This is a series about the Linux OS on netbooks, but we need to remind ourselves that these devices aren't personal computers. The personal computer is a machine you work on. Netbooks are essentially machines you work through, out into the Cloud. It shouldn't matter what the operating system is. Or the hardware. Ideally, all …
But for the Linux newbie moving from Windows, they will miss catching up with their favourite TV programs via ITV, Five, Sky and the like. yes, there are ways around it, but not ones to be tackled by a newbie. They will also miss their beloved iTunes.
I know too many people who have been caught out with a EEE or an Aspire thinking Linux will give them the same out of the box functionality as XP or Vista
"The Important Bits"
Oh dear oh dear oh dear.
You know how Linux is case-sensitive? Well how about slapping the sub-editor who "typeset" those erroneous initial caps into your list of commands?
It is present working directory
you can tell who came in on the GNU bandwagon (though note they haven't stolen the acronym just left others to misinterpret it).
But, at least man is being shown so kudos for that.
Oh, it is not hard to get DVB working, just a kernel recompile away.
If it is your first night with unix, then you have to compile.
Dunno. When I bought my second eeee701 locally in Finland, I was specifically told not to expect XP/Vista performance.
So, I've said the same to everyone I've shown my eee to. Mate of mine didn't listen (even tho' Id lent him the box overnight) and gave it away!
I've said before, it does what it says on the tin, no more. (Using it in a pub in Oulu to write this, BTW)
Open Office quite good
My environment is often internet free, which rather dents the Cloud idea. Open Office does work well, but I await with interest information on any alternative approach. Keeping my desktop and netbook synched would also be a useful topic.
re: Newbie disappointment
Uh, they have a telly.
Why are they wanting a PC as a telly? Especially one with a 9inch screen?
re: Newbie disappointment
Uh, they have a telly.
Why are they wanting a PC as a telly? Especially one with a 9inch screen?
PS out of the box, XP doesn't given them these either. Nor does Vista (which you can't FIT in a netbook). Heck, XP comes with bugger all and can't take it either on a netbook.
"Oh, it is not hard to get DVB working, just a kernel recompile away."
Hauppage DVB tuners are supported AS A MODULE. No kernel recompilation.
Now try to get your VLB graphics card working under Vista.
... or as I heard a salesperson in Tesco say "it uses some different system and won't run MSN Messenger"
Is that the best response you could come up with? You twunt.
Re: desktop/netbook syncing
I've been using unison ( http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/ ) to keep my desktop and laptop synced. It takes a little while to set up, but isn't platform specific (I sync between ubuntu and OSX, but I believe it's got a windows client too) and is very flexible.
re: Newbie disappointment
Think that’s why there was rumours around that 80% of the Linux based netbooks were having XP installed on them inside the first month. I know the ones I've sold personally have had most returns to get XP installed onto them thanks to iTunes. Guess it makes perfect sense why Apricots going XP only on them. Saves the user hassle.
Love it or hate it, Joe Blogs consumer knows XP as its so dog ancient now it's pretty entrenched in their minds. They aren't to fussed about anything else be it Vista or Linux.
At least I'm not a cowardly twunt.
Ukrainian man pages?
man-pages-uk contains man pages translated into Ukrainian. For American man-pages, try man-pages. If they have been translated to British English, you would find man-pages-gb.
If iTunes does not support Linux, that is their problem. There are plenty of alternatives. For legal DRMless music, try www.play.com.
For synching, I use rsync. If you have a fast network connection to your desktop machine, you might prefer to log in to it remotely (one of the options when you are about to log in on you laptop, or if you start a new session).
If you are concerned about being locked into a cloud, and openoffice is a bit too big for you laptop, try abbyword or koffice.
This 80% returns of Linux laptops rumour is just FUD. According to Jerry Shen (CEO of Asus), the figures are about equal for Linux and XP. Are 80% of XP machines being returned?
