Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Windows did try the same as Android and iOS with Windows RT, thankfully that was a disaster. Netbooks are ridiculously useful, I used to have a 15 minute bus ride to work with an Asus EEE and would manage to fill that 15 minutes with active moonlighting development time every day. The work I did on that bus became the frontend for what now 10 years later is a $50m company.

I realise I'm making a slightly different point as I'm purely talking about netbooks/laptops. But having the full power of an OS on a tablet is definitely the way to go.

Certainly that's one of the bad points about iOS and Android they are so locked down that you have to jump through hoops if you wanted to use them as a work machine.

For my current job I bought myself a $350 refurbished Thinkpad (T430 8GB SSD core i5), this brings me in all my income. You can compare this to my nephew that is paying $1000 for an iPhone X because he got bored of his iPhone 8.

Further to that I bought exactly the same spec Thinkpad for my 5 year old daughter. The Thinkpad T-series are great because you can pour a litre of liquid over them without problem [0] plus they're built like a brick, so basically perfect for kids. My daughter immediately covered the grey brick with shiny stickers and gave it a name (she has an iPad, but that's always just called 'iPad'). It has the full capability to do everything she'll ever need in theory for the rest of her life/career. Further to that it's got Ubuntu installed and I can then install Sugar [1] for her to use (the same used for One Laptop Per Child).

The possible drawback is that it doesn't have a touchscreen. But with my experiment of buying a laptop with a touch screen I found I pretty much never wanted to use the touch screen, it's a slower interface than keyboard and mouse. You want the screen in front of you at arms length but then you have to reach with your arm to touch the screen.

I can now teach her over the years what it means to have real freedom with your software and hardware.

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U5n2WaMMHo

[1]: https://sugarlabs.org/




Sadly, netbooks seem to be gone. Even chromebooks are full-size, full-weight.

Do you know of termux.com, for linux without rooting? It's basically a linux distribution, adjusted for android's slightly odd filesystem. The app itself is tiny, and you install from its repository. e.g. there's latex, youtube-dl, curl, vim, clang, ecj, python, ruby, perl, lua, erlang etc.

A bluetooth keyboard completes the DIY linux netbook... sadly, bluetooth keyboards are also almost gone, presumably as people adjust themselves to "touch" typing.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: