Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Aug 2009 12:25 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems The big thing in notebooks right now are netbooks. They're cheap, more than powerful enough for day-to-day tasks, and small enough to actually carry around without anyone even noticing you're carrying one (not a bad thing in some parts of the world). However, they also receive a lot of criticism, such as cramped keyboards and displays that are too small. So, at Kaiwai's suggestion, here's a question for you all: how do you use your netbook?
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lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I use my netbook mostly in same way I use a regular laptop. I run Windows 7, TrueCrypt with FDE, Office 2007, Opera, Eclipse, PuTTY, Cygwin, Media Player Classic, and Pidgin.


Agreed ... mostly the same usage as a regular laptop.

I run Kubuntu 9.04 (but with KDE 4.3), OpenOffice 3.1, Firefox 3.5, Kate/Qt Creator/Python, Konsole/ssh, VLC or SMPlayer (I have both installed, as the odd video which doesn't play in one may be OK in the other), Amarok, Kontact, digikam (with kipi plugins), Okular, Gwenview and Dolphin.

GIMP isn't very useable on a netbook.

The "Cygwin" equivalent would be Wine but I don't run Wine, as there is no need.

I use the Firefox browser most of the time. That would be the primary use for the netbook. When I want to read something (as opposed to just browsing and hopping about from place to place) I use the F11 full-screen function, which makes best use of the limited screen size.

If I have several apps running, I find it less of a clutter if I put just one application on each desktop. I have the meta key + left and right arrows mapped to spin the desktop cube.

It is pretty useable, but the Intel graphics drivers in their current state leave a bit to be desired. There should however be a very welcome performance improvement when I upgrade to Kubuntu Karmic early in November.

Having said all that ... because of their low power uasge, with a bit of imagination one can use a netbook in utterly different roles if one wishes:

I leave a bit of functionality up to my always-on home server, which runs OpenWrt http://openwrt.org/ and it serves:
----- Home LAN-facing:
- Samba
http://www.samba.org/
- CUPS
http://www.cups.org/
- PHPXmail
http://phpxmail.sourceforge.net/

----- Internet-facing:
- the Cherokee web server
http://www.cherokee-project.com/
- CMSimple
http://www.cmsimple.org/
- Libretto. Web download manager
http://libretto.sourceforge.net/
- Qdig - Quick Digital Image Gallery
http://qdig.sourceforge.net/
- IlohaMail webmail
http://blog.ilohamail.org/
- XMail
http://www.xmailserver.org/

Although I run all of the latter on a dedicated low-power server,
http://www.cnet.com.au/asus-wl-700ge-storage-router-339287386.htm
there is no reason why one couldn't press a Linux-based netbook (or smartbook) into service in this role, running all of the above. A 7" screen model would be fine for this role, and one can pick up one of those very cheaply indeed.

Edited 2009-08-20 14:01 UTC

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