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Old 11-08-2010, 03:59 PM
James
 
Default netbook

Hello,

OK, I want a 10" or so, netbook that'll
run windows and gentoo on dual boot.

I'd like to stay under $200, but in
no way over $300.00 . W@ireless
and wired Ethernet are a must.


suggestions?


James
 
Old 11-08-2010, 04:16 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default netbook

Apparently, though unproven, at 18:59 on Monday 08 November 2010, James did
opine thusly:

> Hello,
>
> OK, I want a 10" or so, netbook that'll
> run windows and gentoo on dual boot.
>
> I'd like to stay under $200, but in
> no way over $300.00 . W@ireless
> and wired Ethernet are a must.


I can't advise you much on what to buy, I'm on the other side of the planet.
But I can give you tips about what I've found workable with mine (Acer Aspire
One A110).

1. 600 pixels vertically is not enough, not even with Ubuntu and Unity. Too
many dialogs just don't fit and it'll take a while for them all to get fixed.
Most web pages are virtually unusable. 1024 x 768 is the minimum I would
recommend anyone to use.

2. Those SSDs are shite. Get a mechanical drive. 8G is also not enough and the
write performance is pathetic.

3. From what I've seen, both wired and wireless is pretty much the norm, using
bog standard interface hardware. The only thing to watch out for is that you
are not unlucky enough to get one with below-average Linux support (like the
Ath5k 2 years ago).

4. Make sure you are comfortable with the keyboard. They tend to be 80% of
full-sized so there's not much margin for error. Use it as much as possible
before you buy.

5. Got kids younger than 12? Don't let them find out you have one :-)

--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 11-08-2010, 04:29 PM
James
 
Default netbook

Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon <at> gmail.com> writes:


> 5. Got kids younger than 12? Don't let them find out you have one

I have a 13 year old that will be in medical school, before
he turns 17. It's for him. Very bright and beautiful young
(Christian) man (got his looks and brains from his mom)......
Kids pilfering my computers and electronics has been the norm
since diapers........


Thanks for the tips.

James
 
Old 11-08-2010, 06:35 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default netbook

Apparently, though unproven, at 19:29 on Monday 08 November 2010, James did
opine thusly:

> Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon <at> gmail.com> writes:
> > 5. Got kids younger than 12? Don't let them find out you have one
>
> I have a 13 year old that will be in medical school, before
> he turns 17. It's for him. Very bright and beautiful young
> (Christian) man (got his looks and brains from his mom)......
> Kids pilfering my computers and electronics has been the norm
> since diapers........

I hear you :-)

I've got one just like him and his little sister who's much better behaved.
She likes Facebook, his thing is DeviantArt....

--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 11-08-2010, 07:11 PM
"J. Roeleveld"
 
Default netbook

On Monday 08 November 2010 18:16:00 Alan McKinnon wrote:
> Apparently, though unproven, at 18:59 on Monday 08 November 2010, James did
>
> opine thusly:
> > Hello,
> >
> > OK, I want a 10" or so, netbook that'll
> > run windows and gentoo on dual boot.
> >
> > I'd like to stay under $200, but in
> > no way over $300.00 . W@ireless
> > and wired Ethernet are a must.
>
> I can't advise you much on what to buy, I'm on the other side of the
> planet. But I can give you tips about what I've found workable with mine
> (Acer Aspire One A110).
>
> 1. 600 pixels vertically is not enough, not even with Ubuntu and Unity. Too
> many dialogs just don't fit and it'll take a while for them all to get
> fixed. Most web pages are virtually unusable. 1024 x 768 is the minimum I
> would recommend anyone to use.

I agree on this, although I do happily use mine with 600 vertical. (9" screen)

> 2. Those SSDs are shite. Get a mechanical drive. 8G is also not enough and
> the write performance is pathetic.

You must have a lesser then then I've got?
I have quite decent read/write performance with the 16GB SSD in mine (Asus
EEE901)
I think it's a shame there aren't more Netbooks with SSDs.
Too many manufacturers and users tend to see these as small laptop-
replacements. These are meant for webbrowsing, email,... NOT to use to do your
doctorate...

