NetBooks and Operating Systems
I was a copy-cat a few months ago and bought a NetBook. I got the ASUS EeePC 901. it has a solid state hard drive and it’s about the size of a large paperback. I love it and it worked great for me when I went to a SANS training at the RSA Conference in San Francisco and didn’t want my Mac anywhere near those looney “security” people.
when it first came it had the Xandros OS on it from ASUS. while it was nice and pretty, it just didn’t do it for me. Mainly I think because it didn’t have a terminal. Who has ever heard of a Linux flavor without a terminal! Anyway I reformatted it with Windows XP and put office on it for RSA. Everything worked well and I was pleased. Then I ran out of room trying to update office. I found out when I reformatted the lil’guy that there isn’t one 20GB SSD drive, but 2. One is 4GB and the other is 16GB. The 4GB chip being faster I had decided to install the OS to it and run some tools that modified my profile path and the path to where the OS installs programs by default. Really everything was wonderful, except not being able to update office! Then I tried to get the webcam to work. That was a no-go. I tried everything, well except for the obvious, which didn’t occur to me until after I reformatted with Linux for the fourth or fifth time. Apparently the webcam is disabled in the BIOS by default for some off the wall reason.
I fixed that and then decided I might as well explore the linux variants that exist for the NetBook crowd. There are quite a few. There are 4 that tried out: OpenGEU, Mandriva, EasyPeasy and Moblin. I had problems with all of them to one extent or another.
I settled with Moblin for now, but in this post I just found out that I can’t cut and paste with keyboard shortcuts. While that isn’t a deal breaker for this particular distro, it is going to be rather frustrating ince I use keyboard shortcuts quite a bit. I’ll have to investigate the little section called “Pasteboard” which looks to be the way I have to copy and paste. That is not exciting. (I messed up and touched the trackpad and moved my cursor, and since I still don’t know how to type, was still typing away before I noticed the issue. I tried the pasteboard and it copied the text to it, but then there isn’t a way to get it out of there and where I need it. I’m really going to be annoyed it there isnt something as fundamental as cut, copy and paste in this distro.)
Another negative for Moblin was the install. If you’re going to give me the option to install it the a partition that I want to and put the bootloader where I want. That part better damn well work, which obvously since I’m writing this didn’t. There were partition table errors coming out my ears. No matter how I tried to slice up the partitions between the drives it just wasn’t having any of it. I like the overall theory of Moblin, which to me makes the NetBook a “Social Networking Platform” with a terminal.
Easy Peasy and Mandriva were just meh.
I’ve ended up rith now with OpenGEU which is based off enlightenment. I like it so far… we’ll see how it goes.