We have spent many months agonising over whether we should get a Netbook and which one. We wanted one which was light for traveling but powerful and versatile enough to replace the laptop and was largely self contained. We expect to largely run Linux but would prefer to also have a dual boot to Windows XP because of Pauline’s teaching where we are not sure that everything will work under Ubuntu. The first Netbooks we saw were the original Asus eeePC 700, three were brought to Pete’s First talk on the Transition to Linux given on the QE2 Linux and Open Source, A Real alternative to Windows ? Or, why settle for Windows when you can have the whole house for free .
The eeePC was an eye opener but was never going to be adequate for OU teaching these days although we had a Libretto 50CT with a similar size and lower resolution screen in use for many years -it still works fine with Windows 95. The Netbook is really intended to replace our Toshiba Portege 3440 which is already dual booted with XP and Ubuntu Dapper Drake but will not take any more upgrades and needs wifi cards, USB2 cards with power supplies, an external USB disk and Bluetooth dongles to work.
The choices came down to the Asus eee901 and the MSI Wind U100 with the Wind winning with a 80 Gbyte hard drive versus a smaller solid state drive overcoming the poor relative battery life and questions over the Wifi. We nearly bought a Wind clone, the Advent 4211 from PC World a couple of months back and have finally ordered a MSI Wind U100-222UK-WT120A from Ebuyer.com which is White and has a 120 Gbyte drive, 1 gbyte memory, Windows XP, Wifi (which card of the three is not known), webcam and Bluetooth for £299 plus £5.95 shipping. To make it a going concern it will also need a 12v power supply (£15) and possibly a larger battery. (we estimate 4 hours £50 and 6 hours £70). This will be continued when it arrives and postings wil cover the installation of Ubuntu based on our Road to Freedom – A progressive migration from Windows to Ubuntu for Safety, Security and Savings in Home Computing