Subject: Re: usability of netbsd on hpc's like mobilepro 750+?
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Miles Nordin <carton@Ivy.NET>
Date: 01/05/2001 14:30:09
I have the MobilePro 800 + 1GB MicroDrive. It's just a regular computer,
I mean it doesn't feel any different than any other NetBSD box. Except
of course for the novel experience of actually being able to fit my laptop
on my _lap_ for once. My only gripes are with the hardware itself,
not the port:
o substandard telephone-quality audio will never play Vorbis files
o touchscreen is quite bad, almost as bad as IBM Gerbildick pointer.
It thinks you are still touching even after releasing the pen, which
can be very confusing. But it is not worse than a trackpoint.
o the penalty of this awful touchscreen is mondo screen glare. I thought
the touchscreen was such a brilliant idea---probably just needs quirks
Then, there are problems because you are using a notPeeCee:
o Linux binary compatibility is no longer a crutch for using proprietary
o Certain interesting compilers/runtime-environments are unavailable,
like clisp and Java.
There are things I thought would be a problem and aren't:
o Speed, lack of FPU. doesn't seem to hamp rme at all. scp is fast
enough, and xterms of course are always great.
o passive matrix screen. It is passive, but it is _really nice_ passive.
o PCMCIA compatibility. actually more of my cards work than in the
Dell 8000 or Tecra 8000. I had a lot of problems with those. Of
course, no cardbus on hpcmips.
Lastly, my favorite feature is something I didn't even think of originally:
o MicroDrive fits in my pocket. no need to worry about crypto keys
or journal entries getting stolen. Also this is the expensive part
at US500, so the MobilePro is basically a disposable screen/keyboard.
If it gets lost, stolen, dropped, soaked in rain, I am out US$430
and no data loss.
And, when you say, ``fits in my pocket,'' think of the many ways things
fit in there. A wad of cash or a student ID fits in there one way. A
cigarette lighter or MicroDrive fits another way. A Callunacard or a
junky celfone like Nokia 3120 fits there in an entirely different, uglier
and less comfortable way. Carry a Handspring Visor, and you may as well
stuff a Nextel phone down your other pants leg. Or better yet, skip the
Nextel and go straight to a big red brick.
The details matter. hpcmips is a very good idea, not a toy.