To get the same 'out of the box' functionality as an XP or Vista machine from Linux, I recommend deleting most of the software, removing half the memory and posting you paypal account details on some news groups.
I use Pidgin when talking to an MSN using pal. There is me on my wee EEE, he is on his dektop machine in Hungary, works fine.
I've used the EEE for the BBC iPLayer too
i do work on my eee pc but not in a cloud
"Netbooks are essentially machines you work through, out into the Cloud."
Well I do some web development on my eee 901 but I do not intend to store data in a cloud (ever) . I also use my laptot to watch AVIs in bed.I will not be using itunes either (ever) -VLC media player will do for me. I learned quite a bit about using Linux such as installing applications ,understanding the file system ,etc. , but I needed to get on with some work rather than learning a new OS so I installed an nlited version of XP .Windows 2k did not cut it -wireless support mainly and I could not get the webcam working (not that I need it much). When I get some time I will set up Linux on an SD card and have a dual boot setup.
Re: @Anonymous Coward
Mark: "At least I'm not a cowardly twunt."
Really? Then maybe you'd like to give us your surname?
No, I thought not.
Major improvement on chapter one
... so much so that, if I didn't make my own "working on" 'puters I would now be in the market for an EEEEP. 11/10. (yeh okay - the "UpperCase issue" highlighted above is a bit of an oversight but with our input and a little work I think you have the makings of a damned good PDF help file).
The cloud is fine, until you find that you've no wifi and want to modify a document.
Synchronising to the cloud is the answer, not relying on always having access to it.
Unison would be hard work though, it's a shame there's no linux folderShare client.
Applications are more important than the OS
Unfortunately to tell the average computer user "Don't use ITUNES" and buy your music from play.com and use linux, when they are locked into ITUNES with DRM'ed music bought from the ITUNES store, is a little unrealistic.
Whether we like it or not applications are more important than the operating system to most users. User's don't talk about "word processors" and "Media Players" they talk about Microsoft Office, Open Office, ITUNES etc. Unless core user applications can be ported, or emulated you won't get a large number of users using linux operating systems...
re: Applications are more important than the OS
What are you on about? iTunes isn't the application you want. The AAC from the iTunes store is what you want to play. That could be done by Amarok and the users wouldn't care.
Office isn't why MS Office is used at work: the documents in that format are what you want MS Office for.
There are only a few programs where it is the applcation is what you want. Examples are Maya 3DSMax. Applications where the task is so complex and the output so generic that the only discriminator is how the app operates.
re: Anonymous Coward
You first you mealy mouthed coward.
if I remember rightly, ls is short for list schema. Also, isn't more the M$DOS equivalent of the *NIX more command ?
re: re: Anonymous Coward
Mark: "You first you mealy mouthed coward."
Okay then. My surname is 'Bellend'.
Re: Open Office
Instead of Open Office, do it the real Linux way and use Emacs (or Vim) and LaTeX for word processing and presentations (pdflatex with the beamer class and an PDF viewer) and a "real" programming language for calculations (instead of a spreadsheet).
iTunes on Linux
As far as I'm aware iTunes works with CrossOver Office. At least iTunes 7,3 works with Wine on Linux - http://www.wine-reviews.net/applications/itunes-73-on-linux-with-wine.html
Not being a fan of DRM ridden overpriced players I wouldn't know if the latest version of iTunes works (although you can still upload MP3s to an iPod.
Now if I could find a way of putting music on my HiMD Minidisc rather than using that crappy Sonicstage software (oh hang on, Minidisc's are DRM ridden with crap software too!).
Wow. Did your parents ever hate you.
Can see why.
What *is* this cloud thing?
Why would *any* sane person ever want to entrust their data to some nebulous philosophy? My data, my PCs, and that's where it stays. I have enough problems with network-stored data that's suddenly unavailable if I don't have a network at work.
