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@kisom kisom/gist:3522220
Created Aug 30, 2012

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The Yeelong: A Review

I'm sure many other people have reviewed the Lemote Yeelong 8089 netbook. I picked up mine for a specific use-case and for the most part, it does a decent enough job satisfying that use case. However, unless you're at an RMS level of free software dogmatism, you would probably be better served by an x86-based netbook. I use it for hacking in C on the bus, especially when working on code that is meant to run on OpenBSD systems. It is quite slow, making it sometimes painful to do much more than gvim (which can take a second or longer to pull up on screen)

Mine is configured with 1G of RAM and a 160G hard drive (I haven't looked at changing out any of the stock hardware), and runs OpenBSD 5.0/mipsel. For the most part, the hardware runs very well. The major exception is the wireless card; when I tried using it on an open access point, it worked fine. It struggled, and typically failed, to connect to my WPA2'd access point. I had a USB ral0 wireless adaptor lying around, and I just use that when I need wireless (which isn't often; typically I just jack in to a wired connection to sync via Bitbucket and rsync). Also - the laptop gets pretty hot, making it uncomfortable to put on your lap. On the bus, I put a notebook underneath. At home, I often use a set Vuzix video glasses and an external keyboard (which also helps to cut out the rest of the world).

One of the biggest sore points is the software available. I have yet to get webkit built, so any webkit-based browsers that I want (primarily xombrero) won't build. I've also run into problems building firefox. Right now, web browsing is done with lynx. I'm sure there is a graphical browser that will build and run (and maybe there's something wrong with the way I'm trying to build xombrero or firefox), but lynx works for my use case and I don't want to put too much effort into it. Especially considering that webkit took over a day to compile (and didn't even finish building before choking). Did I mention that the machine is slow?

In closing: if your use case is like mine, and you just want to hack C in spectrwm with a couple consoles, cmus, and text-only web browsing, you might want to look elsewhere.

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