azion1995 on 5 Oct 2010 20:48:24 -0700

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[PLUG] Asus Eee 901 + Crunchbang! 9.04 + Google Chrome = Yummy goodness

OK, so I got myself a factory refurbed Asus Eee 901 a year or so back. I knew it was an early-generation netbook, + hardly a screamer (900 MHz Celeron chip, so-so 4 GB SSD drive, upgraded to 1 GB RAM). But, what the heck, for <$200 for the whole thing, counting a few SD cards and an aftermarket case, it was a nice toy. All of my home PCs are named after characters from Calvin + Hobbes, and, since this was by far the smallest one, I named it, naturally, Stupendous Man.

The box came pre-loaded w/Xandros linux. Well, that went out the window right away. I decided to experiment w/various other distros, which is insanely easy to do w/a 2 GB USB flash drive. I tried bunches, from the oddly-named Easy Peasy to Puppeee, but settled on Crunchbang! (the exclamation point is part of the name). Basically, #! is a stripped down version of Ubuntu using the OpenBox GUI. That struck me as a perfect combination of speed, minimal but useful graphics, and tweakability (Openbox is fun to customize). But Web performance lagged. I figured that there was nothing I could do about it.

But, then I loaded the official package of the Google Chrome browser (as opposed to the OS, which I've also tried in early released). The difference in performance between this + Firefox is incredible. I knew Chrome had a rep of being lighter + faster than Firefox, but never saw how much lighter faster until I compared them on a PC as slow as this one. Now, well, I have little reason to complain at all about Stupendous Man's performance any longer. It even handles streaming video reasonably well.

Good stuff, and highly recommended as a combination for other less-capable rigs.

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