And why assume it's not a device that people will use to compute with? My AA1 (1G/120G) has plenty of power to do what I need - document preparation, audio/video, software development, navigation, hardware design... sure, I paid the windows tax; some of the apps I need are only available in windows (anyone know a linux equivalent to Autoroute that includes maps of all of Europe, plus routeplanning, plus gps tracking?). At some convenient time, the windows partition will be shrunk and kubuntu will be added as the primary OS.
Meanwhile, the AA1 replaces an old, hot, and noisy tower with approximately the same performance, and sits nicely under the external keyboard and monitor.
re: re: Anonymous Coward
>Okay then. My surname is 'Bellend'.
Are you sure, you sound more like a Gobshite to me.
Back under the bridge troll.
Getting back slightly on topic, when I plugged my Nano into an Ubuntu machine at work I was rather surprised and pleased to find it discovered it immediately and popped up Rhythmbox to manage it. iTunes has become to blecherously slow and unstable on XP that I can barely bring myself to use it these days.
So much for man - whats wrong the gnu replacement 'info', which is already in the on the Aspire, and is on the other two machines, and the documentation is generally more up to date/availble than man pages on linux.
I must be getting old ...
>But how did those old Unix guys remember all those esoteric commands?
Uh ... Because there weren't as many commands in the old days, and as we went from "young" to "old" we invented stuff as we needed it?
Remember when DOS fit on a single floppy and was extremely easy to memorize? How big and complex was the last version of "DOS" (Win98SE)? Those of us who followed the DOS -> Win trail over time didn't find Win98SE to be all that difficult.
And again, what's with all this "cloud" stuff? Write it in vi, and then type-set it in whatever you use for type setting. (Or "copy & paste to Word (OO) & make it look pretty" if "type set" is too technical.)
The Ukrainian man pages made me giggle, too :-)
re: re: "re: Applications are more important than the OS"
Hi Mark. Me again (No surname - a la Pelé, non?).
Yup, I'm flexible on Office Apps for .doc or .xls. And OOo is multi format, so no bother.
I hear what you're saying about the 3DS Max "niche".
People can say the same for the Photoshop and AutoCAD "niches".
Some might claim the (multiformat) GIMP is a sufficient replacement for PS. I'm fairly keen on Paint.NET (whilst aware of it's limitations). But neither are gonna get close to competing with PS as well as Firefox has done with IE (as we've already discussed this one).
For better or worse, those Win exclusive niches are adding up, eh?
FF (and Opera et al) users can, and do, cajole the more innocent folk away from IE for their own good. I've installed it on my bosses 98SE machine and renamed the desktop shortcut "Internet" without him noticing! I'd guess that a good chunk of FF installs are on parents (etc) machines, done by the family techy type looking for an easy life.
FF is multiformat and was almost unanimously seen as superior to the appaling IE6 by anyone who knows a smidgen, with a painless transition for those who know much less but might have heard the evangelical chorus.
Yet with all it has going for it, it's still *easily* in the shadows of IE in terms of % users. Even on W3Schools user figures show usage as 49% on IE6+7 and 43% on FF (with Safari and Chrome on 3 apiece, Opera on 2). IE beats FF on W3Schools ferchrissakes.
Linux *is* the format (distros notwithstanding). The transition is not *nearly* as slick as IE to FF. And, in any case, the few (but solid) benefits just aren't being bought into by the user on the street. Even those that "want to believe" have yet to be convinced.
I'm afraid these newbie guides and the touchy Linux zealots act as an advert for XP. And in the current marketplace, the various toy Linuxes on netbooks are only doing severe harm to the cause.
The best thing that could happen for Linux adoption is if Ubuntu Remix (or some other common version) is adopted as the alterna-OS that everyone can get behind.
Do you think that the moderate real world take up of could have occured if there were a whole bunch of different flavours of browser and each one required you to use a command line and "howto" to do anything other than bookmark a page or do a Google search?
