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Dell's Subnotebook To Ship With Ubuntu 251

Posted by timothy
from the welcome-news dept.
k33l0r writes "Dell's entry into the sub-notebook market, the Inspiron 910, will ship with Ubuntu preinstalled. This was confirmed this morning when Gizmodo published (leaked) specifications for the Inspiron 910." I hope that's not the final form of the keyboard, though -- lots of wasted space on each side.
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Dell's Subnotebook To Ship With Ubuntu

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  • That's good news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:56AM (#24657185)

    I wish my EEE 901 had shipped with ubuntu too, instead of Xandros.

    Not that it's bad for beginners, but I'm not sure I want such a toy OS. I know Ubuntu eee exists, but I'd musch rather have the official distro. Or debian...

  • by Van Cutter Romney (973766) <sriram DOT venka ... geemail DOT com> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:04AM (#24657277)
    I have an 8.9" eee pc running on the Intel Mobile Processor (read Celeron). I have both Ubuntu and XP running on dual boot but use Ubuntu more than often. XP is still **very** slow on the laptop and there is continuous disk activity while running it.
  • by east coast (590680) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:04AM (#24657279)
    This would seem a lot neater, if not more worth while, if it had a dock option. I just look at what HP did with the 1100 tablet and it's dock and think that they had the right idea with some slight short comings. Something in the same vein could have been done with this.
  • by Skrynesaver (994435) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:07AM (#24657317) Homepage
    Of course it will, but at least you can seek better paid support elsewhere (Canonical) or indeed the quite excellent ubuntuforums.org for free. I love the way the UMPC market is exposing Linux to people who would never have heard of it otherwise, there was even an MS spokesdrone in our local computing press saying that "Yes, the Linux option is suitable for beginners but experienced users would prefer the Windows option on the EEE", laugh, I nearly wet myself.
  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao&hotmail,com> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:16AM (#24657397) Homepage
    Nah. Everyone should just use the Saint John's Arms [wikipedia.org], like Apple does.
  • by east coast (590680) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:17AM (#24657417)
    Maybe you posted as an AC just to get a quick jab in but I would pose that question seriously.

    It seems that, with the gadget crowd, Linux support is always sweet in the beginning as they oogle over the new machine but as soon as something new comes out the old gadget is left to collect dust. Suddenly Ubuntu moves on a version or two and people still running the old gadget are left in no man's land with support issues. The people who really understand Linux are too busy with the new gadget to support the old. It's the long term user who's left holding the bag.

    Will Dell continue to support this as the distro progresses or should the unit come with a sticker warning the user not to upgrade beyond the current version? It's kind of burned my ass the number of times I tried to pull some older gadgets over to Linux only to find that if I use the distro's 2 or 3 year old package I was fine but if I wanted the latest and greatest I was busied with the work of just getting basic functionality going. The upgrade cycle concerns me too much in some cases to give Linux a try if the only support I have is community based.

    I likely will not go "100%" Linux for a long long time. Most of it has to do with working in a Windows shop and, frankly, liking my games. But even if that wasn't an issue I still haven't warmed up to the community support aspect.
  • Re:Keyboard (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cwAllenPoole (1228672) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:59AM (#24657877) Homepage
    I actually managed to get myself a copy of the XO laptop (one of the first "minimized" laptops) and I have to say this one actually looks substantially better (though I have yet to get a copy of the Eee for comparison). The keyboard seems adequate and comparable to the Eee: (and certainly better than the XO's) perhaps it is not glorious, but whatever. I will say, though, the swivel top of the XO was a nice feature which looks like both commercial models are missing, and I think that all three could use a touchscreen (I know that that is quite a bit more expensive, but if you saw some of the XO's features, you might understand). And it would be nice if they all had longer battery lives, but so it goes...
  • by cwAllenPoole (1228672) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:02AM (#24657923) Homepage
    I'm really surprised that anyone would WANT XP on this. First, MS is poo-pooing its own product. Second, it is a lot harder to get XP customized and paired down enough. Third, (at least for me), one of the big sells of MS OS's is compatibility. With this, however, I'd imagine that most of the work will be with OOo, Mozilla, or equivalent, something which is already cross platform compatible.
  • by suggsjc (726146) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @10:04AM (#24658869) Homepage
    Yes, that's a bug...and one I recently encountered. But the fix is easy (but admittedly not obvious). You just kill the processes that hang and then reinstall the locales package once you restart. I fully agree that manually killing processes is not something you want your average user to have to do, but the workarounds are out there and (for the most part) clearly documented in those links you speak of.

