[ubuntu-uk] Free Dell Mini 9

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Wed Sep 24 10:26:27 BST 2008

Bruce Beardall wrote:
> Vodafone is planning to offer the Dell Mini 9 for free with a mobile 
> broadband contract.
> You can pre-register your interest here:
> http://shop.vodafone.co.uk/mobile-phones/pre-register/&model=Netbook&manufacturer=Dell&type=handset 
> <http://shop.vodafone.co.uk/mobile-phones/pre-register/&model=Netbook&manufacturer=Dell&type=handset>

Is that running Ubuntu or Windows XP though?

You might find that some of these newer sticks aren't supported by Linux.

> While on the subject - does anyone have any feedback on mobile broadband 
> in the UK? We're moving in November and I'd like to get rid of my 
> landline altogether, replacing it with mobile broadband. Currently, I'm 
> thinking of 3 since they offer 7Gb for £25 per month without a contract. 
> However, if Vodafone's mobile broadband is really that good, I might 
> consider the above offer (since I also want to get a netbook). 
> Any ideas?

I would seriously check coverage before you ditch the broadband.  If you 
get good coverage then great, if you don't, well it'll be as much use at 
home as a chocolate teapot (as a friend of mine found out, he got a 3 
mobile broadband modem on contract at £35 a month with a seriously 
underspec'd HP laptop running Vista and found he couldn't get any 3G 
reception at home and he's stuck now for 18 months).

When I have used 3's mobile broadband I found it to be average.  You'd 
probably be hard pushed to get over 3Mbit/sec unless you live in a 
really good coverage area and it's usually large cities and towns which 
get the better coverage.

Personally I now wouldn't touch Three with a 10 foot barge pole.  I've 
found their customer service to be very poor.  I purchased a Skype phone 
last week and it died after 3 days.  They refused to give me a refund or 
direct replacement until I reminded them that the phone wasn't fit for 
it's purpose (it wouldn't turn on!).  I eventually got a refund from 
them and decided to change networks (they said the repair would take 5 

You might want to have a look at T-Mobile.  I believe they have a deal 
for about £20 a month which gives unlimited usage (3GB fair usage 
contract, but as far as I know it's not set in stone).

What I will do when I do get a 3 broadband modem is get one of the cheap 
3 modems from eBay and get it unlocked and use a different network 
(T-Mobile again have a £2 a day service, just pay the £2 when you want 
to use it which for me would be ideal is I wouldn't use the service when 
I'm at home).  You can get instructions on how to unlock the E220 modems 
(the £50 soap on a rope looking 3 modem) here: 


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