>>>MS had killer success with their PC = Win = IE = internet shenanigans
>>>Apple have simply replicated that trick the notion that iPod = iTunes = portable digital music
>>>Linux hasn't even come close to managing the promised landgrab of Netbook = Linux = truly mobile laptop
Finally, a quote:
"...from now on, you're operating the way I say...We're gonna get organized and I'm gonna handle the works. It's gonna mean twice as much dough for everybody and half as much trouble...Running beer isn't a nickel game anymore, it's a business and I'm gonna run it like a business..." - Scarface, but it might as well be Gates or Jobs.
"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." - Mahatma Gandhi, and maybe Linus and honest Lintards also?
Stop pushing the Cloud
"As a netbook user, Google Docs should probably be your word processor of choice too. It's a Cloud application, and it also maintains your data out on the net, and this is ***how netbooks are meant to work***."
I can see conceptually why a netbook article is the perfect excuse to start pushing this Cloud thing, if you're a journo who thrives on buzzwords. But once you get your netbook, and start using it, the practical user will realize that tiny computers are computers too. They're a glorious revolution in form factor, not in software architecture.
apt-get comes from Debian, Yum is fedora. Google docs can be synced and edited offline using Google Gears, same for your emails . For a lighter office app use Abiword. Amsn has most of the functions in windows messenger. My Eee 701 came with Xandros , that lasted a day before I installed Debian on it.
They aren't "Windows niches". These programs are available for Windows and most not for Linux (Maya is, as is lightwave and PS CS3 works under Crossover Office, probably Wine too now). These windows niches are getting smaller aren't they.
There's no need for these to be on Windows either. It used to be all these programs were NOT on Windows. Windows still (somehow) managed to get in front. Maybe because the "need" for these programs are very much a niche market and their "need" overexaggerated to "prove" someone is right in knocking Linux.
Linux doesn't CARE about "beating Windows" and this is one of the major reasons it IS beating Windows and Microsoft cannot find a way to fight back: Linux isn't playing the game.
A little nitpick
> sudo yum list | grep man
This can be replaced with a more effective:
sudo yum list man\*
"Linux doesn't CARE about "beating Windows" and this is one of the major reasons it IS beating Windows and Microsoft cannot find a way to fight back: Linux isn't playing the game."
 You wouldn't know it by listening to it's fanboys (you included).
 Not in any meaningful way beyond servers.
 You underestimate the sneakiness of the Beast of Redmond when it's cornered, which it isn't yet, even after Vista.
 Linux is still in the changing rooms deciding which "flavour" of kit to wear.
You're playing with language and circular, rhetorical agruments and you're losing focus.
After the first episode of this series I asked for Linux's "Killer App" or USP.
User friendliness and security are both total red herrings. Windows is superficially functional and forgiving (though, personally, I fcuking hate those pseudo-folders like 'recent'). Free Avast/AVG/Antivir is a fine and unobtrusive enough setup for most folk these days (and so ubiquitous now, that most folk would probably feel uneasy riding Linux 'bareback'). Minumum spec isn't a meaningful enough bonus on a like-for-like installation. The price argument is weak when XP on an SCC is effectively £20.
For me, this was probably the best answer:
"...in response to the "killer app" question - for me, it's the package manager. Synaptic, apt-get, yum, whatever comes with your distro of choice. Saves me from having to download an installer, put up with its inane "install wizard" prompts, etc, etc. Dependencies are automatically installed. In a single command and a matter of minutes (possibly seconds), I can have virtually any application I'd want. And then Update Manager keeps them all patched. Uninstall/purge is just as easy, and unneeded dependencies are automatically removed. It all can be done through a gui if you'd like. It makes Windows/Mac systems look downright archaic."
The idea of a (sufficiently comprehensive) package manager is a sound one. And Linux arguments would do well to focus on it rather than bleat about marginal security issues or spec requirements.
