Published on April 10th, 2010 | by Kev Adams


Netbook upgrade

I’ve never been a fan of windows.  Despite each successive version’s improvements & people telling me “it’s stable and doesn’t lock up or crash anymore”, experience proves that it’s flakier than what I consider to be more professional alternatives – Gnu/Linux (I mostly use Ubuntu) and over the last 6-7 years increasingly Apple’s OS X.

When I bought an Acer Aspire netbook it came pre-loaded with Windows 7 Starter which isn’t bad in the circumstances.  It’s not a powerful computer but copes pretty well with anything I’d expect of it.  I was quite annoyed at the sheer volume of trialware (free to try and then you’d have to pay more later) placed on it by Microsoft and Acer.  It took me an age of remove/restart cycles to get rid of it all and install better free alternatives.  Windows updates every time you start absolutely do my head in though.  Virus checker updates and regular windows updates are re-assuring but so time consuming.  And I won’t use a computer while the virus checker is off and updating.

I gave Windows 7 a good go but as I’d always intended I installed Ubuntu.  The new Ubuntu netbook remix in fact and installation was effortless and reasonably quick.  Every time I install it gets quicker and easier.  Hardware detection was faultless and it was ready to use in no time.  Just a couple of configuration changes.  In particular to get the trackpad to scroll using the right edge.  I haven’t had time to try any of the multi-touch fixes I’ve come across but will soon.  Right edge scrolling isn’t so bad and now my netbook is secure and fast again.

Bye Bye Windows 7 Starter

Here’s the new desktop below showing the main new addition – Google Chrome which I use for all Google apps, Gmail, Documents, Calendar, Wave etc.  For everything else it’s Firefox with the Noscript extension and Adblock.  An extra layer of security from the brilliant Noscript and the ability to speed things up a bit by switching ad’s off with Adblock.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix desktop

As this is my mobile system I’ve hardly had to add any software.  To be honest I just need a decent browser and have been impressed by Chrome and Firefox.  Everything I need to access is in the cloud and most of that at Google – I love Google haha!  They maybe a little evil these days but I forgive them as they make my life a lot easier.  And they DO give back to the free & open source community unlike some other large software corp’s out there 😉

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