Monday, May 10

Moblin: The 'Almost there' GUI for Netbooks

The guys at Intel have one thing right, the average netbook user is probably going to be more interested in social networking, status, and media than writing papers and such.  It's just the nature of netbooks.  With Moblin, you are getting a very nice operating system with a lot of very smart things built in. 

That said, I think another review of Moblin is redundant.  What I think is more important is what is not in Moblin.  The major, glaring hole is Facebook.  I get Twitter and, but no Facebook? 

Second, synchronization, at least to Google AFYD, is poor.  I can't easily figure out how to sync my calendar, which is the idea of having a desktop that gives you the status of your world at all times.

Third, please, no more rpm/yum.  It is definitely better than it was, but apt is just better.  If not apt, then portage... but in my experience, you are always one step from dependency hell with yum.

Side note... where the heck is Gentoo in the netbook world?  It seems like there should be people raving over Gentoo on netbooks but there just isn't.  It seems like a perfect fit to me.

Ok, back to the list, 4th on the wish list is easier access to configuration.  It's not terribly clear to me where I go to configure the thing and it took about 5 minutes of poking around in the different screens before I found what I wanted.  One of the things I like about Ubuntu is that it's easy to find things.  For a user-level gui like Moblin seems to want to be, ability to find things should be one of the top priorities.

Fifth and final, it is not clear at all to me how to manage my session.  Shutdown, suspend, switch user, none of this seems to be available to me.  My wife and I both use the netbook, we need this to keep our preferences separate and so she can remain a user while I maintain admin rights.

But aside from those five things, I love the way the distro looks, I love the idea and where they seem to be headed.  I just find it a cool but useless distro until they add some of the basic features that I really need.  I guess it's back to UNR for me, at least for now.
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