Hein (fub) wrote,

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New netbook

Kodama has a 20GB SSD (divided in two parts of 4 and 16GB), and Ubuntu 12.04 doesn't fit on the 4GB part anymore. This means that things were starting to get a bit tight, and with klik's photography and my movies, space was getting too tight for comfort. So I was in the market for a system with a harddisk and a little more 'oomph'.
So last wednesday, we went into the city centre to buy a new netbook, precisely four years after buying Kodama. I decided on an Asus Eee R051BX: the AMD Fusion platform is efficient and packs quite a punch -- and the Linux support is getting better. It also helped that this was the cheapest netbook, and the Eee line hasn't let me down so far. And with a harddisk of 320 GB, there's plenty of space to fiddle with.

The machine (for which I couldn't find a product page on the Asus site) has the 'seashell design', which means the cover is molded with subtle ridges in a flowing pattern. Looks nice, and even the touchpad is so ridged, which gives nice tactile feedback when using it. Because of the naval themed look, I named the netbook Ponyo.

The system comes with Windows 7 Starter Edition -- which is, of course, next to useless: you can't even set the desktop wallpaper yourself! (And the upgrade to Home costs EUR 75!) So I did what I always do: I put Ubuntu on the machine. Install went off without a hitch, all hardware recognised, etc. And then I made the mistake to try and find a way to play H.264 videos with hardware accelleration. I got quite lost in the morass of drivers and extra packages. I even tried the OpenELEC XMBC build with Fusion support, but that one crashed because of some audio issue... In the end I gave up -- we never missed that capability in Kodama anyway. Ponyo does play YouTube movies quite nicely in ful screen though, so we traded up video-wise none the less.

It'll be weird to put Ponyo in the Kodama bag when we go on vacation.
Tags: eeepc

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