To really focus back on this article, the broken Linuxes found on netbooks/SCCs are doing Linux a disservice. The fact this article exists is proof of that. Manufacturers need to align behind Ubuntu and slap it on these machines right across the board and then we might see some credible levels of Linux uptake.
 or some other friendly proper flavour of full Linux. Difficult to get a consensus, I know, due to the nature of the beast, but it's a necessity.
 except, shortsigtedly, they won't. They each seems to see their own broken Linux as an opportunity to create some pseudo-proprietary appliance feel. But with each broken fork that gets bought by an unsuspecting member of the general public, Linux's wider long-term credibility is damaged.
 as in close to the modest FF uptake, as per my earlier point.
Just because I call you and other MS zealots out on the bullshit doesn't mean that I think Linux should "win".
It works for me, now, this instant.
What I don't want to see is it excluded (DRM and TPM would do that nicely, MS's patent calamities and MSOOXML would do it too).
That you can only think of people wanting something to be *allowed* to compete must mean that they want it to "win" shows how poor a human being you are.
"That you can only think of people wanting something to be *allowed* to compete must mean that they want it to "win" shows how poor a human being you are."
If you don't want something to compete to the point of "winning" then surely you're happy for it to simply exist. Which Linux (and those involved in it) is fully *allowed* to do, and is doing, currently. What's the problem?
I haven't been evangelising this "win" you speak of. I can see some benefits, just not for everyone out there...yet. But I'm perfectly happy to see a situation where Linux increase it's market share. And more so than you, apparently.
I've identified the reasons why Linux isn't more popular and I've come up with suggestions as to why that is and how it could change.
Whereas you've simply resorted, time and again, to wordplay and personal insults - claiming simply that the user is at fault for not wanting to join your ghetto in it's current state.
Don't take it personally though, you're not the only one this applies to.
Yes MS have been super-snidey with their MSOOXML shenanigans. And they've had plenty of shady episodes in the past. But that has little to do with the issue at hand, other than simple fact that systems come preinstalled with an (MS) OS because MS offer discounts to bulk resellers. That's life. If people (en masse) hated it so much, they'd choose something else. But they don't. So they don't. With IE->FF, *some* do, so *some* do.
 A few Apple buyers and a handful of Ubuntu converts does not a revolution make. Most of the people who opt-out of Vista will buy-in to XP in the first instance rather than opt-in to something else (Linux/OSX). Further evidence of Linux's limited appeal in it's current state(s).
For clarity: Pre-install Ubuntu onto these SCCs and there's a chance things might pick up for Linux. But I'd suggest that current levels of Firefox adoption represent a model of the the upper bound of any uptake rate.
Mark: "Just because I call you and other MS zealots out on the bullshit..."
MS zealot? Did you even read W's posts?
Get your head out of your arse.
I can say I'm a millionaire.
Doesn't make me one.
W can say he's not an MS zealot, but his actions speak otherwise.
And stop trying to get your head up my arse, pervert.
" You wouldn't know it by listening to it's fanboys (you included)."
A quote from you, that.
The rest of the figures are pulled from the place where the sun shines not.
Ubuntu isn't all that Linux is.
"Instant On" Dells use Linux to play the media on the laptop without booting. Linux is used widely on many desktops across the world, MS would not be "sneaky when cornered" if it were not so, since they would not be "cornered" to be "sneaky" within. That they pay millions to African countries merely to STOP them using Linux, more millions to suppliers of educational machines to put Windows on there to replace Linux shows that they ARE sneaky.
And it's all for nothing.
If MS stopped being cunts and just let the systems work, I doubt whether MS's offering (excepting Vista) would get less than 60% of the market. For some people they do stuff the way people like it done. Hell, some people like "Strictly come dancing". If MS were still fighting to "win" at that point, MS will very likely sink quickly.
And MS are still stuck in the Old Guard of "if someone else wins, we lose".
MS cares deeply. A single loss is them "losing" and that don't happen, bro.
Arrogance and complete twattery. If they grew up, their share would drop a fair bit soon. If they stay infantile they'll lose their share later but they'll lose ALL of it.
