This is topic A request for advice, opinions, and statements of belief in forum Our stupid lives at The Geek Culture Forums.
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Posted by Grummash (Member # 4289) on October 12, 2009, 16:22:
OK - so here is the premise - you have probably realised I am a bit of an Apple fanboy (when I gave my 2002 15" G4 iMac to friends to make way for my humungous 24" Intel iMac it was a bittersweet experience).
However, I have grown very fond, over the past year or so, of my bargain-basement Ubuntu-driven (Hardy Heron) netbook.
The problem is, I think my little Linux-Lappy is dying. The battery is shot (39 minutes is a good run) and has been replaced once already. The machine will spontaneously shut down every hour or so. When you plug the AC cord in you have to spend a few minutes twisting and tweaking the cable until the laptop "sees" the mains connection. All in all it does not look good.
So, I am giving serious thought to investing in a Dell Inspiron mini 10v on which to run Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala).
Does this sound like a plan to you?
All suggestions gratefully received.
Posted by GrumpySteen (Member # 170) on October 12, 2009, 16:48:
The Mini 10 series is nice, but you should try typing on one before buying one if you haven't already. The keyboard is a little smaller than a full sized laptop keyboard and some people seem overly sensitive to that. I found it quite adequate and my friend's daughter is writing her first novel on it, however, so they may just be whiners.
The biggest annoyance I had with it (and with netbooks in general) is the 600 pixel vertical resolution. That's fine for a lof of things, but web browsing can be a pain because nobody pays attention to vertical page space. Slashdot's comment system wastes so much space vertical space that you rarely get to see two comments on the same screen, for example. Expect to scroll a lot.
The system I used had Windows XP on it and it ran reasonably well without any major bogging down on normal tasks. I had stripped out non-essentials, disabled unnecessary services and so forth, so that might not be entirely indicative of the performance you'll see, but it should be fine for Linux.
Posted by Mr. Geek 2U (Member # 28663) on October 12, 2009, 17:35:
Hello Mr. Grummash!
For Christmas this past year I gave Mrs. Geek 2Me a 13" Intel MacBook. It replaced at 12" iBook G4, 1.33 which now sits around gathering dust!
I still have my 12" iBook G4, which I use as a netbook. In fact, I'm soaking my hands in it right now!
(We had his and hers iBook G4s, but for Christmas I just had to give my dearest the best!)
Hers may need a dab more memory, but 1-gig chips are cheap now. That would give it 1.5g and let it run Leopard just swell. And it has an airport card, too.
Or, how about this!
You can run the same OS you had on the iMac and bring back that lovin' feeling!
What do you think?
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on October 12, 2009, 18:23:
IMHO, the best thing about Mrs Druid's EEEPC 901 is the 20G SSD.
Putting a real mechanical hard disk in a netbook seems silly, the power drain is higher, and it's far less able to survive the knocks and bumps a netbook will be exposed to.
Sadly, the market seems to disagree. These days a mechanical HD seems to be standard, but if you can find a retailer with old stock, the SSD is the way to go.
Posted by Richard Wolf VI (Member # 4993) on October 12, 2009, 20:07:
Well, the Inspiron Mini 10 is nice, though I don't know why the 2 GB RAM option seems to be no longer in the Dell store (US and UK). I could only find it in the Colombian store in the somewhat obscure Ubuntu configuration.
Steen, Dell does offer these little gizmos with 1366x768, a feature I really like. I'm with you on how much I hate the default 1024x600 resolution on most netbooks.
Posted by Infinitesimal (Member # 4865) on October 12, 2009, 22:18:
I really like my eeepc 1005H, decent keyboard and screen size, nice to use, not too heavy, and of course the included winblows is oh so easily replaced with linux
Posted by Ashitaka (Member # 4924) on October 12, 2009, 23:33:
I am on my fourth power cable for my current laptop (HP, and I really use it on my laptop). I think they purposly make those cable weak, and because of the power connector you cannot go through a third party vendor to get a decent calbe that won't brak.
-Just thought I would add after reading your laptop cable issues.
Posted by littlefish (Member # 966) on October 13, 2009, 01:02:
I was thinking about getting a little netbook for computing on the move. (Though mostly browsing and emailing). In the end, I got an iphone which works well enough as a mini tablet for me.
Of course if you are wanting to code, code , code then you will need a better keyboard, but if that is the case, make sure you can type on a teeny netbook keyboard.
Posted by Grummash (Member # 4289) on October 13, 2009, 11:54:
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and observations.
Mr. Geek 2U - Mrs Grummash has a white MacBook with 4GB RAM and it is very lovely thing. Trouble is, it is four times the price of the mini 10V so, even if it was within my budget I couldn't really justify the cost. I have "proper" computer (24" Aluminium iMac with 4Gb RAM) so a new laptop would need to be just a low price machine that I can wander around with.
Also, if I had a MacBook, I wouldn't run Ubuntu on it, I'd stick with OS X - and I like the idea of having an Ubuntu machine around.
I do need to look a bit closer at EeePCs before any decision is made- I haven't played with an EeePC since the very first model and I believe they look like real computers now.
Keyboard size and suitability for typing isn't really an issue as I can't touch type, so my "four fingers and two thumbs" technique won't be impaired much by a small keyboard. I would still try to have a play on a real machine in a shop before buying though, just to be sure the machine is right for me.
I'll let you know what I end up with.
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on October 13, 2009, 13:22:
It's a Windows netbook, but that can be cured quickly. But we just bought a Toshiba NB200 series netbook. It has a very nice keyboard and touchpad.
Even if you do the hamfist type method, a good touchpad is worth its weight in gold.
The system itself is very snappy and the screen, while definitely small, is not too bad to look at.
But definitely try to get somewhere and play with a few. What cliched it for us was the good touchpad and the keyboard. Plus, the Toshiba did not feel quite as flimsy as the Asus, HP and Dell offerings.
Posted by Grummash (Member # 4289) on October 23, 2009, 17:01:
This thread is getting a "bump" and, as I usually say...this is not a necro-...it's an update
Shroom - I had a look at your Toshiba - very nice. But over here it was half as expensive again as the mini 10v, so it was not an option. Shame, really.
I did some homework on the Ubuntu-friendliness of various EeePCs, but the mini 10v got all the best reviews. I nearly went for the Dell-supplied Ubuntu mini 10v with the 8GB SSD until I read about all the crap things Dell had done with their Ubuntu distro.
So the upshot is, I am posting this from my new mini 10v, 160GB, Windoze XP netbook.
I am running Ubuntu 9.04 as a live user from a USB drive (I have no intention of taking XP onto teh interwebs).
Compared to my original, and now dying, netbook this machine is a dream. I was watching BBC iPlayer and the video is almost completely smooth, whereas on the old netbook you got perhaps every third second and it was very annoying. And that is running Live from the USB drive.
I haven't tried the webcam yet, but everything else seems to run so well from USB that the plan is to go for a dual-boot install, with Ubuntu having most of the HDD and XP just taking up 20GB or so, in case it ever comes in useful (it must be admitted that the trackpad is very skittish under Ubuntu, but I can live with that).
I only bought the machine this afternoon, but so far it is looking like money very well spent.
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