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new computer + xi3 review

I bought myself a present :) it's a tiny little computer: an xi3 x5a from newegg. it's like half a brick. cutest thing ever. can you believe computers used to be big?



it claimed that it would come installed with linux, opensuse 12.2, which I was very excited about!

then actually it only came with opensuse 11.4. firefox was 27 versions behind and unable to properly upgrade to the latest version, suse couldn't update itself. great.

so I tried to make a USB stick with opensuse 13x but it wouldn't boot to the usb. and I couldn't figure out how to get into the bios and TELL it to boot to the usb... I googled, and the manual said to hold down delete to get into it.

turns out they were lying, you hold down f2. I asked around at work and this is a semi-common knowledge thing, but I was pissed because I'd hoped my USB would work.

which leads to my second mistake... I dd-imaged an installation to the USB, not the live boot.

but FIRST I got into the linux boot loader grub and totally destroyed its ability to boot to the existing OS. I spent a long time screwing with grub commands and learned some things, like how to overcomplicate commands in grub.

let's just say it's been a learning experience. I like to use linux, like troubleshoot it for hours. that is not why I am here. so it's been a while since I had to get into all this crap.

what review do you leave on newegg when your new computer arrives a version behind what's advertised and has you up at 2am on a worknight trying to fix it?

but now that everything is up to date I have a nice little home box again, I was using this random used emachine that I don't even know where it came from. and yes I have my ipad for random upstairs surfing and pinterest and some blogging, but for big stuff I still need a desktop. web development and graphics, definitely. gotta run gimp and an html editor and three browsers at once... that's not something you can do unless you sit down and focus.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
randomdreams
Mar. 28th, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
Man that's cute... and man getting usb installs to work well can be frustrating. Since compressed images have moved past what a cdrom can hold, it's what I've been doing, but aieee. Some usb live image generators just don't work with some images, it turns out, and that's a whole different bowl of worms. My last one, I ended up finding a very cut-down kernel, installing just that with a bit of networking stuff, and then installing the rest of the os via network. Gah.

Beaglebones aren't exactly heavy lifters, but they'll run gimp and it's nice to have a computer that fits in your pocket but will still drive a big monitor.
betawriter
Mar. 28th, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)
This is very interesting! I'll have to show this post to Cliff, my husband, as he is All Things Linux. He forced me to install Linux on my home machine - well he installed it - after I got a nasty trojan from using Windows last year, and it's been okay, but there are times when I miss Windows TBH. I mean like sometimes things are such a hassle. Use WINE to do *this*, try to view a video on Netflix streaming and you have to go get the plug-in to do *that*, and you have to use the command line to figure it out (well not me, but him, I get frustrated and I'm like YOU INSTALLED THIS CRAP YOU DO IT).

I know I should just figure it out, it would be good for me, but dang it, I spend my work life figuring things out, I want my home life to be reading fashion magazines on the internet and cat videos sometimes, you know?

ANYWAY, yes, Cliff will be very interested in this lil' box up there, and yeah, that experience of yours sounds crappy.
elainegrey
Mar. 28th, 2015 08:34 pm (UTC)
My first computer in the90s was a linux install, but in the early 00s i move to OS X. I now worry it's nice unixiness is going to be hidden under all the iOS nonsense. I expect i'll be heading back to linux sooner or later: that little box is adorable. Sorry to hear about the unnecessary challenges along the way: i can't imagine any good reason not to allow OS updates unless there were some special drivers?
spacefem
Mar. 29th, 2015 04:33 pm (UTC)
well, every OS can update itself but only to a point... even the ios on apple products will run little updates, but when they released version 8 it was a Whole New Thing and it was like okay, go download and go through this step by step.

so the only reason the OS couldn't update is because it was so far behind, at 11 even though 13 is out, it was like "I give up".
excentric397
Mar. 28th, 2015 10:31 pm (UTC)
If they sold it to me under false pretenses, which this sounds like, I would send it back for a refund and tell them exactly what I thought of their business practices.
hitchhiker
Mar. 29th, 2015 07:32 am (UTC)
that is a gorgeous little device!
invincible
Mar. 29th, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC)
Omg that is tiny!
astrogeek01
Mar. 29th, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
EEEEEEE it's so cute!

Annoying about the linux version etc. I would leave a bad review for the company and a decent one now that you've got it up and running the way it ought to be. I haven't bought of newegg, though I was just looking at it. Can you leave separate reviews for the thing and for the company?
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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