> 3. From what I've seen, both wired and wireless is pretty much the norm,
> using bog standard interface hardware. The only thing to watch out for is
> that you are not unlucky enough to get one with below-average Linux
> support (like the Ath5k 2 years ago).

I'd be hard-pressed to find one without wired and wireless ethernet.
I would, however, also add Bluetooth to the list. Being able to link
wirelessly to your mobile for mobile internet is useful.

> 4. Make sure you are comfortable with the keyboard. They tend to be 80% of
> full-sized so there's not much margin for error. Use it as much as possible
> before you buy.

Small hands help (don't have those) but also an extra keyboard could help here
already.

> 5. Got kids younger than 12? Don't let them find out you have one :-)

Best tip of all, although the smaller keyboard seems to be designed with kids'
hands in mind

--
Joost
 
Old 11-08-2010, 08:08 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default netbook

Apparently, though unproven, at 22:11 on Monday 08 November 2010, J. Roeleveld
did opine thusly:

> > 2. Those SSDs are shite. Get a mechanical drive. 8G is also not enough
> > and the write performance is pathetic.
>
> You must have a lesser then then I've got?
> I have quite decent read/write performance with the 16GB SSD in mine (Asus
> EEE901)
> I think it's a shame there aren't more Netbooks with SSDs.
> Too many manufacturers and users tend to see these as small laptop-
> replacements. These are meant for webbrowsing, email,... NOT to use to do
> your doctorate...


In all fairness to Acer, the SSDs in the A110 were early generation and
improvements have been made. In the consumer grade, Intel is not too bad,
Samsung is cr@p. And the early JMicron controllers were atrocious.

Server grade disks are improving by leaps and bounds, but they are expensive
and I don't see this filtering down to netbooks at this point in time yet. But
I would be ecstatically happy to be proved wrong!

Your use-case for netbooks is spot-on too - a laptop-replacement it is not. My
kids use mine for surfing and I use it when on standby and want to go out
visiting. All I need is an xterm - 1024x600 makes a fine terminal. With wired,
wireless and a 3G dongle I have all bases covered. Plus it fits in the wife's
handbag :-) no need to carry a big backpack with a huge Dell inside.


--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 11-08-2010, 08:34 PM
"J. Roeleveld"
 
Default netbook

On Monday 08 November 2010 22:08:53 Alan McKinnon wrote:
> Apparently, though unproven, at 22:11 on Monday 08 November 2010, J.
> Roeleveld
>
> did opine thusly:
> > > 2. Those SSDs are shite. Get a mechanical drive. 8G is also not enough
> > > and the write performance is pathetic.
> >
> > You must have a lesser then then I've got?
> > I have quite decent read/write performance with the 16GB SSD in mine
> > (Asus EEE901)
> > I think it's a shame there aren't more Netbooks with SSDs.
> > Too many manufacturers and users tend to see these as small laptop-
> > replacements. These are meant for webbrowsing, email,... NOT to use to do
> > your doctorate...
>
> In all fairness to Acer, the SSDs in the A110 were early generation and
> improvements have been made. In the consumer grade, Intel is not too bad,
> Samsung is cr@p. And the early JMicron controllers were atrocious.
>
> Server grade disks are improving by leaps and bounds, but they are
> expensive and I don't see this filtering down to netbooks at this point in
> time yet. But I would be ecstatically happy to be proved wrong!

The one in mine gives me better performance then the ones that are usually
stuck inside consumer-grade laptops and the SD-card reader supports the faster
SD-cards as well, which helps.

> Your use-case for netbooks is spot-on too - a laptop-replacement it is not.
> My kids use mine for surfing and I use it when on standby and want to go
> out visiting. All I need is an xterm - 1024x600 makes a fine terminal.
> With wired, wireless and a 3G dongle I have all bases covered. Plus it
> fits in the wife's handbag :-) no need to carry a big backpack with a huge
> Dell inside.

I've seen women carry handbags that could hold a 17" laptop easily, btw
But I know what you mean.

I tend to use mine for:
- webbrowsing
- email
- odd document / taking notes
- viewing the pictures from the camera
- random entertainment (movies/games/...) while stuck inside during holidays
 
Old 11-08-2010, 09:02 PM
Florian Philipp
 
Default netbook

Am 08.11.2010 22:34, schrieb J. Roeleveld:
> On Monday 08 November 2010 22:08:53 Alan McKinnon wrote:
>> Apparently, though unproven, at 22:11 on Monday 08 November 2010, J.
>> Roeleveld
>>
>> did opine thusly:
>>>> 2. Those SSDs are shite. Get a mechanical drive. 8G is also not enough
>>>> and the write performance is pathetic.
>>>
>>> You must have a lesser then then I've got?
>>> I have quite decent read/write performance with the 16GB SSD in mine
>>> (Asus EEE901)
>>> I think it's a shame there aren't more Netbooks with SSDs.
>>> Too many manufacturers and users tend to see these as small laptop-
>>> replacements. These are meant for webbrowsing, email,... NOT to use to do
>>> your doctorate...
>>
>> In all fairness to Acer, the SSDs in the A110 were early generation and
>> improvements have been made. In the consumer grade, Intel is not too bad,
>> Samsung is cr@p. And the early JMicron controllers were atrocious.
>>
>> Server grade disks are improving by leaps and bounds, but they are
>> expensive and I don't see this filtering down to netbooks at this point in
>> time yet. But I would be ecstatically happy to be proved wrong!
>

Nope, netbooks with "good" hardware are still called subnotebooks and
are sold for ten times the price of a netbook

> The one in mine gives me better performance then the ones that are usually
> stuck inside consumer-grade laptops and the SD-card reader supports the faster
> SD-cards as well, which helps.
>

Another argument against SSD: They are usually very low in capacity.
James wants to dual-boot. I don't know about Windows 7 but I found it
very hard to keep Windows XP below 10 GB and still usable. The SSD in
Acer Aspire Ones is 8 GB.

Do they even sell Netbooks with SSD and Windows preinstalled?

As an advice from an Aspire One user: It helps when you have a big
"mothership" machine available. I keep photos, videos, portage tree,
ccache and other non-essentials on a desktop machine, shared with NFS
over WLAN.

When I make a smaller `emerge --update --deep world`, WLAN and the SSD
are fast enough (if you have enough RAM, you might want to try tmpfs).
For larger actions like KDE updates, I hook it up with ethernet and also
mount /var/tmp/portage via NFS to spare the SSD from too much I/O.

BTW: KDE-4 without semantic-desktop works great on these, even with 512
MB RAM. It runs without Firefox or OpenOffice, though.

Hope this helps,
Florian Philipp
 
Old 11-08-2010, 09:43 PM
Neil Bothwick
 
Default netbook

On Mon, 8 Nov 2010 21:11:01 +0100, J. Roeleveld wrote:

> > 4. Make sure you are comfortable with the keyboard. They tend to be
> > 80% of full-sized so there's not much margin for error. Use it as
> > much as possible before you buy.
>
> Small hands help (don't have those) but also an extra keyboard could
> help here already.

This isn't such a problem with 10" netbooks where the keyboards tend to
be around 92% of full size. On the other hand, my old Eee PC 900 didn't
work well with my fat fingers (the fat fingers are on both hands, not
just the other one).


--
Neil Bothwick

If at first you do succeed, try to hide your astonishment.
 
Old 11-08-2010, 11:03 PM
Stroller
 
Default netbook

On 8/11/2010, at 10:02pm, Florian Philipp wrote:
> ...
> Another argument against SSD: They are usually very low in capacity.
> James wants to dual-boot. I don't know about Windows 7 but I found it
> very hard to keep Windows XP below 10 GB and still usable. The SSD in
> Acer Aspire Ones is 8 GB.

I tried to do a DVD rip under Windows recently, and was nearly out of space (< 2gig remaining) on a 20gig partition. I managed to free up about 8gig I think by deleting two games from Steam (they were free - I do not support or endorse Steam), but I was still using 10gig with almost nothing installed on the system.

Stroller.
 

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