In the past week or so I think my netbook (Asus EEE 900) has had more changes of OS than i’ve had hot dinners…. Well not quite but it’s pretty close

So far I’ve tried the Windows 7 RC , OpenSuse, Easy Peasy (Ubuntu-EEE) and Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix on here.

I’m primarily a windows user on the desktop and on of the Apps i use regularly is outlook, the reason I think I prefer outlook to any other client is becuase I use an exchange mail service, and as most people know exchange doesn’t really play nice with linux.

However it was so slow as to be silly, I often use the netbook on the train into work and I was finding I got there before I got everything I wanted to do done, Infact outlook was often still trashing the disk trying to sync my mail most of the time. (doesn’t help that there is intermittent 3G coverage on the route into work and the connection will often drop at least once)

I think the bulk of the problem is not the CPU or RAM in the eee but rather that secondary SSD, it’s so slow.  I can understand why Asus did it, after all it’s supposed to be a low cost machine so sticking a performance SSD isn’t going to do them any justiace.

Yesterday I was running OpenSuse, however I was finding a couple of niggles that really started to bug me, mostly getting my dongle to work properly seemed to require me to use UMTSmon, which I a great program btw, however becuase Network Manager wasn’t managing the connection I was finding that quite often the machine wouldn’t relise it was online in some apps (Firefox mainly)

Now I know there are work arounds for this, but at the end of the day it’s my netbook, I want to just turn it on and connect to the internet on it without faffing around to much.

There also appears to be a bug in the installer for opensuse 11.0 that if you enable encryption on the homedir then pick KDE as your desktop it will fail to mount /home during the autoconfiguration and not setup your profile correctly.

Last night I blew the Opensuse install away and put easypeasy on, which after connecting to the internet offered to upgrade to ubuntu 9.04, Stupidly I hit yes (it was about 11Pm by this stage and I was tired)  Then whist it was upgrading I looked around the internet on the other computer and quickly relised this probably wasnt a good idea.  Liking to have the newer version (don’t really know why i’m just like that)  I decided to download the Ubuntu Netbook remix.

It installed fine and appears to be working ok so far, although I’ve only put it on there last night, It’s a lot faster than windows on this machine (Not really that surprising).

So far It seems pretty good on this system, the only regret is that it’s not possible to easily encrypt the FS on the standard install, (I know there are ways to do it) Given the portablity of netbooks I’d have liked to seen this an option during install.

I’m however also considering changing the netbook to one of the ATOM based machines and if I change anytime soon it will probably be to a HDD based model as I feel that Netbook SSDs aren’t quite there yet due to the higher costs that would be involved in using faster SSDs (Which kind of detracts from the point of a netbook, not that some manufactures seem to be getting the concept that a netbook should be a small Cheap machine).

I’m nearly at my destination now, so that’s the end of this post….