Since I first acquired an Asus EeePC its had Windows XP installed. This has worked fine if a little slow and cumbersome. The atom based netbooks are not fast and this one (a 901 with 1G RAM) is no different, but they are perfect for light use and taking everywhere. Anyway, I decided it was time to move on from XP and started to look at options.
Option 1. Stick with Microsoft. This meant Vista or Windows 7. Well I’ve had pretty much no trouble at all with Vista on my desktop, it all works pretty well. This isn’t the usual story though and I cant see it running well on a netbook. So Vista was out on the basis of it being slower than XP unless fed a decent CPU and RAM. I’ve been running Windows 7 since early beta on my laptop and I have to say its very good, this was definitely going to be an option, but I’m not ready to fund Steve Balmer’s retirement (unless he guarantees to retire) yet, so this would have to wait.
Option 2. Hackintosh. I’ve always liked Mac’s. I haven’t actually used one as my own PC for years though and the thought of introducing a 3rd OS into my daily mix isn’t appealing. Conclusion, review again as a choice between OSX and Windows 7.
Option 3. linux. I’ve had Ubuntu 9.10 on a desktop linux PC since it released a little while ago and also as a dual boot on my laptop, so far I’ve not had any trouble and its been a decent operating system for daily use.
So I decided to bin Windows XP on my EeePC and try out some linux based solutions.
My netbook needs are simple
- Terminal access (via SSH) so I can get at all the systems I look after
- Web Browsing, preferably using Opera but FireFox will do
- Skype (plus something for yahoo and messenger)
- Office suite, light weight ideally but must be word/excel compatible
- A twitter client (using the web isn’t great)
- BBC iPlayer would be nice
- Remote desktop /VNC
- Media player, though not so important
- Easy to use
So, will UNR910 cope? What about Google’s newly released ChromeOS? How about Intel’s Moblin project? and what is Jolicloud?