Asus EEE 900 and Ubuntu Netbook Remix

October 5, 2009

Although Tinkerbell was running fine with Arch and Openbox installed, after the install of the file server, there were some problems. For some reason, I couldn’t get samba to start, and I wasn’t looking forward to configuring cups on it.

So, just as with the file server, I took the easy way out and installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix on it. I must say, I don’t regret it. The boot is as fast as before, with the added benefit of it looking a bit better. Gnome of course is a bit slower than Openbox, but it still performs surprisingly well. Just as beforem, RAM stays below 200 MB with Firefox open. CPU usage is a bit higher in that case, around 20%. Also, while the layout leaves a little less screen estate for applications, I really love the netbook launcher, and the way applications maximise with the window bar toccupying part of the top panel.

Furthermore, and this is pretty much a given, installation and confguration was much easier and faster. I left the theme as is, deleted some of the gnome bookmarks I never use anyway, installed Comix, rearranged the “Favourites” tab, and that was it. Network surging was easy. Power management was already setup, something I hadn’t configured in Arch, which meant Tinkerbell dropped dead every time she ran out of battery life. Network connection came to life automatically when opening the lid. Little pleasures, and I could have figured them out in Arch, but I have a new-born in the house who eats all my time 😉 Things have to be fast and easy these days.

One final note: I’d have loved to try out Moblin on this little thing, but apparently the eee900 isn’t supported. It’s a shame…the interface looks really interesting.

Tinkerbell and UNR

Tinkerbell and UNR

San

Advertisements

Arch and Asus EEE 900

August 25, 2009

My collegue bought an Asus EEE 900 about a year ago, and confessed he was a bit disappointed with the power and HD space, so he sold it to me at a good price.  It had Win XP installed, but I quickly wiped that and installed Arch on it. Mind you, at that point I wasn’t at all confident. I assumed I wouldn’t get things like wireless, webcam, suspend and resume and the function keys to work, and I expected to have to use specialist distributions like EEEbuntu or Moblin.

Well, wireless even worked during the install, so no problems there. The install itself went flawless, which meant that all I had to do was the usual configuration. There were some differences with my normal PC, since I wanted to save as much space as possible. A panel was out, the system tray is on auto-hide, I cropped the window decorations from applications like Firefox and Thunar, and that was pretty much it. Everything else was my normal install of Openbox.

The function keys I got working by adding an extra module from AUR, and although I’m not a regular user of Skype, I installed it to see if the webcam worked. It did, without any tweaking from my part. Same thing for going to sleep when I close the lid. Opening pops it back to live, without a hitch.

Battery life is surprisingly good on this little thing. I’ve been working on it for what must be over two hours now, and I’m still at 30%. CPU load is something like 10% on average, and memory usage has yet to rise over 200 MB, and that’s with Firefox open. About the only thing I don’t really know how to do is slightly adjust the keyboard layout. It’s close to be-latin, but not quite. Some of the more exotic keys aren’t really where they’re supposed to be…

All in all, I love this little thing which I named Tinkerbell, so here’s some showing off:

Tinkerbell: Pseudo clean

Tinkerbell: Pseudo clean

Thunar and audacious. Stalonetray bottom right

Thunar and audacious. Stalonetray bottom right

San