So look what I just got my hands on: An HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition. Actually, I’ve had a loaner HP Mini 1000 in the house for the last few weeks. But it came preloaded with Windows XP. But today I got the tools to load it up with HP’s special blend of Ubuntu Linux. The tools aren’t quite ready for prime time yet, but in a nutshell they let you download a disc image that loads the Mi Edition software on an HP Mini 1000. If you purchase an HP Mini Mi Edition, you’ll be able to use the tool to restore your system to its factory default settings. If you have Windows XP or another OS installed, the installer will wipe it, reformat the hard drive, and install HP’s custom Linux distribution.
My understanding is that HP will post the tools online sometime in the next few days.
I’ll be posting more information about the HP Mini Mi Edition over the next few weeks. But if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. I’m pretty impressed with what HP has done here. The user interface makes it easy to launch programs or adjust system settings with just a few clicks. The home screen is very web-centric, providing you with thumbnail previews of a few of your favorite websites as wellas a bookmark toolbar and web search bar. There are also shortcuts to your music and photos directories.
Underneath the shiny black interface, this operating system is built on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron. While HP says the command line interface has been disabled, it hasn’t. It’s just not highlighted, since the idea is to make the computer easy to use for people who are new to Linux. But as I discovered at CES, if you hit Alt+F2 and type “gnome-terminal” in the box, a terminal will in fact come up. So while Mi Edition is designed for Linux newbies, it should be accessible to people who know there way around the terminal as well.