Bizarre pink MIPS mini-netbook up for grabs


See that? It's an Elonex ONEt, and it's a pretty unusual bit of kit. For starters, it's powered by a MIPS-like chip, so it's not x86, PowerPC, 68K or any other architecture you're likely to have used on the desktop. It's also very, very small. The Elonex ONEt arrived in early 2009 when the netbook market was booming, and sports these specs:

  • 400 MHz MIPS-ish CPU
  • 128MB RAM
  • 2GB SSD storage
  • 3 USB ports, plus SD card and Ethernet
  • WiFi
  • 7 inch screen
  • Around three hours of battery life

So, pretty limited stuff. It comes with some weird unidentifiable Linux distro, but can run a more conventional distro in the form of 3MX. Running the latest games is obviously out of the question here, and it's pretty juddery on the web, but it can just about squeeze out an MP3 or run AbiWord.

Anyway, we don't want to just chuck this little thing in the bin, so we're putting it up for grabs here: we want to hear the most imaginative use for the device. Perhaps you could set it up as a MUD server, or attach it to a weather balloon to process data. Whatever the case, leave a message in the comments below, explaining what cool stuff you'd do if you had this laptop, and we'll select the best by the 1st of November and post it out.

Please leave your email address in your message, so that if we choose your suggestion, we can contact you and get your address to post the machine. It's worth running it through ROT-13 first though to avoid spam harvesters picking it up. Ta!

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Your comments

We want to experiment

LincolnLUG could do with a lappy to experiment on :-) I already have an ancient machine I was considering donating, but this has better spec!



LDAP server

Not very imaginative though. I work in a machine learning lab and our LDAP and web server are running on the same machine, which can be a pain sometimes. I bet this little guy could help share the load.

I'm trying to imagine more useful tasks in the machine learning category though... I'll ask around and maybe make another post if somebody else has a project that it would be useful for.

Music player

I'd like to have a go at converting it into a networked music player to connect up to my music collection on a NAS as it shoudl have very low power consumption and be adequate fro a limited display. I can then stick it in my sons room so he can play all his Dads cool music rather than that nonsense these kids call music (its not music its just beeps, although it does have a good beat to it...)



my daughter loves pink

tbh, I'd give it to my daughter to use. She loves pink.


I forgot to include an email address...

Daughter too

I'd give it to my daughter too... she's plodding along on one of our old laptops but it is far to big for her. She'd be doing year 3 Maths homework on it and drawing pretty things. And like @heiowge's daughter she *loves* pink...


Traffic Monitoring

One of the guys in my LUG wanted to set up a small box and write an app that monitors traffic speed etc so that he can get an idea of how fast people go along his road (it's a long road so some people pick up a great deal of speed despite the houses etc). I could use this to help him achieve that.

Re: Traffic Monitoring

That sounds like an awesome idea. Could you please check with the guy first that he'd really be able to use the machine for that purpose though -- ie its specs are good enough?


In-car computer

The processor and small form factor of the device can be used to convert the machine to an incar computer. The machine can use local wifi to detect location and store location data to track journey/speed, or the use of a 3G modem lends itself to tracking purposes. The 3g can also aid in turning the small screen into a incar media center used for streaming mp3's or youtube video's (probably not in HD, and not for the driver - it would be safer if the passengers were in control of this device, so attaching it to the drivers headrest would be nice).

The 3 USB ports also lends itself for the purpose of attaching a low res camera to the back of the car as a reverse parking aid or a device to record footage incase of accidents.


Leet people run the HURD

Personally, I'd turn it into a pink netbook........which would run the HURD and a podcast checker. Oh and probably something else after that.

oh and, about the ROT13 cypher, their all pairs of letters, so someone could find out each letter and pair them up, then decypher it, or put the cyphered address into rot13 and get the original address back. LIke locking the door and taping the key to it.

Electronics baby, electronics

I would use it as station to compile and upload drivers to my electronic circuits, or to control them in live mode (in example LED display matrix from alone LEDS). Or even use as MIPS micro-controller compiler without use of cross-compiler. Uses are many. One day it even become a brain of some robot (albeit not smart), though I doubt that pink case would survive long enough, recoloring would await...

Re: Leet people run the HURD

Yes, I know. It's not to stop humans finding email addresses. It's just a basic protection against automated email harvesters.

A web server...

...that would return an encrypted version of your email address using a public key that other sites could safely share ;-)

Daughter again

I haven't got a daughter (just two boys so far), but if I got this netbooklet I'd keep having children (preferably with the wife's help) until a daughter arrives, and then use it to teach her about ponies and Python.