    I think this discussion started from someone wondering if Dell will continue to support this laptop several years down the road. To me it seems that as hardware matures its support just gets better. Just think of how many posts you hear about people putting xubuntu on their "old P2 sitting around collecting dust" and it "just works" because that hardware is well understood. So as long as Dell provides enough information about the hardware at the onset, then it will be supported well at first and as bugs/issues arise they will be incorporated into the mainstream codebases.
  • Re:MS ISV astroturf (Score:5, Interesting)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @10:06AM (#24658895)
    Actually, I noticed exactly the same thing. There were 2 guys sitting on our *linux* news-server day and night and waiting for any article on, specifically, eee or OpenOffice. As soon as there was one, they immediately started stupid trolls on how windows rules (sadly, no rating system on that site) so I asked them: Are you guys professional trolls? I mean, PR agencies could easily be involved in this, so I am asking. They didn't answer and I learned they always quit discussion (trolling) after this little question. I wonder why, they could lie they really believe in what they are saying.
  • Re:That's good news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @10:08AM (#24658917) Homepage Journal

    I have the opposite view. I have the default Xandros on my EEE PC and like it more than Ubuntu. Still no gcc(haven't figured that one out), but I can:

    1. Tweak my mousewheel settings(still can't find that in Ubuntu)
    2. tweak the GUI easily(through that big config manager)
    3. add/remove/tweak start menu items easily. Look at that, I added MAME to the Games section. Look at that, it put wireshark in a start menu section by itself.
    4. Effortlessly hook up to a wireless network
    5. Numerous other things that have been frustrating in Unbuntu.

    I bought a used IBM desktop(4 Ghz) and it seems sluggish with Unbuntu on it compared to the EEE. Even turning off the bells & whistles didn't do much of a difference.

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @11:23AM (#24660069)

    The other 10" netbook (MSI Wind) is selling on Amazon for $569. It seems that netbooks with 10 inches of screen (measured diagonally btw) are settling into that price range.

    I must say, however, that $300 for an 8.9" screen is a darn good deal for a powerful netbook from Dell. --Though for 10" screens, the Asus eee line still impresses me more than any of the others so far; they've got a year's worth of product development under their belts at this point where everybody else is still scrambling, and Asus seems to be the only manufacturer which isn't shipping units with "crystal-bright" screens, which I know some people prefer, but for me clinched the deal by virtue of its absence. --The other perk is the presence of a massive user support community. This is the first time, possibly in my life, when I've found myself in with the popular crowd. It feels kind of weird to have the 'it' item. I can't decide if I feel dirty or elated. It's rare when "Popular" also means "Damn Good".

    The other elements which I'm impressed with on the 1000H are the default 6-cell battery and its nice long life, the responsive and properly sized keyboard with its sensible layout, the screen real-estate, great audio, quiet fan/HD, and excellent body design, (it's nice and rugged; doesn't feel cheaply made like some of the other netbooks I've handled). I was also pleasantly surprised with the hibernate feature in XP; until it came through the door, I was resigned to putting up with long start-up times, but with the hibernate feature it goes from cold to me typing at full speed in about 14 seconds, though I suspect that would be longer if I doubled up the memory. It currently has 1 gig, but I've not noticed any limiting issues with that at all. A gig is a lot; though it might become a bit annoying if I decide to do any heavy Photoshop work on the thing, although I can't realistically see that happening very often.

