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      I love that some people are (re) discovering subnotebooks. They died because of one OS vendor was being greedy and limiting their hardware specs (license prices would go up with better specs…) and the rebirth of tablets but they were really cool little devices, more flexible than any ipad ever was.

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        Yeah, Microsoft all but single-handedly killed the netbook market by ensuring the experience on them was bad.

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          Quite the opposite, there was a huge push to make Windows work 10x better on netbooks as they gained popularity. They reduced the idle memory footprint, made it fit on the tiny hard drives these things shipped with, etc. It was a mad scramble to debloat out-of-the-box Windows as netbooks came out of nowhere.

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            If I recall correctly, Microsoft artificially limited Windows to 1 GiB RAM, 1 core, and a maximum resolution of 1024x600 on netbooks (in order to quality for the lower Windows price).

            These limitations resulted in a poor user experience.

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      I similarly like small devices. A lot of people use the GPD devices for retro gaming and there’s a lot of competition in the handheld retro gaming consoles. I recently got a Anbernic RG552 because it’s based on a Rockchip RK3399 chipset which I have some experience with. I got a mainline Linux kernel running on it and have full NixOS:



      Now I need to figure out find a window manager which works with joysticks OR I’ll have to write my own :)

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        How do you control it – connect peripherals?

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          The window manager I’m currently running is Phosh, which is designed for phones and tablets. The RG552 has a touchscreen so it works fairly well.

          It has a USB-C port on top so I can connect a keyboard.

          It has internal WiFi and is running SSH. The WiFi driver for the chip is awful but it’s just connected via USB so can be swapped:


          I’ll soon swap it for a chip which also has Bluetooth so I can more easily connect a keyboard.

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        Nice! Hell yeah. Nix forever!

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      The OP mentions how the Micro reminds him of his once daily driver the EeePC 1000HE. Now, I recently became obsessed with the EeePC line because it’s small, can easily run Alpine Linux and X11, and just looks cool. Parts are easy to come by and it’s hackable beyond the standard upgrades for the true diehards. But OP hits it on the head when he says

      Finally, this little thing has a soul. Like the Eee

      I love my little Eee PC 900 (Pepsi, I call it) and I’m glad OP recaptured that feeling with hardware with his Micro too.

      Similarly on the underground: rather than mindlessly reaching for the phone and scrolling through news, I choose to pull out the Micro and read some code.

      I found this too when traveling my EeePC - forces me to do what I think I should be doing more of: writing!

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        Nice to meet a fellow enthusiast. I have a white one that I use for writing, making notes and light coding on the couch.

        I found it to be too slow and too small for X with the distros I tried and I settled for text only. tmux is your friend. I even have a half finished blog post lying somewhere about FDD: framebuffer driven development. It really does wonders for you concentration!

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          Indeed, I don’t find myself within X often but netsurf works well and giving it a bit more RAM helped. Otherwise, I’m just using screen and jumping between virtual consoles (if need be) - also lynx (once you have the settings to your liking) is great on these EeePCs

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      I wish Sony Vaio P Series netbooks didn’t come with one of the worse Intel GPU ever made… they would make for a great writing machine!

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        Agreed. I have one myself. A superb form factor, but sadly with junk hardware inside.

        Mine currently dual-boots Windows Thin PC and the Raspberry Pi Desktop OS.

        ThinPC is MS’s lacklustre effort to cut-down Windows 7. Unlike most versions of 7, it still gets security updates, but it’s sluggish and barely any lighter than the full OS.

        RasPiOS works fairly well on the hardware, though.

        Just to add to the fun, no OS can talk to my Sony dongle that gives the machine Ethernet and a VGA port. :-( It may be that mine is defective somehow. I have bought a USB Ethernet adaptor, and intend to try Alpine, in the hope that it might be even lighter than RasPiOS.

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      I have a Toshiba Libretto 70CT which is still running, but with 120 Mhz CPU and 16 Mb of RAM I don’t use it much, and would love a modern version - the form factor was small, but the keyboard was still big enough to touch type on.

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        Oh, nice! Yeah would be great if you could get on the net with that bad boy. So slick.

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      Nice post. Computers should be fun.

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      This is great! I still have (and use) an HP Mini 210 with nixos. I unfortunately scratched the screen awhile back, and the battery life is down to 2 hours.

      I can’t wait for mini laptops with e-ink screens!