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Editor's Note: The Teo Netbook Hits the Road

Jun 05, 2010, 00:05 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

by Carla Schroder
Managing Editor

It's vacation time, hurrah, and your editor has two whole weeks to play. And to slip in a bit of work, taking the Teo netbook on a 2500-mile roadtrip through the wilds of Montana to give it the ultimate real-world torture-test.

Money's a little tighter than it used to be, so I haven't been buying new gadgets like I used to. I've been wanting a nice netbook, but have held off from buying one for various reasons. Like the Lenovo Ideapad, which I reviewed last year:

"A very sad, regretful thumbs down, because as much as I like this little computer I hate how Lenovo mis-markets Linux, and I refuse to pay for a Windows license when I don't want one. It's a stupid ripoff."

The nice folks at ZaReason, which is one of my favorite independent Linux OEM vendors, restored my faith in netbooks by sending me their tough Teo to review. Then they generously agreed to an extended loan so I could take it on vacation and really put it through its paces. Ordinarily I would lug along my big Thinkpad, but not this time. Little Teo is going to get a comprehensive road test. Webcam, roaming wifi, audio recordings-- this is going to be fun. I mean work. Yes, very serious work.

You know what I like most about independents like ZaReason? They get it. Dell, HP, Acer, ASUS, and all those other giants of tech treat Linux like it's the hardest technology on the planet. You, me, and thousands of other Linux users can handle routine updates and upgrades, installations, and troubleshooting. ZaReason, System 76, Emperor Linux, and all the other excellent Linux vendors support multiple versions of Linux and roll out new Linux releases without fuss. Dell, HP, Lenovo, and all the rest make a huge hairy deal out of grudgingly supporting one or two distros, and freak out at the idea that anyone would ever want to upgrade or change the defaults. Well excuse us all to heck for wanting to use our own computers.

Fie on the lardbuckets of tech, for we have better options. Have a good time while I'm gone, be nice to my substitute editors, and I'll see you in a couple of weeks!