[SATLUG] $200 Laptops Break a Business Model

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Mon Jan 26 21:00:32 CST 2009

> Since everyone else has been commenting on the service and not really 
> addressing one of your main questions below ;), I'll chime in here.
> I recall a few e-mails being passed around the group (I think it was 
> last year or maybe 2007) about very small computers along with a link of 
> one someone had found and wanted opinions.  That prompted me to do a 
> little looking around and I came across an ultra micro computer that 
> looked to be barely big enough to plug in an RJ-45 jack at one end, and 
> maybe about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long.  I don't recall if it had a USB port 
> (I think it might have), but I can't believe it would draw more than a 
> couple of Watts given it's size.  It supposedly ran a stripped-down 
> version of Linux from a solid-state data storage chip, if I remember 
> right.  Unfortunately, I don't seem to have kept a bookmark to where I 
> found it, but I _can_ say it's out there.
> Also, I came across some other very small computers that were just big 
> enough to house a CD/DVD drive with a fairly full complement of I/O 
> ports (ps2 for mouse & keyboard, DIN-15 for video, USB, etc.).  I would 
> expect the power requirements to be pretty low here as well.
> Al Lesmerises

Thanks very much Al, a USB2 port would be essential, and some possibility
to hook up a keyboard and mouse as well as screen would also be desirable.
solid state storage would be great - microdrive/cf card compatibility would
be great. I see they now sell 64GB USB sticks, and a 32 GB CF card sells for 
around $75. Upgradable RAM would also be nice. The small computers I found
were actually quite spendy (> $1,000), the lowest cost I found so far is the 
8.9" Acer Inspire with the Intel Atom for $270 (free s/h):

Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz, 1GB DDR2 533 SDRAM, 160GB HD, 512KB L2, 8.9" WSVGA (1024 x 600), Acer CrystalBrite Technology, Intel GMA 950, Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g, Linux Linpus Lite.


This is very close to what I am looking for (and I bet I can use it 
on a plane, even if the person in front of me puts the backrest down).


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