HP Mini 1000 MIE

OK – I like Linux. Actually I LOVE Linux.

When I decided it was finally time to get a laptop the main questionwas “Does it run Linux?”. Somewhere in the depths of Dell’s websitethere is supposed to be one that does – but I couldn’t find it. Then Isaw the HP Mini 1000 with MIE Linux. So the question became “Do Ireally need a laptop?”

The answer was NO!

It turns out the netbook meets all my‘on the road’ computing needs. Needless to say I am not a ‘roadwarrior’. I needed something for writing code, server admin (via ssh),email and web browsing. The HP Mini seemed the perfect answer.

Finding the HP Mini running Linux was not as easy as it might sound.Most places had it with an watered down version of XP Home. I finallyfound one running Linux at Future Shop. It was $50.00 cheaper than theXP version but only came with a 8G solid state hard drive. Apparently,the version with a 160G hard drive is only available with XP.

A quick word on storage, because some people have scoffed at an 8Ghard drive. Network-attached storage (NAS) is cheap. When I am working,I am connected to the Internet. For most of us, there is no longer anyreal need for big hard drives in laptops.

Now The Review

First – after charging the battery – it worked. I shouldn’t besurprised when things work out of the box – but I am. On boot it askedme for a user id and a password and if I wanted to setup Skype (Skypeis preloaded as is Open Office). That was it. No hassle!

I don’t have a wireless router – so I picked up an ether net cableand a cheap ($5.00) USB mouse. I really didn’t need the cable. The Minifound my neighbours open wireless system on boot and was already quitehappy.

What I Like

Nearly everything I needed was preloaded. While the XP version hasdemo applications the Linux version has Open Office fully installed andsetup on one of the four desktops. (For those not familiar with Linux -you can have multiple desktops that can be setup any way you want.) Thetext editor is gEdit – which is great for writing small programs.FireFox and Thunderbird make up the web components. There are many moreapplications available – but those are the ones I use the most.

The keyboard is only slightly smaller than one on a full sizelaptop. Being an ‘hunt and peck’ typist there was no problem in usingthe smaller keyboard. There is small switch/indicator light on thefront that lets you switch between wired and wireless connections. Thetwo USB ports are easy to reach.

Then there is the is the solid stand hard drive. I LOVE IT. I know,the laptop had drives can take a little bit of abuse. BUT, the solidstate hard drive can take a LOT of abuse. I don’t have to worry if ithas finished shutting down before I throw it into my bag. It just worksfine.

What I Don’t Like

Most of the things I don’t like are things that only a ‘dyed inwool’ Linux geek would want. The biggest problem was there was not FTPprogram – however that is easily fixed. The other was the root termterminal was really buried. Which is OK – I shouldn’t be working asroot anyway.

The main problems are:

  • The screen has way too much glare. (As you can see from the flare in the picture.
  • The camera, while cute isn’t very useful
  • The recorded sound was terrible – I think it is a driver problem

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