[IAEP] SoaS on What Machines?

Caryl Bigenho cbigenho at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 15 00:35:29 EDT 2010

Hi All...

I have decided that I really should invest in an inexpensive windows  laptop or netbook to use in my volunteer work with Sugar Labs and OLPC. I have been looking online and visited one electronics store yesterday (Fry's).  Here are my thoughts...

I would prefer an ultralight netbook with a good webcam so I can travel with it and use it for Skype. 

If I get a netbook it will have to have 3 usb ports so that I can plug in an optical drive that can burn dvds and cds.  The one I am looking at draws it's power from 2 usb ports so I would need another to be able to plug in a usb stick or drive or anything else usb (unless I get a usb hub... rather not).

I don't like windows in general, but If I have to have it, would prefer xp. Linux is nice, but the easiest instructions seem to be for Windows machines and very few of the educators I will be working with will have Linux.

At Fry's they let me play a bit.  I put an SoaS usb stick in an MSI and it booted on startup with no problems.  It would not start on a Gateway. With no optical drive, I can't rely on a boot helper cd.  There were other, more expensive machines, but time was short so that was all I tried.

I want to spend as little $$$ as possible. After all, I have a perfectly wonderful MacBook and this other machine will be used mainly for my volunteer work. The Mac will run SoaS, with a boot helper disk, will burn cds and dvds, but it is much easier to create the SoaS sticks on a Windows machine. 

So here is the question...  Which netbooks and laptops will work with SoaS on a Plug-'n-Play basis like the MSI did?

Do you know of any other electronics store chains that might let me come in and test SoaS on their floor models?

Do you know of any place to get a really good price on these machines? 

My son (a Computer Educator Extraordinare) said he likes Toshiba, Samsung, and either Acer or Asus but has not tried Sugar on any of them. He definitely advised against getting the MSI. 

I would love to get this before the 24th so I would have it at the InfoTech exhibit. Any and all suggestions would be welcome.


P.S. There goes my tax refund!

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