The Netbook Experience

About one year ago I bought an Asus eeePC 900, and was totally impressed with the size, weight, everything. But, you know, experience changes everything.

From the beginning: eeePC 900, the old model, features two SSD disks – 16GB and 4 GB. It uses a Celeron M ULV 353 900MHz Processor and I upgraded the RAM to 2GB.

The linux distribution that comes with the eeePC is useless. I’d say awful. Xandros is not even usable by newbies. I don’t even know what is worst, an eeePC running windows or Xandros.
WHY I GAVE UP: Awful interface, user experience, and slowness.

Ubuntu-eee is SLOW. But at least I could manage to configure it according to my needs. But the slowness was a serious issue.
WHY I GAVE UP: It was slow, and they released another version under another name.

Then they turned into EasyPeasy. It was “kind of ok”, but still too slow to do daily tasks like watching videos and listening to music. I gave up.

My next shot was Crunchbang. I had Crunchbang installed for a long time because I feel it’s very customizable. The guys understood that not every netbook owner is a newbie. And netbooks tend to be slow, so running a minimal environment is always a good choice. But they are Ubuntu-based and they are stuck in Ubuntu 9.04. I tried installing some newer software, like latest pidgin and firefox, but I couldn’t compile the libraries needed without, basically, rebuilding the entire system.
WHY I GAVE UP: It was too out of date for me. Too bad

Jolicloud Screenshot
Jolicloud, with awful netbook interface
Then I decided to try Jolicloud. Their installation is fast and easy and pretty. Then you look closer and OMG IT’S A TRAP. Everything a medium/advanced user would like to do, “is not recommended because can break the system” or whatever. I absolutely HATE the “netbook look and feel” and I’d like to run plain XFCE or Fluxbox, but they don’t provide an easy way to do this because… yeah, you got it. What’s the problem with these guys? Do they think everyone is dumb and must be dumb forever? Well, their distro is well polished, but I like having some control on what I use and, yep, your window manager has terrible issues when managing non-maximized windows.
WHY I’M ALMOST GIVING UP: I don’t like being treated like an idiot

I’m looking out for new distros and I know there’ll be a new release of Crunchbang soon. I’m also planning to buy a new, REAL notebook and – uh – BETRAY TEH COMMUNITEH! – as I’m pretty sure I’m getting a good MacBook.

But I still like my eeePC, for being so lightweight and small. And I love to test new stuff, so I’ll keep everyone informed when I choose my new distro. I’m really impressed on how I came to hate my user experience with Jolicloud after only one week. These guys know what they’re doing – NOT!