Friday, May 28, 2010

MeeGo

MeeGo is the result of the fusing of Moblin by Intel and Maemo by Nokia. The result is an operating system built specifically for small devices like netbooks. I first found Moblin and was extremely intrigued and after trying a live DVD of it, I was 75% sure I wanted to install it on my netbook. However, Moblin's support had been dropped in favor of MeeGo but MeeGo had not yet been released, so I decided to wait until a stable MeeGo was available to the public. Fortunately for me, that happens a very short time later.

INITIAL IMPRESSION:
For both Moblin and MeeGo, I was extremely impressed on how simply and good looking everything is. Everything is extremely neatly organized in both. But....well, here it is in list form:

PROS:

  • Everything worked. (Well, that I can see so far.) The Wifi, Bluetooth, Multi-touch, brightness, volume, suspend, and the battery.
  • Favorite Apps. I will admit, it's a tad difficult and frustrating to actually run some programs since it doesn't really have a menu. But I do like that it has several apps you can pin to favorites, so they're available on My Zone.
  • Barely anything installed. This might sound bad to some people, but it sounds lovely to me. It has the standard Accessories like Archive Manager, Calculator, File Manager (which happens to be Nautilus, but I'll let it slide), but beyond that, it just has Chromium/Chrome, Evolution for Mail, Empathy for messaging, Eye of GNOME, Cheez, and Banshee (which I am loving, using it for the first time). Of course that's not ALL that's installed, but you get the idea. It has the bare essentials.
  • Fairly Fast. The only real thing I've noticed it being even slightly slow about is some of the menu items like Media, but I'll let that slide.
CONS:
  • Adding Apps. Definitely a weak point. To add apps, MeeGo's site directs you to the "Garage", which is akin to Jolicloud's software directory. The only problem? There are less than 10 apps in the garage at this moment. Fortunately for me, GIMP and Abiword are two of those apps, but this needs to change. Now. Why? Because MeeGo is being advertised as this easy-to-use netbook OS, but some people like Firefox over Chrome, and though I'm actually glad it's not included as the default, it should at least be in the app directory.
    On a different note, MeeGo also has YUM, which I had never used before this, but the MeeGo repositories are also lacking.
  • Gadgets. MeeGo has a menu option that is reserved specifically for Gadgets. Now I don't know if these are Google Gadgets or what, but they definitely need some work. Few would display correctly, let me customize, or even work period.
  • Social Networking Accounts. One of the most unique things about MeeGo or Moblin for that matter is that in "My Zone", it shows updates from your social networking accounts. So you log into your computer, and right there you can see recent Tweets or Scrobbles. Only problem: the only two networks supported are Twitter and Last.fm. I'm a tad dissapointed since when I tried Moblin it was the same thing and I was really hoping they would at least add Facebook for MeeGo.
  • Help. The help is lacking. That's all I have to say about that.
  • Power Options. This isn't so much as a problem as a "What?" issue. I haven't found a direct way to access a power menu. If I press the power button, I get a "Turn Off" window, but nothing about Restarting, Suspending, or Hibernating. Of course, I just remembered, Linux requires a Swap as large as your RAM to hibernate, and mine's only 200mb, so I guess that might be part of it. Anyway, it's not really that bad.
I know I might be seeming kind of picky, but really, I love it. I know I say that with almost every OS I come across, but it's the truth, if only for now. I would not have installed it if I thought it was bad. Overall, it's a wonderful system that seems to be very stable. And I know this is the third day that it's been publicly released, so they'll probably add apps to the Garage, add Social Networking, etc. to make it even better.

After one day of using MeeGo on my ASUS EEE 901 netbook, I would recommend it. Just say goodbye to Minimize.

You go, I go, we all go for MeeGo!
-Bry

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