Ok, so i decided to buy myself a netbook mainly for school. I think they are neat, and portable. HP pre-loads the model with what they call “HP MI” or “mobile internet edition” I’ve played around with it a fair bit to give my thoughts on it.
Off the bat i like that it has a very simple/clean interface. It is definatley designed to get work done. OpenOffice works great, and couldent be better. but, not much else is included by default, and HP seems to have crippled this version of ubuntu. Extra packages from the OpenSource community are almost impossible to install. However, with a bit of navigation one can find a root terminal at >Settings >Advanced >Root terminal.
Ugg. It is a terminal, but it’s a pain. But, on the other hand it’s a terminal, and lets you install (via apt-get) extra programs that you might need/want. I’ve chosen to install a few extras such as KolourPaint, Xsane, & Vinagre.
I tried installing GIMP, however GIMP was unfortunatley not optimised to fit on low resolution netbook screens. I always find myself using a paint program, so Kolourpaint was an acceptable alternative. It’s basically a Microsoft Paint clone, and doesent do very much, but get basics down.
I did install Ubuntu Netbook Remix to replace HP’s MI. It was very nice. I liked it a lot, and would have continued to use it, however there were sound problems and ethernet problems with my hardware. I experimented with a force upgrade to the new karmic 9.10 version, however i ran into MANY bugs, and it was basicially toasr. But, it allowed me to test out HP’s hidden FAT32 recovery partion. I am pleased to say the recovery went very well. I never knew a recovery mode be made for a linux OS.
For the moment im back to using the HP MIE interface. It’s not bad. But, not great fot an intermediate user like myself. What makes things a little even harder is the fact that this is the LPIA architecture and not the familiar 32bit or 64bit system. In other words “normal” ubuntu packages do not install. But, i’ve found a work around by using ALIEN to repackage i386 .deb files into LPIA .deb files. It should be noted that HP also left out the package manager from the default ubuntu install. One can correct that by issuing “apt-get install gdebi” from the root terminal. http://www.matt-helps.com/using-alien-to-convert-rpm-packages-to-lpia-deb
At this exsact moment i am experimenting with other programs not available from the repos. Such as MATLAB, LabVIEW, EagleCAD, Kurso De Esperanto. I am pleased to say that the normal .run file provided by the EagleCAD guy’s woorks just fine on the LPIA netbook. MATLAB seems to run well too when run from the root terminal, however it should be noted that i have never used MATLAB ever before. But, i figured i might as well get in installed since i will be taking many Engineering classes in the future. It has been tedious converting the .rpm LabVIEW packages into LPIA .deb files. I have to use ALIEN, and must complete it in basically 4 steps per package. Ugg. Again Matt’s instructions help out. http://www.matt-helps.com/using-alien-to-convert-rpm-packages-to-lpia-deb