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128 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 35509 10-Jun-2009 20:26
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HI im looking for a netbook. I don't know much about them but know more or less what I want. Must be portable and small. Ideally I would like one that will take a SIM. (but I would prefer it didnt have to be a Voda..) Is there an 850 capable netbook out there somewhere? Of course I can just use muy data card, but would be nice to use the data plan on my current SIM. It doesnt have to have huge power/ memory/ or battery (although those things of course would be nice). Price is obviously important but since im not after much don't think it will matter too much.

Basically this netbook will be used to surf internet lightly and online poker. (hence why I don't mind a "small" keyboard. I have external harddrive but decent capacity SD slot would be nice for music.

Anyway, I'm jjust seeing what opinions are out there before I impulse buy on something that Im not happy with :) Thanks in advance for any help :)

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741 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 223735 10-Jun-2009 20:31
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I currently have the Dell mini9 from vodafone... with an XT Sim card in it, it is fantastic!!!! It is the only netbook I know of that can take sim cards









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Master Geek
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  Reply # 223753 10-Jun-2009 21:23
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I would like it too if it wasnt exclusive to Voda... :)

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 223756 10-Jun-2009 21:28
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revolushn: I would like it too if it wasnt exclusive to Voda... :)


What's exclusive about it? You can just walk into a shop and buy one. There are no contracts required.


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  Reply # 223757 10-Jun-2009 21:34
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As I said I have one which uses an XT SIM CARD not a vodafone one.









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Master Geek
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  Reply # 223758 10-Jun-2009 21:37
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Sorry pebbles i missed that bit. i Thought it only worked on 900. It's looking a lot more attractive now! Even the guy on the phone at Dell told me it would only work on Voda...

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Reply # 223837 11-Jun-2009 07:14
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revolushn: Sorry pebbles i missed that bit. i Thought it only worked on 900. It's looking a lot more attractive now! Even the guy on the phone at Dell told me it would only work on Voda...


Wait a minute... You see how advertising works?

The Dell Mini is actually 850/2100 MHz WCDMA. It's not 900 MHz at all. I pointed out this in my blog and that was enough for another round of Vodafone employees saying I accept bribes to write bad things about their company - when in fact I was just pointing the fact that people get confused with their marketing.

People automatically think something Vodafone offers works only on Vodafone - when in fact some of the hardware is not even suitable for their new 900 MHz 3G network. I pointed this out many times, each time to receive a salvo of comments from Vodafone employees.

People buying costly phones and PCs should investigate a lot more than just look at adverts.





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Master Geek


  Reply # 223899 11-Jun-2009 10:24
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i have a Dell mini9 as well, works like a charm on the xt network!!!

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 225858 17-Jun-2009 16:00

You guys DO know the Dell Mini 9 has been discontinued by the manufacturer?
I'm not quite sure how that'll affect the manufacturers' garrantee
It's being re-branded & resold as "Dell Vostro A90".

These devices are sometimes referred to as a "Hackintosh", due to the fact that they are so well-suited for modification. I've seen a few guys work in touch-screens too

http://gizmodo.com/5156903/how-to-hackintosh-a-dell-mini-9-into-the-ultimate-os-x-netbook




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  Reply # 226009 17-Jun-2009 22:44
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freakalad: You guys DO know the Dell Mini 9 has been discontinued by the manufacturer?

I'm not quite sure how that'll affect the manufacturers' garrantee


Why would the WARRANTY be affected?

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  Reply # 226043 17-Jun-2009 23:44
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hmm, I spotted one of these today in the Vodafone store (tried to pay my old closed account, no joy) and wondered about it to replace my ailing eeepc. I had no idea they were 850 UMTS! I might almost look at stretching to one as I hate usb things sticking out.

I should check what display they use as I despise those shiny ones.

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Geek


  Reply # 226367 18-Jun-2009 18:17
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Interesting reading as I am also on the look out for a small lap top. But I'd like one if possible with a dvd writer so I can save photos while travelling and send them somewhere safe. Can anyone suggest, or better still recommend, a small lap top with a dvd writer? All these great sounding little ones dont come with one. I saw someone with an MSI megabook (MS-1058) that looked good, but old. Not sure of its specs or anything. It just had that all important dvd writer in the side!
So, thanks for any advice.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 226575 19-Jun-2009 09:40

My advise would be to get yourself an external USB chassis, SATA or IDE doesn't matter (but SATA may be better for future-proofing), and load a DVD-RW in there.
If, further down the line, you get hold of a Blue-Ray RW, you can just swap it out.

