In the Mac/PC wars, I’ve occasionally commented that my primary computer is a Mac because it’s simply more useful to me right out of the box, and it takes less work to add the rest of what I need. Well, a few weeks ago the Lenovo outlet store had a few refurbished (~30% off retail price) S12 netbooks with the nVidia ION chipset that replaces the pathetic Intel shared graphics that the Atom comes with, and while I waited for it to ship, I started assembling things to install.
[Update: in the essential column, add GetGnuWin32, the wrapper for the GnuWin32 packages. Better than CygWin, less conceptually disgusting than Portable Ubuntu]
Bare minimum to make a computer more than a toy (supplied with every Mac):
Equivalent to extremely useful supplied Mac software:
Other stuff that helps make a laptop useful:
I still need to find something that will mount ISO images as file systems, buy a cheap bare drive to use for backups, and bump the RAM from 2GB to 3GB, but I’m set for now. I wish that the ION version of the S12 didn’t replace the ExpressCard slot with an HDMI port, and I’d love to find a Bluetooth mouse that holds up under regular use, but this is a nice little cool-running carry-around machine, with reasonable performance and battery life.
Oh, and I installed the Nanami OS-tan theme that shipped with Japanese pre-orders of Windows 7. :-)