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Netbooks and Linux

I managed to get an Acer Aspire One a couple months back for £150 brand new.  I was interested to see what Acer's Linpus Lite was like and what I found was shocking.

Acer's edition of Linpus Lite is a horrifically simplified interface, almost as if it were designed for children.  A few big icons in 4 categories, and that's it.  I never did find out if I could actually install anything else.  I was also astonished to find that Firefox was only version 2, and so was OpenOffice.  Overall, it was a very disappointing experience, and naturally I wiped the whole thing off and installed the awesome Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

Now I can begin to understand why so many consumers have returned their Linux netbooks and asked for Windows instead: because the version of Linux they were given was awful!  I cringe at the thought of the number of people who finally decided to give Linux a try, and their first and only experience of using it was Linpus.  Linux's reputation must have taken a beating.  I'm quite sure that the returns would have been dramatically reduced if UNR had been installed instead.  It's far more user-friendly, looks better, performs better, comes with a lot more software, is more configurable and has a huge repository of software to install at the user's will.

 I really hope Acer will ditch the monstrosity they currently use and help restore Linux's reputation to that of a fast, stable, agile and capable platform.

On a related point, I'm also disappointed with many manufacturers who offer Linux netbooks with a lower spec than their Windows counterparts.  They half the memory, or offer 8Gb SSD harddrive instead of 120Gb, or exclude Bluetooth.  Why?  Linux may not be as resource-hungry as Windows, but the public's impression will be that they won't be getting a good machine if they buy a Linux version.  No wonder Windows has won the netbook market: the industry has failed to deliver the right spec and the right OS.

 

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  • Jose Jhonson Said:

    I just got the laptop Acer with Linpus, except I refused to install it. I have only the single-user black screen boot OS it was already loaded with. Now, I figure the drivers are fine...this company started out developing drivers, after all. The Linux kernel must be fine. It has vi. Great. It lacks emacs: even greater. But it lacks a gcc compiler. Now, how do I get a gcc compiler on the machine withouth messing up the drivers? Let's face it, the real reason Linux is not so consumer friendly is the issue of drivers. And here they are all set up for me by the manufacturer and a specialist. So, do you have any advice for how to get the compiler in there so I can finish getting a real OS (actually, I rarely use a desktop environment except for printing and the internet). Thx.

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