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Got myself another Mini

 
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CaliforniaMini
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:27 pm    Post subject: Got myself another Mini Reply with quote

No, not a Mac Mini, but a Compaq Mini 110c - same as HPs Mini 110. I've been considering a netbook for a while, mainly to take to work to use for online classes. I've got a MacBook, but the size and weight is a bit inconvenient (almost have to pack a separate bag) and its too expensive to take everywhere and risk breaking or getting lost or stolen. So for me, a netbook is cheap insurance and convenience. I can just throw it in my lunch bag and go.

What I really was considering was a MSI Wind U100-432, mainly for its reported quality and ease of installing OSX. I kind of also wanted bluetooth and n networking. And then I ran into a deal. Last week Best Buy and Sprint had a combined promotion. A new model Compaq c110 for 99¢ when you sign up for their wireless broadband service (which I have been considering doing anyway). So, I got myself this neat little machine for $9.08 out the door - 99¢+tax+$8 California recycling fee...not a bad deal at all.

I've got 14 days to decide if I like it and Sprint's service and decide if I want to keep this or not. Most of the research I've done involved MSI Winds, so I had to start all over again with HP. And then figure out how to get it to play nicely with OSX. Unfortunately this is a newly released model, so I kind of had to be a guinea pig and learn as I go. But I found great information on an HP Mini site on how to do this. And luckily, it worked the same as it does on the older model HP Minis.

Everything works out of the box, except built-in mic and audio output is low, but that is common on HP models and is being worked on. No wireless cards to change or anything like that. One drawback is its tiny 16gb ssd, and i'm not about to spend hundreds on a larger one now. But it does have a card reader, so there is a bit of room for expansion, and ssd drive prices are coming down. So far I am happy with it. Build quality is good, HP customer service is good, price was super good. I'll report back as I get to play with it a bit more.
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Mercury TiBook 400MHz, 1GB RAM, 120GB HD, Airport
Mini 2.16GHz C2D, 2GB RAM, 320GB 72k RPM HD, 1TB External, Slingbox
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Mini 2.0GHz (Early 2009), 4GB RAM, 320GB 72k RPM HD


Last edited by CaliforniaMini on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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devo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not familiar with the Compaq Mini 110c, but that sounds like a good deal. I've seen a few of those carrier bundles around in the paper and stuff. In fact, I just a commercial on TV for the Dell Mini 10 with Verizion before jumping online. So what's the service going to run you a month from Sprint?
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CaliforniaMini
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regularly its $60/mo. I'm on an employee pricing plan which makes it $50/month, but if I apply my employee discount it will be about $45. Unfortunately Sprint, like most others have a 5GB/month cap. I'm just playing with it for the moment to see how much better this works versus tethering from my phone. I haven't made a decision on it, although I do like my new Mini.
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Mercury TiBook 400MHz, 1GB RAM, 120GB HD, Airport
Mini 2.16GHz C2D, 2GB RAM, 320GB 72k RPM HD, 1TB External, Slingbox
BlackBook 2.2GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, 320GB 72k RPM HD
Mini 2.0GHz (Early 2009), 4GB RAM, 320GB 72k RPM HD
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devo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's (tethering) what I'm waiting for from AT&T. That isn't bad though.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good for you California. Netbooks are awesome.

I have an Asus 1000h and I like it very much. The 10" size is perfect. As you mentioned any bigger can get very cumbersome. I've bounced my netbook around in the truck, from hotel to hotel for about a year now. If it got lost, broken, or stolen, it wouldn't be a significant loss. If it were a MacBook, I would have to give it so much more extra attention that I really don't want to be bothered with. I give the netbook about as much attention as my $8 calculator. This is how I like it when I'm on the road.

I'm exaggerating a bit, I still take care of the thing it still looks like new, I just don't baby it. Sometimes my notebook bag ends up in places that I would never leave a Macbook ie. set-up on the desk in a hotel room, stuffed behind the back seat of a pick-up truck with 2 other guys rig gear piled on top. In an unlocked locker at work. Bag left on the coffee room table at work. It's great to be able to subject the netbook to such environments. It really allows me to get more use and enjoyment out of the thing.

I will be taking my netbook camping in 2 days. This is something I would hesitate doing with a MacBook. I'll be using the built in SD card slot to offload images from my camera to view the pics. I might even watch a movie on it if we get bad weather. If it gets a few drops of rain on it or smoked out by the campfire, I really don't care.
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strollin
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had an Acer Aspire One netbook for a few months now and love it. I didn't go with the small SSD, mine has a 160G hard drive in it. I bought mine specifically to use when traveling in my RV and leave it in the RV for the most part. I have a Verizon air card plugged into a router and the Acer works great with that combo. It has a built-in card reader that allows me to DL pictures from my camera's memory stick.

I liked my netbook so much that 3 of my kids (all college students) now have netbooks to use at school.
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
I'm exaggerating a bit, I still take care of the thing it still looks like new, I just don't baby it. Sometimes my notebook bag ends up in places that I would never leave a Macbook ie. set-up on the desk in a hotel room, stuffed behind the back seat of a pick-up truck with 2 other guys rig gear piled on top. In an unlocked locker at work. Bag left on the coffee room table at work. It's great to be able to subject the netbook to such environments. It really allows me to get more use and enjoyment out of the thing.

I took my Asus 1000H to work almost everyday last year and it still looks like the day I bought it. That thing is a rugged little bugger. Coming with that neoprene case and blue cloth didn't hurt matters either. I know Apple likes to rag on Netbooks for being junky, but they ain't talking about this one.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

g5g5 wrote:
Bandit Bill wrote:
I'm exaggerating a bit, I still take care of the thing it still looks like new, I just don't baby it. Sometimes my notebook bag ends up in places that I would never leave a Macbook ie. set-up on the desk in a hotel room, stuffed behind the back seat of a pick-up truck with 2 other guys rig gear piled on top. In an unlocked locker at work. Bag left on the coffee room table at work. It's great to be able to subject the netbook to such environments. It really allows me to get more use and enjoyment out of the thing.

I took my Asus 1000H to work almost everyday last year and it still looks like the day I bought it. That thing is a rugged little bugger. Coming with that neoprene case and blue cloth didn't hurt matters either. I know Apple likes to rag on Netbooks for being junky, but they ain't talking about this one.


I think it is very well built. I write off comments about netbooks being junky, but I always reference the comments to my 1000h. Perhaps some others are junky, but not this little guy. The neoprene case is fantastic. It really protects the surface well and allows you to throw the netbook in any bag you choose. I don't know why more people don't just buy the 1000h, it has LED backlighting, N, bluetooth, built in SD card slot, it's sturdy, it has a good keyboard, it looks good, it's made by a reputable company, it comes with the great little neoprene case. I think it is about $100 more than the others but it's been well worth it.
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Bandit. The newer models even have a better keyboard than the ones we have. My only real complaint about the 1000H is with fan noise. It can get sounding like an angry bubble bee when the fan kicks on. Turn the unit upside down and the noise goes right away. It must have a real cheapo or poorly designed fan housing.
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