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Thread: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

  1. #1
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    Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Anyone have experience with this laptop?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...=A97SL4X5I9WBB

  2. #2
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop


  3. #3
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    I bought one of these second hand from Amazon for £200 on Friday. Here are my first impressions:

    1. It looks great - minimalist styling, with no annoying flashing lights etc.

    2. It has a low profile and feels light. I could happily carry this around all day

    3. It's not flimsy, but it's not like a MacBook air. I'm going to buy a protective case for it. For walking around my home (watching TV, cooking, browsing before bed etc.), it's perfect.

    4. The screen is a good size and clear. Obviously, a higher resolution would be nice, but at this price, the only fair comparison is a netbook... And it's better than that. Also, it doesn't suffer glare, because it has a matt texture.

    5. The two biggest drawbacks are the battery life and the processing power. I charged it from 'new' for > 24hrs; and running windows it lasted 2hrs 20mins; running Ubuntu it has lasted slightly longer c. 2hrs 30mins.

    6. The processor is just slightly slower than I would like, starting firefox takes 5 or so seconds. It might have been chosen because the battery isn't great, but a dual-core (e.g. the Tegra 2 in the Transformer) would have been a better choice I think.

    7. I've installed Ubuntu 11.04 as a dual boot with a shared partition, and it works out of the box so far - wireless, keyboard, mouse, etc. I still haven't tried the webcam in Ubuntu.

    8. The hard drive is bigger than stated at 400GB. Personally, I would have preferred a much smaller SSD hard drive; and relied on my NAS for the serious storage.

    Overall, I'm very, very pleased with this laptop - it's a wake-up call for the major manufacturers, who seem to have missed this market for a cheap laptop that will do the non-gamer, simple everyday things well. Whenever I need serious power at home, I just remote desktop my tower, but for everything else (email, iplayer, word processing, web development) I just use this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Unhappy Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Just to warn people of a serious headaches I'm having with this system.

    Trivial stuff first: If you're using it out of the box, the sudo password is meenee. As is the default user.

    If you want to boot from a USB drive, you need to press F11 (that's Fn key + F9) to get a BIOS boot menu, otherwise you can't boot from the USB.

    Now here's the scary bit: it came installed with Ubuntu 10.10, but this is now Dec 2011. So I wanted to move to Ubuntu 11.10. Not having any data on it yet, I thought the easiest thing to do would be to wipe the drive and start over with a new system. So I put the new Ubuntu 11.10 on a USB and made it bootable. Then I booted, and selected the erase and install option.

    I've never had problems doing this on other machines. But it failed very quickly with the following error:

    The ext4 file system creation in partion 1 of SCSI(0,0,0)(sda) failed.

    I've tried to manually create an Ext4 (and failing that an Ext3) partition using gparted running from the USB key, but that fails too.

    So I have an attractive new laptop with a disk that won't take a file system. Of course the old 10.10 system it came with is hosed. So if anyone has any ideas around this, I'd love to hear them.

  5. #5
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by richselby View Post
    Just to warn people of a serious headaches I'm having with this system.

    Trivial stuff first: If you're using it out of the box, the sudo password is meenee. As is the default user.

    If you want to boot from a USB drive, you need to press F11 (that's Fn key + F9) to get a BIOS boot menu, otherwise you can't boot from the USB.
    OK, that would seem pretty normal to me. Lots of machines use a function key to get a boot media choice.
    Now here's the scary bit: it came installed with Ubuntu 10.10, but this is now Dec 2011. So I wanted to move to Ubuntu 11.10. Not having any data on it yet, I thought the easiest thing to do would be to wipe the drive and start over with a new system. So I put the new Ubuntu 11.10 on a USB and made it bootable. Then I booted, and selected the erase and install option.

    I've never had problems doing this on other machines. But it failed very quickly with the following error:

    The ext4 file system creation in partion 1 of SCSI(0,0,0)(sda) failed.

    I've tried to manually create an Ext4 (and failing that an Ext3) partition using gparted running from the USB key, but that fails too.

    So I have an attractive new laptop with a disk that won't take a file system. Of course the old 10.10 system it came with is hosed. So if anyone has any ideas around this, I'd love to hear them.
    I completely reinstalled 10.10 soon after I received mine, and I had no problems. I have very recently also installed Ubuntu 11.10 to dual boot with the 10.10, again no problems.

    Have you checked the hard drive? If you can boot into a alive session then with the Ubuntu CD you can at least use disc utility to check the hard drive? There are other tools of course.

    It might be worth checking that your bootable usb checks itself as having correct content. Also maybe try another bootable media with a different method of creating it. In principle also it will be possible to use a live CD in an external usb CD/DVD drive if such a drive is available.

    You also have two usb slsots, do they both give the same results?

