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Netbook info

Solitar Page Icon Posted 2009-08-08 10:09 AM
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Hi all

I've seen a CE5.0 netbook that looks like a good bargain to mess about with

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Arianet+...

3 questions, if anyone knows:

1. Does anyone know the generic name for this, rather than aria's brand name?
2. Is there a BT USB dongle that would work with it (that comes with BT CE5.0 drivers) - one of those micro button sized ones would be ideal
3. Any hacks/mods that could be done? I have versions of Pocket Office 2007 that I'm sure could run in it etc

I use a WM6.5 PDA so am used to messing about and tinkering/hacking my gadgets

Cheers in advance
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CAuser Page Icon Posted 2009-08-08 4:55 PM
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Interesting netbook!
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2009-08-08 6:17 PM
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This one's been selling all over the place under lots of different names. Eg,

RazorBook: http://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=13850&po...

CnMBook: http://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=14202&po...

I believe the original name for it was the Alpha 400: http://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=13439&po...

I have the RazorBook, and while I had some initial issues with it, it's working nicely for me now. I believe that the problem was that the RazorBook's original ROM image was buggy, and technical support by its distributor, 3K Computers, left something to be desired. The CnMBook, at least, appears to have a better ROM image, and like the device in your link, it supports ActiveSync. (My RazorBook, on the other hand, seems to lack the synchronization files. )
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RTFM
RTFM Page Icon Posted 2009-08-09 4:15 PM
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Read the Q and A at the bottom of the page (there are 4 pages of Q and A's)
Bluetooth = no
usb dongles = no
usb hdd's = no
And the list goes on. Sounds rather useless to me. Still glad i decided to purchase the linux version (alpha400) over the ce version. It actually supports usb cdrom drives, usb sticks, usb 3g dongles, etc. The ce version? Nope, nada, zilch. Heck the ce version doesn't even come with an office suite. Useless.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2009-08-09 7:47 PM
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Well, we know you're no fan of CE anyway, RTFM.

Let's see - office suite? Some CE incarnations of this device came with the SoftMaker Office suite. (And for those that didn't, they can still install the H/PC 2000 package on it, thanx to cmonex.) And I bet it'll read USB hard drives just fine with the right mass storage driver (the Deje driver, perhaps?).
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Rich Hawley Page Icon Posted 2009-08-09 8:12 PM
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Do any of these netbook have flashable rom chips in them, or is the os stored on the sshd or what? A flashable bios maybe?
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RTFM
RTFM Page Icon Posted 2009-08-09 11:35 PM
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I dont 'hate' CE, it just doesn't offer as much as linux in the way of software (and free to boot). Linux also has more people actively developing for it and for more types of hardware. CE is decent, but i hate paying for software that should be free. Some apps are well worth it (redgear, softmaker office, tomtom to name a few), but why do most CE/WM devs feel they need to get paid for mostly shoddy software when open source devs do it for the fun of it, then release the code for others to find and fix potential bugs or even make it better? Makes no sense to me to pay for something i can get free (and updated more often) on a linux platform.

True "some" of them supposedly came with softmaker, but most didn't. The fact it's payware doesn't help either. You shouldn't 'have' to buy software for a netbook that should've had some sort of office built in by default. Isn't that part of being a 'netbook'?

I'm not sure about all the CE machines, but the linux machines have a flashable nand. I would think most of the CE machines would be flashable also. I know the razorbook is. There are already a slew of 'after market' distros out for the linux machines. If somebody could hack together a decent rom for the CE machines which actually had support for usb thumb drives, usb cdrom drives, bluetooth, 3G dongles, usb printers etc then i might consider one. Until then CE can't touch linux on these cheap netbooks as all those (except bluetooth) work out of the box with no hacking or anything. Just plug it and it works.

Cheers.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2009-08-10 3:09 AM
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Yes, Rich, the ROM is flashable.
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2009-09-03 2:53 PM
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RTFM - 2009-08-09 8:35 PM
You shouldn't 'have' to buy software for a netbook that should've had some sort of office built in by default. Isn't that part of being a 'netbook'?

I know this is a month old, but still... I don't see any Windows netbook come with MS Office; you always have to pay extra for it. As a matter of fact I don't think they even come with MS Works (which is a popular OEM-included office app suite for most other Windows PCs).

True most of the Linux netbooks come with all software built-in. But the emphasis is always on the browser; the office apps are secondary at best.

So to answer the question: no, having office apps built in is not part of being a netbook.

CE "netbook" (or smartbook) have built-in IE 6.0, which is their qualifier (altho it's far from a full-featured browser). Most have WordPad, and Office Viewers (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF). Altho again these aren't terribly powerful or useful, but they are there.

If you like freeware there are a few you can find for CE. It is true that for a featured word processor on CE you would need to purchase TextMaker, but as pointed out that is similar to buying software for a netbook running PC Windows.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2009-09-05 12:58 AM
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CE netbooks can also run Opera mobile, usually... (I would hope... with a bit of hacking perhaps)
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2009-09-06 12:15 AM
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If RedGear adds support for CE 5.0 then we can be sure.
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RTFM
RTFM Page Icon Posted 2009-09-06 4:56 PM
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Sadly CE's IE6 is crap compared to linux netbooks that come with firefox. Opera mobile isn't all that great either IMO. Also with linux you can easily build ANY open source browser. I've already built and packaged up Netsurf, Dillo, Firefox3, IceWeasel and a slew of text browsers for the alpha400/trendtac/razorbook etc and there are still 15 more browsers i could compile and install if i wanted to. CE was and still is too limited in the browser department.
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2009-09-09 2:05 AM
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RTFM - 2009-09-06 1:56 PM

Sadly CE's IE6 is crap compared to linux netbooks that come with firefox.

I actually wonder how much that is so. Simply considering the age of IE6, the new Linux smartbooks must have a more updated and compatible browser.

But how good are these really? Are they exact copies of the x86 version of Linux? How do they perform under these systems? Compared to CE IE6?

BTW I don't think Solitar is going to read this anyway, so we can stop the CE bashing now.
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