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bought MSI Wind
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Fox
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:27 pm    Post subject: bought MSI Wind Reply with quote

A computer store near Toronto had one of these, and it was black, not pink. I stopped in to see it on my way to do another errand, and I surprised myself by buying it. It was more than $200 more than the Acer Aspire, but I thought the larger display, more RAM and larger keypad would be worth it. The $579 costs seemed like nothing compared to the cost of any mac.

I've been playing with it all weekend and I really like it. I got the Windows version (only one available), but I installed Ubuntu as a dual boot and have been loading it up with software and configuring it. The size and weight are so convenient; I'm sure I'll use it a lot. I'm tempted to install Leopard on it as well (I have a family pack), but for now I want to see if I can get by with just Ubuntu, seeing that this isn't my main machine. By the way, I was able to get the wireless to work in Ubuntu without much trouble, and it easily connects to my home wpa2 protected network. I highly recommend this mini laptop.
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iMav
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, that's three 123mm members with recent netbook purchases. When's the 123netbook site launching? Wink
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Aquafire
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iMav wrote:
Hey, that's three 123mm members with recent netbook purchases. When's the 123netbook site launching? Wink


That sounds like a good idea.. only, I fully expect that we can cater for them in this here nice forum...

Cheers

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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By the way, I was able to get the wireless to work in Ubuntu without much trouble, and it easily connects to my home wpa2 protected network. I highly recommend this mini laptop.

I would assume it's using an Intel nic? If so, Intel pretty much support linux fairly well.
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats Fox! I would really like to have one of these things. How are you finding the keyboard and trackpad? I've read the keyboard on the Wind is really nice. There seem to be more complaints about the trackpad.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trackpad is OK, but the clicker is way too stiff. The left and right click work well and there is no split between them; like the Apple mouse, but it takes way too much pressure to operate. Tap works OK; I haven't tried setting up right-click or scroll on the pad itself.

Two other flaws, not show-stopping. The first is battery power, which seems to be only two hours the way I was using it. I'm sure that can be extended with conservation features, but I don't know how much. Second, the Wind comes with a cheap case, but you can't easily fit the plug-in into the case.
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Last edited by Fox on Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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Fox
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ghostdawg wrote:
Quote:
By the way, I was able to get the wireless to work in Ubuntu without much trouble, and it easily connects to my home wpa2 protected network. I highly recommend this mini laptop.

I would assume it's using an Intel nic? If so, Intel pretty much support linux fairly well.

Actually, it's the Realtech card that it came with. It didn't work out of the box, but I found instructions here for compiling the driver. Realtech apparently updated the driver, and I was able to get it here. I've had no trouble with it; it even works after being suspended. However, it apparently won't work in OSX should I try to install that, and I would have to buy an Intel or one of two other brands known to work if I try that experiment. If I did put on OSX, it would be more to see if I can do it than out of necessity. I'm sure I can get by on Ubuntu for anything I'd use the Wind for.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great news, Fox. I believe that Scooper is still waiting for his after ordering from Amazon some weeks ago.

g5g5 wrote:
How are you finding the keyboard and trackpad? I've read the keyboard on the Wind is really nice. There seem to be more complaints about the trackpad.

Engadget says that MSI have changed the trackpad that's fitted to the Wind. I don't know if this is because of supply problems or manufacturing issues. Confused

Fox wrote:
However, it apparently won't work in OSX should I try to install that, and I would have to buy an Intel or one of two other brands known to work if I try that experiment.

Yes that's what I've read. This article says that this "can be fixed by swapping out the Wind's Realtek-made Wi-Fi card for a Broadcom-based unit which Mac OS X will recognise." However, I've not seen any indication of how difficult that swap is to perform...
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Two other flaws, not show-stopping. The first is battery power, which seems to be only two hours the way I was using it. I'm sure that can be extended with conservation features, but I don't know how much. .

It sounds like you got the three-cell model. You should go into the Power Options in the Control Panel and make sure the HDD is set to spindown. That might give you a little more life.
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
Engadget says that MSI have changed the trackpad that's fitted to the Wind. I don't know if this is because of supply problems or manufacturing issues. Confused

Interesting JB. I haven't heard about that one.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

g5g5 wrote:

Fox wrote:
However, it apparently won't work in OSX should I try to install that, and I would have to buy an Intel or one of two other brands known to work if I try that experiment.

Yes that's what I've read. This article says that this "can be fixed by swapping out the Wind's Realtek-made Wi-Fi card for a Broadcom-based unit which Mac OS X will recognise." However, I've not seen any indication of how difficult that swap is to perform...

I found an article on it yesterday (don't have it at hand to cite). Looks pretty easy to change both the wifi and the HD; just open some screws in the bottom of the laptop and then one screw inside for wifi and one for HD. RAM is easy to upgrade, too. Only problem mentioned in the article is a post under the wifi that can make potential contact with it. The article suggests that this post be removed.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

g5g5 wrote:
Fox wrote:
Two other flaws, not show-stopping. The first is battery power, which seems to be only two hours the way I was using it. I'm sure that can be extended with conservation features, but I don't know how much. .

It sounds like you got the three-cell model. You should go into the Power Options in the Control Panel and make sure the HDD is set to spindown. That might give you a little more life.

Thanks for that, g5g5. Since I'm using Ubuntu rather than Windows xp, I'll have to check that the equivalent setting is enabled. By the way, the Wind doesn't seem to get hot from use, unlike my PowerBook.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iMav wrote:
Hey, that's three 123mm members with recent netbook purchases. When's the 123netbook site launching? Wink

Charles, Brian - you might want to consider a netbook forum category, or one called something like "All things small and beautiful".

I don't think it's an accident that mac mini owners are attracted to these mini laptops. Same principle - good design in a small package.

I think Apple is missing a big opportunity here. I've been annoyed with them for more than a year for not making macs available in the sizes and model types that people have been clamoring for. This is what generated my interest in Linux and had I not learned it, I never would have bought the Wind. (I really don't like Windows!) But I would have gladly spent $800 on a similar unit made by Apple that was made to run OSX.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
I think Apple is missing a big opportunity here. I've been annoyed with them for more than a year for not making macs available in the sizes and model types that people have been clamoring for...

I would have gladly spent $800 on a similar unit made by Apple that was made to run OSX.

I'm in 100% agreement here, Fox.

The historical trend for putting faster and faster processors into notebooks has lead us to this point; my MacBook with a 2.0GHz processor now requires a beefy battery to power it for 3 or 4 hours which pushes the weight of the unit up to 5lbs (2.27kg).

Thing is, I don't plan on doing any 3-D raytracing or DVD ripping with it; I just want a notebook for editing text and viewing PDFs, and that's where a 1kg, 1GHz netbook would be perfect. And probably like yourself Fox, I can't justify spending £1300 on an MB Air.

So! Who's going to set-up an OS X/netbook website then? Are you up for that iMav? Wink
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Brian
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Charles, Brian - you might want to consider a netbook forum category, or one called something like "All things small and beautiful".

I don't think it's an accident that mac mini owners are attracted to these mini laptops. Same principle - good design in a small package.

That sounds like a good idea Fox. I think a great number of Mac mini and Cube owners are attracted to other small-form-factor PCs and Netbooks. I'll add something in this group of forums after our next DB backup. That should be tomorrow or Wednesday night. Maybe we'll even start a photo gallery....
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