Netbook for Gemini

I recently acquired an old second hand "netbook" laptop. These devices were considered under-powered even when they first came out, but I really liked the small form factor and thought it would make a great little machine for browsing and writing in gemini space. Up until now, for portable use I have only been using deedum for on my phone.

It has an Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM and I think a 10" 1024x600 pixel display. The keyboard, on which I am typing this, actually doesn't feel too bad and I say that as a mechanical keyboard fan! But some of the keys have been squashed to about .75U in order to fit.

It came with Windows 7 Starter, so I asked the fediverse for lightweight distro recommendations and arrived at Bunsen Labs.

Installation of BL was smooth but formatting the HDD was so slow, possibly because I chose to encrypt the drive and it had to overwrite the whole thing. In hindsight maybe I should have upgraded to an SSD. But now it's up and running and feels fast enough for the main use case.

So far I've tested a few gemini clients: Amfora, Lagrange and Moonlander and they all perform well on this little machine.

Browsing the web is a different story, it really struggles to run Firefox, but fortunately I don't intend on using this for the web very much. And it goes to show just how heavy the web is in comparison to gemini.

I think I'll do some tests on the battery life next.

$ neofetch
OS: BunsenLabs GNU/Linux 10.5 (Lithium) x86_64 
Kernel: 4.19.0-18-amd64 
Shell: bash 5.0.3 
Resolution: 1024x600 
DE: Xfce 
WM: Openbox 
CPU: Intel Atom N450 (2) @ 1.666GHz 
GPU: Intel Atom Processor D4xx/D5xx/N4xx/N5xx 
Memory: 444MiB / 975MiB