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Linux on netbooks

David Kramer wrote:
> I've been casually toying with the idea of getting a netbook, but last
> weekend I decided I probably will.  I was at a convention where I saw a
> lot of them, and the screen and keyboards on the newer ones look pretty
> usable.  I mostly want to use it for note taking at meetings and mail/web
> when traveling. In the "That would be too cool for words" camp would be to
> use it as a MythTV client, but I doubt that's possible.  I think a 10"
> screen is about right.  And since it's mostly for note taking, the
> keyboard can't bee TOO contorted from a ful sized keyboard.  I'm open to
> advice on specific units and brands.
> I have an important high-level decision to make; Do I get a Windows one
> and make it dual-boot with Linux, or get one that already has Linux
> installed?  My wife, bless her, said "You will never be happy with it
> unless you install the Linux distro you want yourself".  She might be
> right.  I've been looking at the Ubuntu netbook remix.  I'm not sure I
> would like the UI, but it looks like one can change that later.  At the
> very least their compatibility list will be useful.  Since many of these
> units have 120 or 160GB hard drives, having two OSes shouldn't be a
> problem, and makes it a little more useful.
> Thanks in advance for any advice.

Hi David,

I purchased an HP Mini 110-1125NR and I'm very happy with it.  Solid 
little piece of hardware.  Non-glossy screen and almost a full size 
keyboard.  About the size of a hard cover book.  Everybody who's seen it 
tells me they like the looks of it.  It came with Win7 Starter which is 
painfully limited.  (You can't even change the desktop wallpaper!!) 
Also the software guys at HP didn't give this a good look over before 
letting it out the door as some of the install screens for first boot 
don't fit within the little screen.  I bet that gave newbs a terrible 
headache and keeps support folks unhappy.  But it doesn't matter.  I 
wiped the win7 virus and installed Ubuntu netbook remix.  (I'm a RedHat 
/ Fedora fan boy but once in a while like to try other distros.) 
_Everything_ works.  Really.  My least painful install ever.  I 
installed from USB as there's no built in CD / DVD.

When I'm home I plug it into a USB DVD multi drive, USB hard drive and a 
20" monitor.  You just need a bigger monitor if you're going to be 
staring at the computer for hours.  The external DVD and hard drive are 
USB powered and super thin.  Apple ain't got nothin on my new set up 
when it comes to looks.  Again everything works great.

I haven't done a serious comparison to other netbooks / laptops but I'm 
happy as hell with this little bugger.

1.  battery charges slowly.  that's life i guess.
2.  flash video beats up the atom.  no way around that yet.

1:  You can play Wesnoth on it!
2.  Women will think you're cool.  (Well, maybe...)

At bestbuy it's $349.99.
HP Mini 110-1125NR
# Intel? Atom? processor N270
# 1GB DDR2 memory standard.  I popped in another stick for 2GB.
# 10.1" WSVGA LED-backlit antiglare widescreen display
# 160GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 rpm)
# Intel? Graphics Media Accelerator 950
# Built-in HP webcam and digital microphone
# 5-in-1 digital media reader
# 3 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
# Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g)
# Built-in 10/100Base-T Ethernet LAN
# Weighs 2.9 lbs
# 92% full-size keyboard

Good luck in your search and let us know what you pick!

- Eric C

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