Yesterday, I forgot to mention that the system lock-ups that I and others experienced with Dell's original installation on their Mini 9 are gone after the update to Intrepid. There's thus nothing wrong with the hardware of the Mini, confirming my suspicion that this phenomenon is caused by a software problem.
When searching the internet for reports of others and a possible clarification, I came across a blog devoted exclusively to the Ubuntu-powered Dell Mini 9. These guys spare neither time nor effort to collect all kind of information on the Mini and to present it to the curious beginner. At one point, however, they get carried away by their enthusiasm:
Just like any operating system, Ubuntu can freeze up and crash. This does not mean there is something wrong with your system, it just happens.
Excuse me? Anybody home? "It just happens?" The system locks-up on you such that only the magic sysrq gets through, and that doesn't mean that something is wrong with the system?
Let me spell it out for you: spontaneous freezes and lock-ups are not normal. Computers are not supposed to do that, you know. If these things happen, your system isn't worth a dime, unless you can figure out how to fix the problem. Because that's what it is: a big, big problem. It doesn't help to pretend as if nothing has happened. You have to face it and get a grip on it, for Christ's sake.
On this note, merry Christmas. :)