I just wanted to post and say thanks to Joel for keeping this thing rolling for all these years. Here’s a newly-discovered ginger brew to you!
Also, I wanted to post because I was getting sad when I looked at the gadget on my netvibes page and saw no highlighted post titles.
One bit of tech news I’d like to throw up to the crowd is the arrival of the netbook.
About two months ago, my trusty Powerbook G4’s logic board went bad. I had already replaced the HD myself (out of Apple Care warranty), so I thought I’d just buy a logic board and try to DIY again. I found out that boards cost ~$500. A used PBG4 runs about $600 on eBay. That’s when I started looking at purchasing another machine. I’ve determined that I would want another Powerb…err…Macbook Pro, but I don’t have the extra $2000 just lying around to purchase some alumized sweetness. That put me searching for a Windows or Linux machine.
In my search, I struck upon a new-to-me market segment of notebook computers-netbooks. The first machine that caught my interest is put out by Asustek. It’s the Asus EEE pc. It was popularized after Asus tried to offer a viable entry in the OLPC project, but was unable to do so for the target price of $200, but they were able to do it for $300. These little dudes were made for internetting and basic operations, most of which running Linux Xandros.
Asus was putting out the only 9″ computer, then companies like Samsung, Acer, HP and now even Dell have jumped on the bandwagon. MSI, Asus, and Lenovo all offer 10″ versions, which were the ones I was looking at. The 9″-er’s keyboard is just too cramped for any long-term writing work, but not as bad as you would think. Standard specs is a 1.6Ghz Intel Atom chip designed specifically for this market, 1 GB RAM, either a smallish SSD or largish standard spinning platter, and most are shipping with Windows XP, but some are also coming with Linux distros like Xandros, SUSE, or Ubuntu (although rarer). Most have 3 USB ports, a multi-card reader, some sort of video out, Ethernet port and audio jacks. Most also include a 1.3 Megapixel built-in camera. No optical drive.
In the end, I went with a much larger Lenovo machine that has full-sized keyboard, DVD burner and various mulit-media options like 5.1 “surround” sound on-board speakers-largely because I do not own a TV and use my computer for all video entertainment. I’m only experiencing slight buyer’s remorse because this baby is a behemoth compared to my Powerbook, and just plain doesn’t feel as solid. It’s not a ThinkPad, it’s from Lenovo’s new consumer line, IdeaPad. I know that’s why the thing feels a little Dell-sy and only cost me $550 on TigerDirect. Oh, and I think some of the frustration is Windows-related. Yes, it runs Vista, which I firmly do not hate.
All this is to say/ask, do you guys have any experience with (1) netbooks, and which one or (2) Vista, and what do you think apart from it being bloated and requiring a minimum of 2GB of RAM.
Lastly, do you guys have any experience with more recent distros of Linux? I am considering Dual booting for simple tasks like web browsing.
Finally for real, are you guys aware of how awesome Open Office is?