[conspire] No more GNU HP Minis

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Nov 3 23:57:41 PST 2009

Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben at mrbrklyn.com):

> There have been companies with simply no contract at all with MS and
> things were looking up because people were buying and offered options at
> discount for identical machines without windows.
> Having a truly enormous heavy weight corperation like HP spearheading
> GNU based systems at discounts and on their website was big step forward
> for the average consumer.
> But heading into Staples today it seems MS is doing their best to
> reverse that but offering $75 for each of the net computers that have
> been sold off of a new netbook, ACER or HP, and the market is now bare
> of GNU/Systems again for netbooks.  Maybe you can get one from Dell, but
> Dells GNU offering have been BS IMO, hidden on their website, it just
> pisses me off.  I don't even like Dells.

Don already gave a pretty good interpretation on this:  There's a dance
that OEMs go through with Microsoft Corp., where they offer or threaten
to offer a Linux preload, get bought off in one way or another, Linux
preload either vanishes or is restricted or is well hidden, time
passes, cycle repeats.

Meanwhile, I still wouldn't want a preload of Linux or any other OS from
a hardware manufacturer.  (VA Linux Systems was a temporary minor
exception, because Red Hat with VA Linux Enhancements aka RH-VALE was
a substantial improvement over the RHL it replaced -- but I personally
nontheless tended to blow it away and put Debian in.  As did VA Linux's
IT department for all the IT-maintained company workstations, actually.)

So, you're griping over the disappearance, on your preferred big-vendor 
models du jour, of something I wouldn't want -- and frankly can't see
why you'd want it, either.

> I usually give those systems about 2 months before I bucher them to my
> liking.  The good thing is that I'm certain about all the hardware,
> especially with a laptop...or only really with a lap top since I but all
> my other machines Naked.

Again, all you're going to be guaranteed to know is that there is at
least _some_ sucky proprietary driver solution that sort of works with
_some_ release of the Linux kernel, possibly an ancient one.

For my money, being "certain about all the hardware" of a laptop in any
meaningful sense is something you get via research (starting with
Tuxmobil and Linux-Laptop.net) -- not from the hardware manufacturer.

> FWIW it is a HP Mini 110-1007NR with a broadcom bcm4310 USB controller
> and a Attansic ethernet controlls which I don't seem to have a kernel
> module for.

Well, it turns out that HP utterly sucks for bothering to provide
meaningful chipset information.  In attempting to help you research this
unit, I suddenly remember how extremely impressed -- in the wrong
direction -- I was about HP's published specs, during the time when I
was in charge of Linux hardware certification for a large firm here in
Silicon Valley.

Seems extremely likely, from various _non_-HP Web pages I'm seeing, that
it has:

Intel GMA 950 (shared memory) graphics, plus a Broadcom MPEG2 / 
   VC-1 / H.264 accelerator chip
Intel 945GSE Express motherboard chipset
Optional Broadcom 802.11b/g -- probably on miniPCI, or it might be 
   some HP-branded thing
Atheros(?) ethernet, unidentified as to model

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport/Machines/Netbooks says that a
Mini-100-family unit "just works" with Ubuntu Network Remix 9.10.

If you've got a Broadcom miniPCI wireless card in that puppy, you get to
have the cathartic experience of yanking that thing out and stomping the
sucker flat.  ;->

> I think there is an Ubuntu distro for it, but I'm really
> trying to get openSUSE to work on it.

So, load Ubuntu Network Remix 9.10, _jot down_ what lsmod, lspci, and
lsusb say, and doing the same sort'a thing with OpenSUSE -- preferably
with 11.2 RC2.

Anyone who tries to do Linux loads on cutting-edge, just-out laptop
models using anything other than spanking-new distro releases is
masochistic above and beyond the call of duty.  Don't try OpenSUSE 11.1.
That's _obviously_ going to have problems.  And I'll bet that's what
you're trying, right?

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