Moblin and EeePC901

22 11 2009

Moblin is an optimized Linux platform that provides a modern, engaging user experience for mobile devices. Installation is a pretty standard affair and follows the usual download the image, burn it to a bootable media (USB or SD), boot it and install. Painless.

Once it boots you’re confronted with a very different UI, one that is very neat and well designed. A floating tool bar appears at the top of the screen when you mouse up to the edge, this is the main navigation and, quite restrictively, is fixed to what you see. I guess adding to it or changing it is there somewhere but its not something you are going to do easily. Thats a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view, for me it wasn’t so good.

The UI is well laid out and quite nice to use, but adding applications not in the Application Installer ‘Garage’ was troublesome and I found myself losing the will to live over getting what I wanted installed. This shouldn’t be viewed as the big problem I am making it out to be, if you don’t need other apps then there is no issue and the garage does have a decent spread. It didn’t have what I wanted though.

I also had problems with WiFi dropping out and refusing to reconnect. I tried this on both the wireless networks here so it wasn’t that, I am guessing its a driver issue on the EeePC901.

I don’t feel like Moblin is quite ready for use in the wild and in fact I don’t think it’s meant to be either, I think we are going to see devices running it soon and as it is built to order for each device I am sure its going to provide a very friendly and effective UI. But for a general purpose geek’s netbook, nah!

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