Hi! I'm Tanner.

I'm a software engineer at Apple. I write here occassionally.

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My Netbook

I’ve never used a netbook before. They always been something of an inferno laptop to me. I saw it as a wannabe laptop. Too small, underpowered, and iffy design. In other words, not for me.

Or so I thought.

Over the weekend, Dad told me he had a small Dell Inspiron Mini netbook that I could use as he had no use for it. I said I would take it, because I’ve always wanted a little computer to load Ubuntu on and play with.

After receiving the netbook on Sunday afternoon and tiring myself out playing the finale of Humans vs Zombies, I finally had a chance to play with my netbook. I spent the afternoon loading Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 onto the netbook which did not take very long to do at all.

The only problem I encountered along the way is that the default edition of the Ubuntu Netbook Edition does not come with the proprietary drivers needed for the wireless module in the netbook. Yeah, I could have used a wired internet connection, though I had messed up the registration required by Georgia Tech to connect any device to their wired internet. In short, I was stuck with a internet-less netbook for a few hours until the registration figured itself out and I could connect the netbook to the internet. Due to this, I decided to call it a night and made a decision to fix the internet in the morning, which I successfully did.

After making the netbook usable, I reached a moment where I could only think “Now what?” I have had this thought before when installing Linux on an any device I own and I really didn’t have an answer for the question. Though after playing with Ubuntu on the netbook for a bit of time, I really came to notice that it was really nice to have just a portable platform to surf the web or chat with friends when I didn’t feel like bringing my full-out Macbook Pro.

In others words, having a netbook is great for when I don’t need a blown-out laptop and don’t want to use my iPhone for browsing or chatting. This may be kind of obvious, but a netbook really lays between a desktop/powerful laptop and a smart phone. I really did not think that it would be as useful.

Now, I don’t have much software loaded up on my netbook thus far due simply to the fact it is a small, portable, low powered device. Below is a list of some of the basic software/mods I have done to the netbook with Ubuntu.

Software Installed:


I do use the Gnome window manager instead of the special Ubuntu Netbook window manager. The netbook windows manager just seemed slower and very anti-multitasking. Plus I was used to the default Gnome appearance.

In the end, I’ll take my netbook to class instead of my MacBook on somedays, because sometimes I don’t really need all the bells and whistles that come with my MacBook for all the increases in size and weight. Life doesn’t have to be as complicated and advanced. Sometimes, the simple things are better.