<quote>To get the same 'out of the box' functionality as an XP or Vista machine from Linux, I recommend deleting most of the software, removing half the memory and posting your paypal account details on some news groups.</quote>
That's just made for a .sig block. May I?
Again you refer to "winning".
And you're using insults (if fanboy offends you, I'm deeply sorry), rhetorical arguments and you're straying off topic by focussing on MS 'not playing fairly'. And some stuff about Strictly come dancing...?
I'm not talking about Linux powering quick-boot media players on laptops, or on toasters, or wherever. We're talking about Linux on PCs/Laptops. These Atom/1GB RAM/xxGB HDD or SSD specced netbook/SCC machines are capable of much more than that which is offered by the crippled, disparate flavours of Linux, as sold.
I have a similarly specced desktop machine running XP from a few years ago. It runs 3DSMax5, AutoCAD2002, OOo, Solidworks, Google Earth, Paint.NET, PS, Paint.NET...yaddayadda. No probs.
I wouldn't concieve of replacing XP with one of these crippled Linuxes. I would concieve of plumping for *buntu (or PCLinuxOS, or maybe another flavour like Mint or openSUSE).
If you want to play at unmasking these broken Linuxes then with try a similar exercise for your own enjoyment, then that's fine. But me not wanting to doesn't make me some kind of MS lovin' Linux refusenik. If MS released an equivalently locked up version of Windows for these SCCs there'd be screams of blue murder.
Why should a decent SCC be crippled? I can understand the £99 Elonex type machines being locked down to just internettery. But £200-300+ SCCs capable of much, much more? Surely they deserve (and can totally handle) a proper version of Linux. No, it doesn't have to be Ubuntu (but seeing as that's the posterchild, gets decent press, and consistently heads the Distrowatch charts, you need to put up a good case against it).
>"W can say he's not an MS zealot, but his actions speak otherwise."
I use, and sing the praises of; Gmail (and despise Hotmail), OOo (but not Office), FF (not the shoddy IE) Notepad2/++ (not Notepad :-) ), Paint.NET (oooh, MS link here!) (+ some PS Elements, not GIMP).
I could use Linux, but I use the pre-installed XP/Vista. I can just about see some Pros to Linux, but am not totally convinced of making the jump *yet*.
MS Zealot? Hardly.
"the figures are pulled from the place where the sun shines not"
As stated, browser usage stats are taken from W3schools. Source: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp
As they point out, it's hardly a relative IE love-in over there, which is why I used their figures. Yet IE6+7 still sees more use than FF. Just. Though the long term trend is a positive one for FF. They have OS usage too (http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp) but you might not like what you see. And that's on a techy site.
£20 for XP on an SCC is an easily arrived at figure when you compare like for like (as close as possible) machines such as the Dell Mini 9, AA1 or EEE. Source: dabs, ebuyer, Amazon, laptopsdirect, dell...
Gents - All this mud slinging is getting boring.. Can you take it over to ZDNet where it'll be more appreciated ?
On the one hand, the author says, "...these devices aren't personal computers. The personal computer is a machine you work on." On the other, he says, "But all the SCCs I've seen come with Open Office..." Now OO.org does have a reputation for being a bit of a slug but, if it runs on all of these SCCs, surely we are talking about real, usable, general-purpose computers here. What more could you want unless you have real number-crunching applications? Computer manufacturers (and Microsoft) want to make a clear distinction between netbooks and laptops for obvious commercial reasons - but why does the author want to?
Paris? Because she has the only icon with a question mark.
@W and W3Schools
There's a hell of a lot of proof of the poor validity of that site for "proving" Windows penetration.
Why are MS so shit scared for a start about Munich? UK Schools (BECTA) telling schools to use FOSS, Russian schools having to use FOSS or pay for it out of their own pocket (to avoid teachers being arrested for buying software that turns out non legit), Venezuela, OLPC and Classmate PC's being PAID to have Windows put on over Linux (with payment being "marketing contracts" for feck all) and so on, nearly eternally..?
