The Adventures of Scout (my MSI Wind U100x Netbook)

Ok last night I wailed about * Scout’s (the name of my MSI Wind U100x) minor current of electricity emanating from the VGA port issue which I’m glad to report has dispersed as quickly as it appeared, indicating that it might merely be a static electricity situation as I was using it on my bed (the location of which may or may not be relevant but I suppose is worth noting anyway).

At any rate, said issue is gone now, with no small measure of relief. This prompts me to proceed with discussing the unboxing and preparation of said Scout. First off, le box unwrapped:

With all the contents, including the Warranty Booklet, a CD which I haven’t opened yet, 3 Cell Battery (couldn’t find a 6 cell so this is a pain), Warranty Card, Power Supply, CE Compliance Booklet and a gift voucher offering a discount on Norton 360 and a Linksys Wifi G Router for only P2,099 (which is actually a sweet deal).

Anyway, moving on. I slip on the battery..

Open it (yes I’m doing this on my bed for lack of space).

.. turn it on, and I’m greeted with the Free DOS c: prompt, which is of course, useless.

Fortunately with my trusty 1gb. Kingston USB Drive..

.. plus Ubuntu’s handy ‘Create a USB Startup Disk’ feature and a KDE ISO image I recently downloaded for this purpose..

.. I proceed with creating a Kubuntu USB Startup Disk. After which I plug the USB before booting Scout like so:

.. Press F11 while booting Scout, which results in a ‘Please select boot device’ screen. Naturally I choose the USB option.

And voila! Scout is now ready to install Kubuntu!

It takes a while though, but everything’s pretty automated.

Finally nearly an hour later, I have Scout running the very elegant and smooth looking Kubuntu.

Which is as everyone who’s ever done this knows of course, is far from over. First you have to update it:

Then you have to fix it so it works and looks the way you want it, such as how I’m installing msttcorefonts here:

The result? After two days, I’ve decided that I do not want KDE not because it’s not pretty and good to work with (it is!), it’s just that it’s too different from what I’m used to and represents a too – big adjustment for me.

I’m not trying to duck the haters here, I think KDE is great as it is beautiful. I’d have stuck to it no doubt if I’d have started with it, but Gnome + Ubuntu is where I’ve started, I have 8.10 on my desktop PC (as I showed earlier), and so am not keen on re-learning stuff just to use it. At the end of the day these things aren’t toys but rather tools we use to get things done, and so I need to make things as easy and predictable for me. Hence goodbye KDE and hello..

.. Xubuntu, which is what I used on my previous laptop Karen (may she rest in peace). It’s very close to how Gnome works and faster.

So that’s it, that’s my report on my new MSI Wind U100x named Scout and how I got it unboxed and working. A work in progress from which countless blog posts will no doubt, result from hereonwards.

Incidentally, *’Scout’ is from the lead character in To Kill a Mockingbird, whole name: Jean-Louise Finch, which I’m finally reading. It is without a doubt one of the most fascinating storytelling efforts I have ever encountered. A true work of art packed in a P175.00 purchase off of National Bookstore, stuffed in my backpocket. A fact whose irony has not escaped me whilst reading it in transit from MOA and back, trudging along the dirty highways and busy pathways of our polluted and over populated Metro.

There’s something special about reading a book that transports you to a different time and place. I had come to look forward to these long trips to work just to read that wonderful little book. With it, radios can blare on their pathetic garble, people can elbow and push their way in and around you. In my mind, I’m in 1950s race – divided Alabama, absorbing the trials and tribulations of a 9 year old girl.

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