mini-mi-in-da-house

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.

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19 replies on “HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition is here”

    1. To be honest, I’d advise writing up a Live USB image of Xubuntu, Lubuntu, or maybe Arch Linux, instead of Mi. The more I use Mi the more frustrated I get with repository limitations, dpkg hassles, and the overall inability to customize the UI.

  1. I picked up the Mini 110 Mi about a week ago with the optimum hardware features. I’ve been a Linux user for a couple of years now (Debian Lenny with GNOME on my HP desktop) and so far I see no need to dual boot or install another OS on this little guy. The Mi OS is lightweight and efficient and the stock GUI is sleek, easy to work around, and pretty customizable if you know your way around a Linux machine.
    It boots in about 15 seconds as well, which is nice. Thumbs up, HP.

  2. Is there a way to secure the unit with a password, or does it always boot directly into the GUI?

    1. When you first launch the system you’re asked whether you want to
      require a password at boot and resume or not. But as with most Linux
      distros you need to create a password that you use for things like
      installing and removing applications.

  3. @Steve

    The HP MI software will install on other Mini 1000s. There is a tutorial for how to get/install the image on myhpmini.com

    -J

  4. Brad:
    I’ve been looking forward to your comments on the HP “Mi” OS. If you still have the loaner, I’d really like to see a boot time and battery life comparison, as well as how internet video (e.g., Hulu, YouTubeHD) fare against each other. Thanks

  5. Brad – it seems you can take the user away from Linux but you can’t take Linux away of the user.

  6. Hmmmm, can you get Synaptic with this tool? IF so, then it is time to rock that box…
    Can upgrade as you would like the following:
    Suggested upgrades to the Ubuntu Hardy:
    -OpenOffice.org 3.1 (when and if it comes out in March)
    -Kill SPOT (instead get DigiKam & use KipiPlugins, Gwenview half done for KDE 4 ain’t got)
    -Kill Evolution and instead go with Thunderbird and Synch Kolab add-on
    -then connect to G-MAIL IMAP server use with Thunderbird add-ons again
    -then rock this unit with CrunchBang (or another OpenBox variant) for real speed
    -WINE and then co-use/shre the real Solitaire (SOL) with a dual booted windows install)

    OK – HERE is a question… Hmmm, will the HP Linux install tool then work on:
    HP- 2140 (both the 1024×576-SD model AND the 1366×768-HD model)

    — Did HP do anything to make the Ubuntu not work right (to favor WIndows at all)?

    1. Yup, the stripped down Add/Remove programs feature from Ubuntu is
      assigned a space in the Mi Edition software interface. But you can
      fire up Synaptic from a terminal or the run box.

    1. According to HP, it *may* work on other systems, but it’s only been tested on the HP Mini 1000. There’s no official driver support for other hardware.

  7. Looks like this is THE new netbook for people who are or who are considering becoming Linux users. Also am glad that this new machine has a list price under $400. How does the hardware compare with the new Acer?

    1. The hardware on the unit I’m using is identical to the Windows XP unit
      I reviewed a while back. But HP will offer Mi Edition software as an
      option on a variety of models, with 8.9 inch displays, 10 inch
      displays, 8GB SSDs, 60GB HDDs and so on…

      1. Speaking of the display sizes… I saw the Mini 8.9″ at Staples recently, and the bezel around the screen is ginormous, it looked awkward actually, but the 10″ is gorgeous.

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