I have a server in the storage room. And I used to have a long LAN cable all the way from the big black computer in my living room to the server. That’s a thing of the past now.

Last week I realized I don’t really need any personal stuff on my living room PC, just access to internet, movies and music, possibly from a NAS or a portable drive. And I definitely don’t need a LAN cable across the house. So, I saved all my stuff on the big black box to an external drive and replaced it with my eeePC 1000 and got rid of the ugly LAN cable.

My eeePC 1000 had EasyPeasy OS at the time, and was not great, but it worked. Some movies were slow to play no matter how hard I optimized. At that point I decided to reinstall the OS. I had little expectations, but I wanted to do that anyway to clean up the old one and to simplify the disk partitions (in particular, do not use /dev/sdb which is a damn slow drive…)

So I installed the new Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. And the result is totally awesome! It wasn’t too difficult to make it use the monitor instead of the laptop screen, just had to switch off the laptop screen in the display settings. Other than that, I didn’t have to do any setup. The system looks gorgeous. Terminal windows are translucent by default, but this doesn’t seem to slow down anything. Of course it’s not the fastest system, this is just a netbook dammit, but it really feels like Ubuntu is making the most out of this little thing.

The desktop/window manager was a bit of a surprise, as it is not obvious how to browse the filesystem. But actually, I don’t need to browse the filesystem much, do I? I can live with that, and it’s an interesting approach anyway. And there are pleasant surprises too. Now I’m about to wipe the system on the old black box to prepare for sale so I’m making another Ubuntu boot disk, and the USB creator automatically found the new ISO I just downloaded, a nice touch that saved a few steps for me.

There is one final issue to sort out that has nothing to do with the OS. How do I turn on the power without opening the lid?

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