tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
[personal profile] tonybaldwin
I bought an Everex Cloudbook on e-bay about a year ago. It came with Ubuntu 8.04, Hardy Herron on it. I immediately made some changes, removing gnome, adding ion3 (eventually replaced with wmii), lightened the load a bit.
For some reason, the wifi was fickle (most of the time it didn't work, but sometimes it did).
It sat around here for most of this past year without much use, so, I recently ordered a usbkey with Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 on it. Finally, these past few days I got around to install that, completely wiping hardy herron from the machine.
The wifi worked flawlessly, out of the box, once that was done. Karmic Koala (ubuntu 9.10) had some groOvy features. I replaced the nauseating, bloated, useless netbook remix interface with XFCE (xubuntu-desktop).
All in all, not too bad.
But, sadly, the machine frequenly froze. Sometimes the system would stop taking input from the mousepad and keyboard, but the system was not frozen (stilly playing music, graphical elements still moving on screen).
I read hundreds of ubuntu forum entries, and it seems thousands of users were having similar problems, for a thousand reasons, and with a thousand different "solutions", none of which resolved the issue for me.
I tried to upgrade to the lastest ubuntu (Lucid Lynx, 10.04) via the update manager.
Lucid Lynx gave me even more problems...Numerous problems. Not only did the system to continue to freeze, but fonts were rendered so badly in gnome that they were unreadable, and the xfce panel had swelled to the size of the entire screen, so, pretty well all graphical elements were useless.
So, current ubuntu offerings on the cloudbook were decidedly not working out well for me.

So, today I did what probably I should have done a year ago when I bought the machine.
I read up on how to make my own bootable iso usb key, downloaded the Debian Business Card iso,
and loaded Debian/Stable (Lenny) onto this little machine.
Guess what.
IT ROCKS!


screenshot, actual size!


Everything is working out of the box. Wifi, sound, everything.
Now, had I read the instructions for installing from the business card iso, I would have known that I could have installed with an XFCE desktop by default, by using the parameter "desktop=xfce" upon boot, but I neglect to read that far until it was already halfway through installation. I had to spend a bit of time removing all the bloated unnecessary gnome crap, and now have a lightweight and functional XFCE desktop on the machine.
It's great! I installed FBReader to read ebooks (and evince for ebooks in pdf format), MOC (music on console) for listening to tunes (loaded up some Mana, Francis Cabrel, Grateful Dead, Bach, and a few other goodies onto the sdcard hdd already). I installed google-chrome browser.
Everything is working perfectly, no lock ups or freezes, etc. I was initially worried that getting wifi up and running was going to require all kinds of gymnastics, but, it simply wasn't true. Wifi worked out of the box. No problem.
So, if you find one of these little gems lying around, fire up a usbkey iso of Debian Stable and have at it.
You'll have a nifty, useful little machine on your hands.
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tonybaldwin

December 2013

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