This way, you have a VERY versatile device that can be used on any of your machines, and also eliminated the explicit need for an optical drive on a laptop/netbook. That should also make it easier to re-install win on a netbook, none of which (AFAIK) come with optical media.

I've found it pretty simple to work with USB media with my netbook; keep the host storage to a minimum (barely large enough for OS, apps & swap; makes the purchase cheaper too), and load your data onto the external media, like an iPod or USB-HDD.
I've worked some velcro the the back of the screen & simply stick the drives to it for ease of portability.




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  Reply # 226958 20-Jun-2009 09:27
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Thanks freakalad. I actually like the idea of using an ipod a bit like an external hard drive. Are there any limitations? Bearing in mind this is only going to be used for travel, not every day around here, I dont really need too much. Wordprocessing, internet access, some basic photo editing would be great, something like picassa. Not so worried about watching movies or anything. Could I get all this one one of those little Eee PC things, I like the thought of only carrying around something the size of a large hardback book. less weight in the back pack etc. I should be able to take the ipod into a internet cafe and burn a disk of photos there. Hmmm... anyone use an Eee PC - rate or slate? Paradoxsm - you say you have one that it ailing - old age or bad buy?
Thanks again everyone!

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Geek


  Reply # 226968 20-Jun-2009 10:32
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Sorry to jump on someone elses forum post...I was just looking at some netbooks - Eee PC, Hp Mini etc. Given the use that we are wanting something for (see above post), and that we are quite "simple" when it comes to computing, whats best...(or even what are they?) HDD / Flash / Solid State Drives / Atom / Linus / XP (am currently using windows but am open to other systems if they are better for my needs here)
Also need as long a battery life as possible.

Thanks again!

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 227295 22-Jun-2009 10:25

no worries, twotravelbugs

I still have the 1st-generation Asus eeePC 701.
I would not recommend it for laymen use, since the screen on this one is too tiny for everyday use, but it's fine for my purposes. Also, this model is not officially vetted for Ubuntu use, though it's fine for me.

If you want an Asus eeePC, go for the 900-series or better, which is a comfortable improvement.
The Aser Aspire One is also pretty good, and so too are the Dell series, similar to what Voda's punting now. Most of the NetBooks currently on the market make use of the Intel Atom processor, which is pretty well-supported under GNU-Linux/Ubuntu. The new ARM CPU's are getting ready to hit the market too, and GNU-Linux/Ubuntu will be ready for them (AFAIK, ms don't see the value of porting their OS to ARM).

In terms of storage, I would recommend going with flash-based primary disks. They have no moving parts, so power-consumption is a lot better, and you don't get a little heart-attack every time you drop the device, which is bound to happen with such a rough & tumble device, or with kids/animals around.
The solid-states are a bit more expensive than the platters, but I've clocked my standard Ubuntu installation in between 1 to 2 GB, which includes pretty-much all the applications that a regular user needs (internet apps, office, pix, media, etc), whereas I've clocked a standard biz vista install at over 6-8 GB, over 10 once you start running the updates, and this is even before I've installed a single piece of software, like an AV or Office suite

An iPod makes for a GREAT portable live disk (will post a follow-up write-up later).
Basically, you can use UNetBootIn to turn you media player into a liveUSB disk.
* backup your iPod's data (I have a 5th-gen)
* get hold of a Ubuntu system, liveCD if needs be, with a working network cable connection
* boot into Unbuntu
* in a terminal: `sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install unetbootin && sudo apt-get upgrade && df -h && unetbootin`
* Pick an OS online, or from a locally-stored media (I recommend Linux Mint 7 32-bit, for ease of use, compatibility & a pretyness factor)
* load the live-booter onto your iPod. This only COPIES data to the device, without overwriting existing iPod
* reboot the system into GNU-Linux/Ubuntu/Mint, using your iPod as a boot device.
* accessing the data onthe iPod is an exercise for another day, but this is still a cool party-trick

There you go! Now you're able to boot up with your own OS wherever you go & can install Linux/Ubuntu on any system of your choosing.
root responsibly... ;)




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