Either MS are cowardly little girly-men afraid of tiny little mice or you're wrong and they know how much Windows is losing ground.
"There's a hell of a lot of proof of the poor validity of that site for "proving" Windows penetration."
Wha? The original reference was to FF/IE usage. And it was in no way biased toward MS. Or are you seriously suggesting that FF is used more than IE (even on W3Schools)? The pointer to OS usage figures was an aside in the followup. Why would W3Schools beef up MS OS usage but not MS browser usage? I invite you to either come up with evidence how/why W3Schools has an MS bias AND a provide a credible alternative on browser usage, OR retract your spurious claims and try to FOCUS on the points being discussed.
"Why are MS so shit scared...[of a reduced market share]"
OK, we'll go with "shit scared" if you insist. MS income is heavily reliant on sales of their Windows and Office products. Without those sales, they're shafted. Hence protectionist measures like MSOOXML and DRM. Whereas the money making SaaS-based companies (e.g. RedHat) are less reliant on market share of a specific piece of software (i.e. Linux) because they could concievably offer their services in relation to another piece of software. But I won't pretend that I know the ins and outs of the RedHat business model.
You bang on about MS DRM 'this', dodgy source for OS usage 'that', MS are bullies 'the other'.
But you continually dodge my core assertion that the current implementation of Linux on SCCs is flawed because it unnecessarily cripples the hardware and does not not meet the mass-market expectation of what an SCC spec machine should be able to do.
No, XP isn't perfect. But does a better job of meeting that mass-market expectation than having to hack open a crippled version of Linux.
I agree with the following portion of the article:
"...design goals seldom accurately second guess the actual use to which things like these are put. We are treating these netbooks as low-cost PC - we are messing with the operating system and expecting to tailor them to our individual requirements. The legacy of the PC invites us to do so."
I disagree with the following portion of the article:
"A corollary of this is that it would be idiotic to use these below-the-waterline adventures of ours either as evidence that netbooks are inadequate out of the box."
Wanting to install something outside the provision of the crippled netbook Linux ring-fence is not "below-the-waterline".
The article goes on to say " - or that Linux sucks". No, Linux doesn't inherently suck. Obviously. Hence Linux's continued usage. But these crippled versions do suck. Obviously. Hence the need for an article like this one (Which is actually a "crippled Linux newbies guide" rather than a "netbook newbies guide" as hinted at by the URL).
Pre-install a proper FULL version of a popular Linux flavour on SCCs and Linux SCCs will fare better (but only within the bounds of). That's all I'm suggesting, ferchrissakes.
Which part of this assertion do you disagree with or not understand?
Netbooks are available with a choice of XP or Linux - consumers are able to choose. Many will opt for Linux because the hardware's (slightly) cheaper. They will almost certainly find their purchase entirely adequate for their internet access needs, which are what these devices are for, whatever OS they use.
These kind of users are not got to be installing software, extra hardware because (in most cases) they have all they need on board already - a notorious exception being the Acer Aspire One's lack of Skype.
Yes, people like us install apps, tinker with the OS, mess about with the hardware, but many, many netbook buyers won't and don't want/need to.
Anyone who *does* want to do that will need a guide. It doesn't matter whether their netbook has one of the default distros, or comes with Ubuntu, Debian, SuSE or whatever. I know lots of technically adept people who nonetheless have no experience of Linux. Giving them a helping hand is what this series is about.
Turning it into an XP vs Linux slanging match is both silly and a perfect example of the immaturity that drives people who make the decision to try Linux away from the 'piss of, you stupid newbie' cliquey Linux forums.
Stop ridiculing people because they haven't made the same choices as you.
Photoshop doesn't run on Linux and you need/want to run Photoshop? Buy an XP machine. This is not a difficult decision to make, it's not a failing of Linux that Adobe won't produce a Linux version of Photoshop. It's no big deal either way. It's a prosaic computer purchase decision not a statement of faith.