Putting the low power computing puzzle together

I’ve been fascinated by this new trend in computing. Every hardware manufacturer seems to be introducing low power components aimed at simple ‘internet PCs’. Not everyone needs their PC to be able to run Crysis at 60 fps. I think it’s great that manufacturers are recognizing this, but it really is a shame that most of these products don’t quite fit together just yet.
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Installing Ubuntu 8.10 on the Eee-pc 901

I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by the 8.04.1 version of Ubuntu-eee. I know I blogged about how the Netbook Remix version of Ubuntu would probably be ideal for netbooks, but now that I’ve actually played around with it I feel differently. The 901’s 9″ screen is big enough to use the regular UI, and having even the smallest little popup window be maximized bugged the hell out of me.

That’s why I decided to go ‘back’ to my old setup with regular Ubuntu made ‘eee-friendly’ using the array.org kernel. I put the word ‘back’ between quotes in that last sentence because this also allowed me to go with the newer 8.10 version of Ubuntu (Intrepid Ibex). It may not be as easy as installing Ubuntu eee, but I found it to be well worth the extra effort.
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Firefox slow on your netbook too? disable ipv6!

I was about to write a post about how Intel’s Atom processor wasn’t quite fast enough to run Firefox 3. It used to be painfully slow on my netbook, until I found this great little trick. Apparently, Firefox grinds to a halt while trying to find ipv6 internet addresses that are unavailable on most networks.

Luckily, the author of Tech Explorer found out about it and wrote a post about how to disable this ‘feature’. It made Firefox about a hundred times more responsive.

Now if only Adobe would bring the Linux version of their Flash Player up to speed… Version ten is a major improvement, but still not being able to watch YouTube video’s fullscreen is a big bummer.

Roy | October 31, 2008 | English,Gadgets,Software | Comments (14)
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Ubuntu vs Windows: 2 – 1

Some bloggers have wondered whether the netbook hype that’s currently going on will popularize Linux among (former) Windows users. For me personally, I can aswer that question with a firm ‘yes’. Not only did I opt to install Ubuntu on my netbook, I’ve also set it up on my ‘TV-PC’.
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One week of Chrome

I’ve been using Google’s new browser for little over a week now. I need to have Firefox and IE running when I’m doing web design stuff, but for actually browsing the web, I’ve been using Chrome. And you know what? I just made it my default browser.
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My Eee-PC OS experiences so far

Since I wrote a post asking for “Asus Eee-PC 901 OS recommendations” a while ago, I’ve actually tried three of the five options I mentioned in that post. OSX isn’t a serious option for me, mostly because I don’t want my netbook to run illegal software. An ‘nLited’ version of XP would probably boot faster and run a bit smoother, but it would still need regularly updated firewall and anti-virus software. The three options I did try each have their own merits and flaws.

Here are my experiences so far, completely biased and laid out as a table similar to the kind you’ll find in real, professional reviews…
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Another week, another OS: Setting up Ubuntu on the Eee-PC 901

Windows XP was slowish, and I didn’t want to deal with virus scanner updates, etc. XEPC was great, but in simple mode it wasn’t quite a real operating system, whereas in full desktop mode it didn’t work so well. So I decided to try Ubuntu. To me, Ubuntu’s Netbook Remix seems like the ideal user interface to run on netbooks, but for starters I decided to give ‘Ubuntu Eee” a try. Here’s how I went about it.
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Setting up XEPC on the Eee-PC 901 XP

Wow, that was easy! I just installed XEPC (Linux) on my 901 Eee-PC, and it required nowhere near as many steps as most (probably older) tutorials will have you believe. All you need to do is download the iso image from Sourceforge, use 7-Zip to copy its contents to a USB stick (2GB or more) and run the included ‘makeboot.bat’ file. Your USB stick will then be bootable, and all you need to do is boot off of it (by pressing ESC during boot). The onscreen instructions will guide you through the rest.
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Asus Eee-PC 901 OS recommendations?

This is the first blog post I’m writing from my Asus Eee-PC 901 netbook PC. In terms of hardware, I think it’s a marvel. It looks slick, is small enough to retain that true gadget factor and seems exceptionally sturdy. The Atom processor feels snappy enough and runs XP with ease. But I don’t. After more that a year of Vista it’s amazing how many things about XP bug me. It’s really one of the worst Windows versions when it comes to usability. And besides, all the security updates and stuff make my netbook less fun than I think it could be. This is why I find myself looking for a better OS for my tiny new friend.
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Jumping the netbook bandwagon

I blogged about the original Asus Eee-PC when it was first announced and, as you can probably tell from that post, I basically fell in love with the concept of a small laptop-like, lightweight portable device that could be used for casual browsing. But then the introduction price turned out to be nowhere near $199, and versions with bigger, more useable screens were announced. So I decided to wait. Until today.
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Roy | August 13, 2008 | English,Gadgets | Comments (2)
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