Monday, May 04, 2009

get a linux netbook. change her world.

Well she's been wishing for one for such a long time now!
And since she's into writing and literature we could easily look towards the Acer Aspire One.
Because all she really wants is to read PDFs, edit text documents, surf the web, stay in touch with friends and watch movies.
And mount Windows shares :P
So we decided on the a150-aw.
Well a little sudo mount in the terminal never hurt any writer. Naturally she also needed to figure out the IP of the Win box :) Well she did with a little help...
The really great news was that except for the need to watch movies all the items on the "must have" checklist were there and worked out of the box. Mplayer was there but we really like VLC. Open Office 2, Firefix 2 and the custom Mail and Messenger. Even Yahoo video works so that's more than expected as far as I'm concerned. Also the Fedora Skype package works very good so connectivity is there.
For avi playback we really needed VLC and after some fiddling and browsing around I installed the latest release and it worked flawlessly. No wireless problems either as The Little One does full screen avi playback from a samba mount via wireless without any glitches. You don't want to turn the volume to max because that will cause some annoying blips.
We even went so far as trying Compiz Fusion and that worked very nice too until we started a movie in VLC. Bad frame dropping. Probably caused by the window decorations and opacities that require a lot of cpu when applied to a video window. So I disabled the nice elasic snapping, alpha blending, fire burning and aqua dissolving windows and went back to the dull but so familiar Redmond theme.
From my point of view this was the definitive Linux test. Cause I really know the user and I knew from the start where the troubles could come from. So the experiment started with "look, you can try to use it for a week and if you hate it we'll install XP". And now, one week later she's still a happy worry free Linux user.
So this is going to be the year of Linux on the netbook!
But she doesn't like it when I open the terminal and I start typing stuff and he has no idea what I'm doing there!
So more after the firmware update :D


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