    For the record, I have had no problems with this machine at all. Apart from - if you could call it a 'problem' - when people marvel at it and ask 'Who makes it?' I answer
    'Meenee'
    their face gets suddenly pale, and they change the subject.... Sad state of our retail indoctrination I think. Lovely machine. I hope you can get it sorted. If I can help, I will.

    hth

  6. #6
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Thanks for your interest, cantalan. I didn't expect anyone else to notice, except perhaps a potential buyer Googling around. And yes, this is meant as a warning saying beware of completely wiping and reinstalling on the Meenee. It might not go to plan. You are better off with sticking with the existing disk partition layout at least.

    I can boot into the live system from either USB drive no problem. The trouble is laying a filesystem down on the 320GB hard drive at all. Before fsck runs, it needs to have a filesystem to check. And the mkfs.ext4 command fails. As does mkfs.ext3 and even mkdosfs (FAT32) command.

    This evening when I tried to instal Ubuntu 11.10 I get a different error: Ubi-partman failed with exit code 10.

    I tried the Ubuntu Disk Utility (from the live OS), and the first self-test failed with a read error, although this might be a consequence of not having a filesystem down there.

    One more straw to clutch at: I recall when I first attempted to install Ubuntu 11.10, it flashed up what the pre-installed partitions were when it was asking whether I was sure I wanted to start over. They seemed pretty weird to me, including some non-allocated space and a small FAT32 partition, but I wasn't looking too closely.

    I wonder, could you have a look at the partitions set up on the disk and let me know what's there. I might be able to emulate it manually. Gparted should report what's there.

  7. #7
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by richselby View Post
    Thanks for your interest, cantalan. I didn't expect anyone else to notice, except perhaps a potential buyer Googling around. And yes, this is meant as a warning saying beware of completely wiping and reinstalling on the Meenee. It might not go to plan. You are better off with sticking with the existing disk partition layout at least.
    I think your warning is premature. There seemed to be quite a number of meenees sold including with windows and I have not seen any sign of strange problems.
    I can boot into the live system from either USB drive no problem
    good, that means your machine is basically ok and working - mainboard, usb, video etc and display.

    The trouble is laying a filesystem down on the 320GB hard drive at all. Before fsck runs, it needs to have a filesystem to check. And the mkfs.ext4 command fails. As does mkfs.ext3 and even mkdosfs (FAT32) command.
    The drive needs to work as a hard drive first, before writing a filesystem.
    I attach screenshots of my current meenee (using it to send this now). As I mentioned, one of the first things I did was to wipe and start afresh with again - ubuntu 10.10. I had no problems when that was done, the drive partitioned ok and formatted etc as expected. It is an ordinary (rotating) hard drive after all. Recently I needed to install ubuntu 11.10 and I did this in a hurry, so I used the installer facilites of choosing 'install alongside' which is why there are now two swap partitions and not just one - which would have the situation if I had done my usual thing of using the manual (advanced) allocation of partitions. However, you see there is a normal partition arrangement, with nothing unusual.

    the second screenshot is of the disk utility. I only rarely use actual disk test, I usually first look at the SMART data held by the hard drive itself, it is fairly clever, and it keeps records. In my case I would NEVER expect to see any red entries, and no errors whatsoever. Even if the self repair is doing stuff to keep the drive working, I would regard any errors at all as a serious warning of possible future fail.

    This evening when I tried to instal Ubuntu 11.10 I get a different error: Ubi-partman failed with exit code 10.

    I tried the Ubuntu Disk Utility (from the live OS), and the first self-test failed with a read error
    from what you are seeing I am sorry to think that it is a consequence of disk failure. a disk surface test ignores any filesystem, it may even be a normal requirement to have no filesystem, it depends on the test. manufactureres of hard drives do have various tools which can be downloaded and used also.

    one thing I have sometimes found useful in emergency is to make a small partition (10GB) or several such, and with a chance that one of them will have few enough disk errors to work (and stay working??) then do the install in that one only. Although this is a bit desperate, it also depends on the errors not increasing (like if the drive has decided to start seriously failing.....)

    hth, keep in touch?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Thanks again, much appreciated for your advice. I looked at the SMART data, re-ran the tests and got a red warning straight away. So I am blaming a disk defect. It's a good idea about making several wee partitions, but a lot of work. So I decided, reluctantly, to return the machine to Amazon and request a refund.

    Maybe I got the runt of the litter?

  9. #9
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Hello,

    The Meenee got an upgrade. It now has an Atom N570.
    I think im gonna buy one. Can anyone review the new model?
    And is it easily possible to replace the disk(with a ssd)?

  10. #10
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Did you buy one? Did it work well with an SSD?
    (I am thinking of doing the same thing)

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