Documenting a virtualization project

Experiences in Virtualization

Give the gift of Mini Note

Posted by martijnl on February 21, 2009

My contact at ETC was kind enough to loan me an HP 2133 Mini Note for the VMworld conference. I aim to use the Mini-Note as my primary machine for blogging during the conference so I don’t have to lug around my business laptop (it’s 3,5 kilo’s).

Because it came with Vista default installed I looked around for a more lightweight OS and tried to get Xubuntu installed on it. There is one catch with the 2133 MiniNote (compared to the Mini1000 for instance) and that’s the graphics driver. The 2133 uses a Via Chrome9 graphics adapter and you have to use the “live xforcevesa” option at boot to force it to use that driver. That is easier said than done when you can’t get a working installer on your USB key via Unetbootin. My 2133 stubbornly refused to boot from USB when I did that. I was able to build a working LiveUSB drive with LinuxMint and Xubuntu via the excellent instructions and tools from PendriveLinux.

Apart from a small issue getting the wireless to work this is working much faster than Vista although there are some issues with windows being too large for the screen. I have also stripped Vista of every performance hogging feature I could find (indexing is off, system restore is off, all visual effects are off) and the performance has improved to an acceptable level. If you are in the market for a machine like this I would recommend going for a unit with a slightly higher resolution so you don’t run into the window problem and go for a unit that has an option to downgrade to Windows XP or a native Linux unit.

The system specs for the specific Mini Note are:
Via C7-M CPU @ 1,6Ghz
1GB memory
120GB hard drive
Vista Home Basic (out of the box, this one has Vista Business now)
Resolution: 1024×600
Weight: 1,2kg


2 Responses to “Give the gift of Mini Note”

  1. Duncan said

    That’s one of the reasons it called a netbook, I don’t think the resolution should be a problem though if you’ve got the time to fully install and configure it.

    Next Ubuntu version will have a better netbook integration suite and maybe cloudos is worth installing by then.

    I want to pick up a dell mini 10 but I’m also still hoping apple releases a 10″ macbook.

  2. martijnl said

    The workaround for the windows being to big is to click alt+f7 and drag the window until the buttons you need are in the screen.

    Learned that yesterday 🙂

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