Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 5th Oct 2008 21:21 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems The netbook craze is currently in full swing, with these small laptops being advertised everywhere (at least here in The Netherlands); in fact, you can already get netbooks with 3G from the mobile phone carriers at severely reduced prices (but with a one or two year contract, of course). Netbooks are also welcomed by the Linux community as the break they've been waiting for: many netbooks are available with Linux pre-installed. One of the more successful (and powerful) netbooks out there is MSI's Wind, which is also sold under different brand and model names by other companies. In an interview with LaptopMag, MSI's Director of US Sales Andy Tung, however, has some bad news for those that believe the netbook will be the foot in the door that the Linux desktop has been waiting for.
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Manufacturers -- Tailor your Distros!
by kadymae on Mon 6th Oct 2008 13:50 UTC
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AFAIK, the *nix on the MSI Wind is poorly tailored to the actual hardware on the machine, and that several features that should just work out of box simply don't -- and probably never will.

I'm probably going to get a Mini9 with Ubuntu ... but I know what that entails and what "gotchas" I'm going to run into. (Based on past experience with the 'buntus I've got a 50% percent chance of having to hit the command line to get Opera on there.)

A good friend of mine is an early adopter of the eeePC. She's had mixed results with getting software on there and working and she's extremely frustrated by patches or upgrades breaking things that she labored to get working. (Such as getting her iPod to talk to the device -- she's had to wipe and reinstall 6 times to get that working.)

This is a woman with an MS who is the head of Reference at a library -- so it's not like she doesn't know how to, y'know, hit the web and do research.

She's frustrated with trying to find the version of several programs that will work with the eeePC flavor of Linux. (Something XP and OSX users don't have to deal with.) Crossing her fingers and installing something created for the "base" Linux? Sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it does, and sometimes it breaks something else.

She's tired of having to hit the command line to install things or make subtle adjustments to settings.

She's frustrated that despite months of trying and typing in *exactly* what the gurus on the various fora have told her to type and changing the settings on all machines the way she's been told to, she can't get it to see the drives on her WXP machines. (She has to sneakernet all file transfers.) I visited her house recently and got an OS X laptop to see her XP boxen in under 10 minutes. (But no dice on getting it to see the eeePC.)

She likes the machine and it's done 75% of what she wanted it to do right out of the box, it lives in her purse, and she's got no plans to put XP on it, but her repeated problems, especially with networking and music/iPod have left her with mixed feelings about Linux.

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