Is This the End of Minisog?

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Originally uploaded by sogrady.

Sometime in the past two days – or perhaps longer, it’s impossible to say – my faithful three year old Thinkpad x23 picked up a crack in the bottom of the screen casing. Whenever I open and close the laptop now, which is frequently given the fact that I have standby working working via APM, I get a rather ominous sounding crack.

I was discussing this with John Simonds from IBM AR, and he said that it’s something that could be patched up via support, and he’s likely correct. But the question is as I’m running out of space and an Open Office compile on the 866 processor takes some 14 hours, is it time to relegate minisog [1] to a test machine status?

While I doubt any decision is imminent, I’m interested in any suggestions you all might have for a replacement machine. Requirements are simple: I want the most powerful ultralight I can find. 12 inch screen is ideal, but it can weigh no more than 4.5 pounds. Just as important, the Linux support has to be excellent (yes, Mac fans, my adoption of Linux likely rules that platform out). I’m considering the latest X series model, but am wondering if anyone has any fluky boutique suggestions for me or other ideas. No, the OQO isn’t an option.

[1] In case you’re curious, yes, all of the machines in the office are sog derivatives; I’m just that creative.

Update: More from Don Box here – his thoughts on the x40.

Update 2: One of the journalists here at PartnerWorld has one of these, and while I can’t quite bring myself to consider it, it may well be that Coté’s right. The thing is sweet.


  1. I was going to suggest a Toshiba Portege Tablet, but I haven't got a CLUE if there's good Linux support on them or not.

    I've been enormously satisfied with mine (aside from a weird dust problem that you occasionally have to take the protective cover off to clean).

  2. Come on, you know you want a 12" PowerBook! It's so sleak and wonderful. Nothing but good things could happen ;>

    (Nevermind that whole Linux angle.)

  3. Danno: so you like the tablet? apart from Scoble, i haven't run across too many evangelists of them. my big problem is that i'd *always* rather type than write by hand, as my printing both sucks and is slow. a tablet, therefore, is probably not the ideal form factor for me, but maybe i'm missing the point.

    Cote', Cote', Cote'…c'mon now. you just *know* i can't go to OS-X 😉 in all seriousness, though, i do like the hardware. and the OS. i'm just addicted to Linux applications and Portage – i can't give it up.

  4. Oh, yeah, I'd personally always RATHER type than write (My handwriting is also slow chicken scratch), but writing and being able to spatially differentiate ideas just provides too much utility. (I also find that recall is improved when writing things out by hand. I don't know if there's any Cognitive Science research that backs that up, but it's been my experience).

    Plus, I find that I tend to take notes that I actually READ when I use my Tablet. Of course, I'm sort of the target audience for the device (College Student that needs to be able to draw graphs and stuff), so maybe my opinion is skewed for them.

    It really depends on what you use your laptop for. I code on my desktop rig and use my Notebook for notes and mobile communication and stuff like that. So it just seems to work out.

    One thing that's particularly nice about the Tablet is using the slate format and reading long text articles. It just feels much more natural and booklike.

    PS: If you go tablet, get a convertible, any other choice isn't really a choice at all.

  5. Noooooooooooooo! Not miniSOG!!!!

    I wonder if Atari makes a laptop…

  6. Danno: thx for the add'tl feedback. i'm struggling with the divide between what i need as a Linux platform for compiles and such and the desire to be able to drag everything i need around with me everywhere. not sure where i'll end up, but maybe i should give the tablets more of a chance.

    Floyd: i'd think you'd be more appreciative of everything that mini's done for you. your presentation at CU, for example?

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