Jolicloud pre-beta release… is it worth a try?

Jolicloud pre-beta release came out a couple of days ago.  I am not sure whether I even want to bother with it.  It’s still built on Ubuntu Netbook Remix.  Apparently they’re not going to be releasing that for a little while yet.  I would give it a try – I’m curious about what the difference will be between alpha and beta.  Will there be support for the Atheros wireless driver in my Asus EEE1000HE?  Really, the main reason I didn’t stick with Jolicloud was because of the wireless issues.  But aside from that, it was pretty good.  Very easy to use, and, well, it looks nice.  Hmm.  Maybe curiosity is just going to get the better of me.  I might just have to try it out.  Boot it from USB at the very least.  One thing I’m happy about – no more invites!

After reading a few reviews, it doesn’t seem that a whole lot has changed.  They’re sort of making a big deal about the Windows installer.  I guess that’s cool, but it doesn’t apply to me.  My curiosity is definitely piqued now though.  Definitely going to give it a whirl.

Moblin OS

I was just sort of surfing around, and came across Moblin OS.  I had seen it in passing before, but I actually went to the site and had a look around.  It’s an OS that is built for mobile devices and netbooks.  I looked at some images of the desktop, and it looks really different from either Ubuntu or Ubuntu Netbook Remix / Jolicloud.  Moblin is NOT designed for desktops or even regular laptops.  It was designed to work with Netbooks, and primarily netbooks that are built on Intel Atom hardware.  Check out Netbook Screenshots – it looks really unique.  I wonder if I could run everything that I’m running on Ubuntu now…  it would be tough to switch away from Karmic since it has worked so well for me.

I think I might give it a try just booting from USB, and see how it goes.

Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) – so far so good

Just a quick update – I’ve been running Karmic for about a week now, and I am very happy with it.  It’s working great, running on my EEE 1000HE.  I’m excited to try it out on a ‘real’ computer (not just my wimpy – but awesome – little netbook).  I sort of got swept away by Jolicloud, and its pretty colors.  Oh yeah, and that invite thing always makes things seem that much more special.  Until that part wears off.  Jolicloud is made installing things really easy, but one thing that I started to realise after a while was that a lot of the ‘apps’ in the jolicloud ‘app store’ were actually just websites that were displayed on the desktop using Prism.

I’ve been able to get pretty much everything I want (so far) to run on Karmic, with pretty minimal effort – both Skype and the Flash plugin were really easy.  The Software Center makes installing standard software very straightforward too.

Jolicloud woes

I should probably start with the one main reason that made me want to start a blog.  It’s my Jolicloud experience.  Actually my linux experience.  I’ve been messing around with Linux, mainly Ubuntu, for about a year now.  And I’m sick of forgetting everything I learn, and then having to look it up again later.  TOTAL pain in the ass.

I used to have some older version of Ubuntu on my netbook.  I think it was 8.04, jaunty jackalope, or fiesty fawn, or something.  I was okay with it. But I started reading articles on the Google Chrome OS, just out of curiosity.  I soon discovered that this was not so interesting to me.  It’s not coming out for a year, it’s going to be built for very specific netbooks (I think they actually have hardware partnerships), and it seems like the OS is pretty much just Google Chrome browser.  ONLY google chrome browser.  I’m not saying I’ll never use it, just that as much as I love google stuff, I will need some more convincing on this one.

SO (it’s late.  I’m rambling) – I saw someone comment on Google Chrome OS that Jolicloud is better.  I looked up Jolicloud, and it  looked really cool.  Got myself an invite, and I was up and running.  Loved it.  I watched Hulu.  I watched YouTube.  I tweeted.  I skyped.  I was happy.  Then my wireless started dropping.  First just a bit.  Then it got so bad that I couldn’t even stay online for more than a couple of minutes.  Pathetic.  I even went out to Best Buy and bought a shiny new wireless router.  Which I will now have to return.  Because it was not the wireless router’s fault.  It was the driver for my laptop’s wireless adapter (Atheros something, I can’t remember right now).  After a few hours of searching, I finally realised that I was not going to get it working any time soon.  Or at least it would require that I spend a lot of time learning a lot of linuxy stuff.

See this:
Ubuntu wiki – Hardware issues

Bug discussion

After spending several hours on the suggested solution near the end of that second link (I did consider it a valiant effort), I gave up and reinstalled Ubuntu.  But not he same Ubuntu.  I installed the new 9.10.  It’s pretty similar from what I can tell, but the booting up screen shows a pretty Ubuntu symbol bathed in the soft glow of an imaginary spotlight somewhere above the screen…Oh right, and there is a new “software center”.  Which is pretty much like Synaptic.

But I’m happy for now.  I had Jolicloud for just long enough to see that for all it’s pretty colors and bright lights, it wasn’t necessarily the right OS for me.  Maybe in January when they release their own interface (down with UNR!).