    The one thing I do find is that the trackpad keys are a bit too stiff for my liking. --But at least they're in the right place, at the bottom of the trackpad. I don't know what several other designers were thinking when they put them to the sides. Weird. The only other thing I would caution people about is that the eee1000 is just this side of being too big and heavy. You need a bit of muscle to hold it in one hand while typing with the other; it's best on your lap or knee or some other surface. A Blackberry it is not, but it still slides very nicely into a backpack and it's easy enough to treat like a book around the house rather than a piece of fold-up furniture.

    I've not tried out the 8.9" eee, and it does seem that the competitors have some nice netbooks out in that range, so I don't know if I'd go with Asus for one of those if I wanted the smaller screen. This new Dell machine, aside from the glossy screen, looks like a pretty decent choice if they can deliver on the projected price.

    -FL

  • by torsner (13171) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @11:58AM (#24660671) Homepage

    In my experience, the big companies providing support often ends up being the ones that give me a headache. A few examples from real life:

    1. We had a $300k predictive dialer from a (then) well known telephone equipment provider. We depreciate the investment over 5 years. After 3 years, the provide had been sold to a bigger company that stopped actively supporting the product. Suddenly, even the most obvious bugs (and there were many) in their system was really a feature upgrade that was only available for customers running their latest and greatest. We were left stranded with the choice of throwing another $2-300k dollars at the new company for their new "superior" dialer or support a proprietary solutions on our own. We opted for the second alternative and before 5 years had passed, the company was sold again and our version of the product dropped altogether.

    2. We invested even more money in an Avaya switch. The local support in our little Nordic country was more or less nonexistent at the time. So we opted to buy support from another company in our group who had the expertise. After 2 years, Avaya did have support support but we couldn't buy it from them since parts of our PBX was already "out of sale" and would be "out of support" within 1 year. Instead, we were forced into a $200k upgrade.

    3. We had roughly 200 Dell Optiplex SX280 in production, running XP. A lot of these machines have an inherit problem with their motherboard that causes them to overheat. Dell acknowledged the problem and extended the factory warranty to 5 years so that all machines had time to break while we could still get an free exchange motherboard. Only problem was that they had failed to mention that it wasn't really a 5-year warranty, they had limited it to a specific date less than 60 days into the future counting from the date when we first learned about the "5-years warranty".

    4. We have rented an issue tracking system from a well known software developer. Since their system didn't really live up to what their salesman had promised us, they ended up doing a lot of custom work for us to fix a few of the problems. After 1 year, they released a new version that would have fixed a lof of the remaining problems we had. Needless to say, our customizations was not portable to their new version, so we ended up ditching their system to develop a derivate from a GPL'ed solution instead. Sure, we could have taken them to court, but in real life, we need to focus on delivering services to our customers.

    In my experience (12 years in the business) enterprise support is about paying twice for everything and having someone to meet in court when sh**t hits the fan.

    Since a few years back, my strategy is to hire skilled technicians and staying close to the main stream of open source software (=Ubuntu + Asterisk for this call center). From a 24*7 production perspective, that's the safest way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:49PM (#24666395)

    I have an amd 64 3200 single core with 2gb ram and fast scsi disks, I was running xp 64 edition and just got sick of how sluggish the machine was at 1.5gb ram utiilization.

    I was considering buying a new machine
    just so that things would be more zippy, then I tested ubuntu on an old p4 and was really impressed, finally got it installed on my amd64 and hardly ever boot into windows.

    I have mainly been a windows sys admin for the last ten years and have played with linux since the redhat 5.1 days, those days driver support was not was it is now, over the years I have deployed linux boxen as proxy server, web servers etc...

    After running ubuntu as my main desktop for the last couple of days, I don't see myself moving back over to having a windows desktop again. I will probably only rdp to windows machines to admin etc.

    It was funny that before I was considering getting a faster machine and now running the ubuntu desktop, I can run many applications at the same time consuming lots of ram and the machine feels very responsive. So it looks like my amd 64 will be in use for quite some time...

    After having experienced vista for about 30 mins and then reformatting the disk, I made a clear choice to not continue using m$ products for my desktop os.

    the most iritating aspect using windows machines apart from being sluggish, is that your work flow is continually interupted i.e. background applications generate a pop up, which are just irritating.

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