Monday, 8 June 2009
Ubuntu NBR seems like a very serviceable netbook OS which you can have right now. No need to wait for Android. No need to wait for Windows 7. Go ahead and jump in, the water's lovely.
Being a netbook addict I thought it was high time I tried Linux (again) on my latest arrival. I have seven netbooks scattered around the house and office which I use for my business and for my tech education. I have had Asus Eee PC's, a Samsung NC10, an MSI Wind, and two Dell Mini 9's. The Dell's shipped with Ubuntu 8.04 and the Asus' came with Xandros. I had a tough time accepting either OS so I ended up changing to Windows XP.
The latest addition to my stack of netbooks is the Dell Mini 10v. This arrived with Ubuntu 8.04 which I upgraded with the Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix (NBR) so I could play with it for a bit. I intended to install Windows XP just like all the others but I have had my mind changed. Here are my experiences.
First the Dell Mini 10v:
- It has a wonderful keyboard, bigger and more usable than all the others.
- The half-height SD Card slot means that you cannot easily extend the meagre 8gb SSD without an a card sticking out the side (I am sure the marketing team at Dell triumphed over the engineers on this one).
- The ultra bright screen is the best I have seen, but the reflecting glass can be annoying. I prefer a mat finish eventhough I know this makes me a bit uncool.
- I effortlessly installed it from a 1GB thumb drive.
- All devices were detected, sound, video, microphone, wifi without the need for additional downloaded drivers.
- The default sound volume was a little bit quiet but I rectified this by upping one of the sound channels.
- When I used the wifi for the first time it wanted to join the default keyring with a password which I had to enter every time I came out of standby, I soon got rid of that. This might be a bit beyond your average user.
- WAF: excellent, she opens it, the wifi connects, she uses Firefox to find what she wants, she closes it and puts it down again.
- I haven't tried printing yet but that problem is bound to come up at some point.
- NBR does not come with Skype and the Synaptic package manager does not show it.
- I had difficulty coming to grips with Synaptic package manager but the convenient Ubuntu 'Add/Remove' was a bit more friendly.
- I accidentally installed the swfdec Gnome Flash player instead of the Adobe one which caused problems on Youtube. I had to rectify that.