The Little Pink Microsloft Mudslinger

I would have it duel booting a horribly slow Microsloft Windows and a speedy Linux version. And dedicate its use to converting people to Linux and pink colored netbooks!

Email : tennsjngre@tznvy.pbz

Mission to Mars

I would attach wings to the side. Rocket launchers to the rear, and solar power grids to the front. It would blast off to Mars to provide linux browsing for hundreds of deprived Martians who only have access to Windows 7 basic.


A small pink doorstop...

... for small pink doors.

(Okay, I don't really want to win it) ;-)

Is it heavy?

If so I could throw it ar RMS while screaming "you've gone to far Stallman... you've gone to far!!!"

Is it heavy...

@shutupsquare that's not a bad idea actually. He'd probably quite like the device (MIPS... he could bung a free BIOS on it etc.) so it is a win-win you get the fun of lobbing it and he gets a slow device that is fairly non-standard!


We'd like to use the device as a model for baking a cake true to original which we would send you.
Alternatively, you could come to Germany (I know, you speak german, Mike) and eat it here with us.

I'd install NetBSD or

I'd install NetBSD or OpenBSD on it and show folks how computers use to look and how much work you can still do with just a text editor and a few other tools.

Of course, that's not a worthwhile enough use, so give it to the folks who have plans to really help others!

I guess I'd leave this on

I guess I'd leave this on the kitchen worktop on Friday evening before heading out. Then when I get back from the pub, I would smother it with tomato puree, cheese and some ham and mushrooms. Then put it under the grill for several minutes and serve it up to my mates for some scoffage. They'd eat anything after a few beers.



I have my main box,running with LMDE and motion, with a webcam looking out of the window, just in case a certain person comes along again and scratches my car. Now this little box could save quite a bit on my electricity bill and subsequent impact upon the environment.

Think of the children!

I punted the idea of using donated & refurbished (With Linux) PCs to raise funds, to the "Friends Of" of my son's primary school some months ago. Nothing's come of it yet although they were interested at the time. This little pink thing, although not what I had in mind in terms of spec, might get 'em interested again.

Damn heiowge

same as what I wanted it for, let my daughter learn linux

It's very cute

I would compile OpenOffice.Org on it. For MikeOS.



Might be a great musical doorstop :P

anyways are those email addresses real? seems so strange to me


Their ROT13 encrypted... to prevent automated programs stealing them, but not to prevent real people.


I would put it in a splashproof cover, then rig up a pulley system above my bath with the netbook firmly affixed to a tray which has a buoyancy on the underside and can be pulled down to just sit on the surface of the water. It'll be perfectly balanced with a counterweight so that if I remove my hands from the tray it will retract up to a safe height, but only requires minimal pressure to keep it down. That way, if I let go of it there's no risk of it falling into the water and electrocuting me. Bath-safe computing!


linux hobbiest

I'd like to try Puppy Linux on it! LarryHenry631 at
be great to take to work (I do security from my car - grounds patrol)

Morse for ever.

I would use it to teach morse code.


Daughters or Bitcoins

Now I'm torn between wanting to teach a daughter about ponies and Python, and overclocking this thing by a factor of 100 (using a liquid helium cooling system) so as to get rich mining Bitcoins. Hmm...


E-mail still ewqlzbaq@tznvy.pbz by the way.

Forgot the rot13 email addy in my previous post.



You can use Duck Duck Go to encrypt/decrypt ROT13. Just put rot13 followed by whatever you want to en/decrypt in the DDG search bar.

I would use it for

RSS feeder.


Bizarre pink MIPS mini-netbook up for grabs

Were I able to "grab" the Pink Elonex ONE

I would not take the attitude of looking a gift horse in the mouth!

I would use it to its full potential.

Don email

Since you haven't announced yet.

Something I forgot to say in my original post. What my project would essentially be is a "Linux From Scratch" type OS for netbooks/tablets.

Oh and instead of a PS adapter, I would probably find a wall wart of the apropriate voltage, current and connector.


Can you tell us who won? Or if somebody won?

And the winner is!

Wow, loads of great suggestions -- thanks everyone! It was really hard to pick a winner, and I wish we had loads of these to send out.

But I've chosen Entd's suggestion, as (s)he wants to do something specific with MIPS, which makes this machine ideal (I've never seen any other MIPS-powered machines in this class).


quick question

How come i can't find my images from my SD card when i insert my card? I just got this thing today and i started thinking about how i could use it... and one was to view my pix from camera.. and this machine didn't even recognize my card... i couldn't even find a search bar... hmmmmmmmmmmm help please

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