configuration:

Color: Electric Blue / Black
Processor : Intel Celeron N3050 1.6 GHz
Memory : 2GB of DDR3L Onboard Memory
Internal Storage : 32 GB SSD
Screen : 11.6-Inch HD Screen,
Graphics : Intel HD Graphics,
8-hour battery


The Black Lab Cloudbook is available for purchase for $250.00 USD. For education and business facilities we can also arrange multiple shipments with at least 15 days advance notice.


Black Lab Cloudbook
OS Options
Order Notes


We have sat down with Roberto Dohnert to find out the differences between NetOS and ChromeOS.

Q) Why is NetOS important? What segment of the market does it serve?

A) NetOS is important because it serves the business, law enforcement and educational facilities that have come to rely on web-based applications and private/public clouds. It also offers the security and redundancy of a desktop PC, so you can also run local applications and store data locally.

Q) Chromebooks offer hard drives and storage devices. How does Black Lab NetOS enhance security and protect data?

A) Very simple. ChromeOS primarily stores data on the cloud through Google Drive. In essence the cloud is just someone else’s computer. The primary storage of Chromebooks uses that drive as a giant cache and as you add data, music, pictures etc, old data that hasn’t been accessed for awhile is deleted. First-come, first-serve The drive assumes that older data is no longer relevant. Now as a business owner, I want some data retained locally and securely, for as long as I choose : financial spreadsheets, internal memos and business plans. Storing this type of data on Google’s cloud runs the risk of the next big data breach exposing sensitive company data, available on the cloud for the world to see. Now you have heard people say “Well it’s Google’s cloud, a data breach of that type just isn’t possible.” Tell that to Target, tell that to Home Depot, tell that to any company that has suffered this kind of exposure. No one thinks it will ever happen to their provider. Do you think your clients or customers want their data out there for public consumption? I don’t think so. Do education facilities want their students’ personal information leaked to the public? Likewise. Oops is unacceptable in these circumstances. When you save data to Google’s cloud or Microsoft’s cloud it is no longer strictly your data. There are (usually) unread disclaimers involved in using these public clouds, and once uploaded, that data belongs to Google, Microsoft or whomever and it essentially becomes public. NetOS gives you localized storage that will not be overwritten and allows robust and secure data transmission - only YOU see your data.

Q) How does this effect law enforcement?

A) Well LEO’s rely on notes and reports to do their jobs and to make sure that the criminals and guilty parties wind up where they need to be. Save that kind of data on a Chromebook you take that chance of it being overwritten;save it to the cloud rather than your own departments, and you lose chain of custody. It then becomes a question of reliability and credibility. When saved to the cloud, can you say without a reasonable doubt that nobody has tampered with that data? No. You can’t.

Q) Some people will claim that all these statements are bitterness, from a relic of the age of client/server computing, which is coming to an end. How do you respond to the people saying that “This guy is crazy, he’s just trying to preserve old-school ways of thinking, a legacy method and mindset”?

A) Chromebooks are client/server based, in exactly the same way as that old technology. Back in the day, you accessed apps and data through a mainframe, and the resulting data was manipulated through an attached terminal Same difference here. Only difference being that web apps are more robust, point-and-click optimized and prettier than terminal output. And because of faster broadband, you aren’t confined to the vicinity of mainframe’s location. Client/server isn’t dead at all; it’s just taken on a different form and has become more convenient. I said in 2006 that as webapps became more prevalent and as connection speeds improved, we would see distinctions blur and what was local become web-oriented. But in the end, you can’t make a webapp as robust as you can a localized one – only so much data can be pushed through that pipe before it starts springing leaks.


Q) Hows does NetOS differ from ChromeOS?

A) You get actual localized storage and you get a robustness of the appliance and the versatility of a desktop computer, running apps that you created in your organization, or any other Linux desktop software. NetOS can also serve as a development platform;this can’t be done on a Chromebook. Unless you install Ubuntu or connect to a container. Or install NetOS.

Q) How does NetOS save businesses, education facilities and other customers money?

A) You can install it on a variety of repurposed hardware (even Chromebooks). ChromeOS only comes preinstalled on its own specific platform. You get the same management facilities on NetOS that you have on ChromeOS, without the expense of the proprietary Google platform and hardware.

Q) What are the system requirements for NetOS?

A) 1 GB or more of RAM, 1 GhZ 64-bit capable processor, 10 GB of storage space. Obviously, for web apps, an active internet connection. And the usual mouse and keyboard

Q) Hows does NetOS differ from Black Lab Linux and Black Lab Enterprise Linux?

A) NetOS is built primarily for those who want to use web-based applications. That is its primary purpose. Black Lab Enterprise Linux allows you that same great web application usability as well as specific roles builtin : development, accounting, desktop processing, clustering facilities and more advanced features. You can also manage the web side of things through the Chrome Management Console and Webmin for the local system administration.

Q) When will NetOS and the Cloudbook be available?


A) Today. Immediately, if not sooner.