NB200 which desktop?

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msknight
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NB200 which desktop?

Postby msknight » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:34 am

I've tried to search but the term netbook seems to have a completely new meaning these days.

Long story short, I have a Toshiba NB200 and want to put Mint on it. I usually run Cinamon and I'm concerned that the small 800 pixel high screen size will be too small for some of the dialogues.

There don't seem to be specific, "netbook remixes," like there use to be. Can anyone advise please?

Hoser Rob
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby Hoser Rob » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:21 am

It'd help if you posted some specs and when it was made so others wouldn't have to search themselves.

But apparently that's an over 5 year old netbook with 1Gb RAM. No way I'd install cinnamon on there. It's designed for much more modern hardware. XFCE or Mate, probably XFCE would work better.

msknight
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby msknight » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:14 am

Atom N280 32 bit processor, 2gig of Ram, 1024x800 screen. It can go to 1,600x1,200 on external VGA connector, but it's the running resolution at 800 high that's the problem.

ByeByeXP
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby ByeByeXP » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:58 pm

Greetings! Ime, i'd agree with HoserRob that out Mint's MATE or XFCE "flavors" might work for you. I have an ancient Sony Viao laptop (ca 2002, P4, 2GB) that recently died of a ram-attack ;) ... Its max resolution was 1024x768. It choked on Mint's cinnamon & kde, ran satisfactory under Mate (all w/o compositing), but worked quite well under Xfce & Xfce+compositing (!). Even heavyweight apps like firefox, thunderbird & libreoffice were as responsive under Xfce as they were under WinXP.

Before comitting to a post-XP rebuild, I also tested (in a multi-boot config) Xubuntu, Lubuntu, LinuxLite, Bodhi, plus a few other "lean" distros i can't remember. But in the end i returned to & rebuilt with Mint's Xfce-spin because of its out-of-box finish, polish & completeness. Despite my own tweaks (costum themes, icons, sounds, utils, dev-tools etc.) performance never suffered -- the system remained snappy to its end ... After extensive use over 7 consecutive days, 24x7, steady state ram used was 250MB ram, zero swap (nomemory leaks). Quite impressive, imho ...

msknight
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby msknight » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:58 pm

Thank you both for the advice. I'll give XFCE a try.

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MtnDewManiac
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby MtnDewManiac » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:06 am

msknight wrote:Thank you both for the advice. I'll give XFCE a try.


Be sure to return and let everyone know how well it works. It could prove helpful to someone in the future who has one of those crippled little netbooks.

Regards,
MDM
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msknight
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby msknight » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:43 am

I put XFCE on it yesterday. Slow going, but that's understandable. One of the set up screens went behind the toolbar, but I could still get at the buttons.

The Atom processor allows basic things to be done, but obviously struggles at video.

The machine was bought, all those years ago, for the keyboard quality which was raved about. I'm a small-time author, so a decent keyboard on a portable machine lets me do decent work in odd places; hence I put the money behind maxing the ram and the extended battery.

The Macbook Air (which was Minted) is starting to play up after about a year and a half, hence the reason for dusting off the NB200. The trick with the NB200 is turning on the bluetooth and Wi-Fi before you wipe Windows and Mint it, as I think they're software controlled via keyboard buttons.

I have yet to go through all the control pannel menus to see if any drop behind the toolbar and become unusable, so I'll update further in a few days.

Hoser Rob
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby Hoser Rob » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:04 am

I don't know what graphics adapter you get with an N280 and knowing the screen resolution isn't really enough. Copy/paste into terminal:

Code: Select all

sudo lshw -C video


and

Code: Select all

glxinfo | grep OpenGL


And copy/paste results here. Though you may need to install mesa-utils for the last command. I've hopped distros and DEs enough to forget what's installed by default sometimes. But it will tell you what driver is in use and what 3D hardware accelerated video support you have.

Ay any rate, the very first thing I'd do if I installed 17 XFCE on my netbook ... which has the infamous outsourced intel Cedarview GMA and zero hardware 3D accel ... is turn off ALL display compositing in Settings. I think it's in Window Manager Tweaks. I did it pretty quick when I installed 17 XFCE on my laptop, which is a lot more powerful.

Your video hardware accel may not be as bad as mine but I wouldn't expect miracles with HD video playback.

BTW I've tried a couple of netbook screen spins in the past but I always went back to the standard desktop GUI. Very quickly. I don't miss them at all.

msknight
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby msknight » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:46 pm

Unfortunately, some of the preference windows run larger than the 800 height of the screen. Even with the panel hidden, I can't get at the lowest portions of some of them, and they don't have scroll bars.

It looks like screen sizes have just become so large that smaller screen sizes aren't catered for any more... which is fair enough. That's just how things go.

Maybe I can work around it, using a larger screen to get the system happy and fully set up, and then just use the netbook screen on an on-going basis. Time will tell.

Thanks for the help, everyone.

Cosmo.
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby Cosmo. » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:24 pm

As a workaround: Hold the alt-key and click anywhere in the window. You now can move the window a little bit up to reach the buttons at the bottom.

msknight
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby msknight » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

Thanks Cosmo. That's a great little workaround. I didn't know that trick.

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MtnDewManiac
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby MtnDewManiac » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:33 pm

msknight wrote:Unfortunately, some of the preference windows run larger than the 800 height of the screen. Even with the panel hidden, I can't get at the lowest portions of some of them, and they don't have scroll bars.


If it's a window that has a maximize button, try pressing it (obviously, not every dialog/etc. box has one). It seems counterintuitive, but maximizing a window that is larger than one's display... actually shrinks it, lol.

Regards,
MDM
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If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.

wong
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby wong » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:05 pm

Quality keyboard, limited screen space, modest ram & processor?

Sounds like a perfect candidate for ditching a full desktop environment. i3 window manager, or something similar like awesome or dwm, might take a little getting used to but run on fresh air, don't waste pixels and your hands need never leave the keyboard. Openbox or fluxbox may be a little more familiar whilst also keeping fairly light.

Jmthomas87
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby Jmthomas87 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:36 pm

I have an eMachines E-250 with the same specs as the OP user's Toshiba.

I am running Mint 17.3 with Mate as the first WM. I agree with the previous poster, tiled WM's are the way to go on systems with these limited resources, especially the limited screen resolution.

I use i3, awesome, and spectrwm as my primary WM's. Awesome is a great tiling WM for newer users. It has the plan9 menu at the top for help in launching programs and a status bar at the bottom for monitoring battery, Wifi, and other functions.

If you want to go even deeper in the tiled WM world, i3 and spectrwm take time to tune, but are easy to customize.

stereo555
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Re: NB200 which desktop?

Postby stereo555 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:26 am

I have an NB205, which is basically the exact same machine. I dual-boot Mint 17.3 Cinnamon and Xfce, both run great on it. A bit slow compared to more powerful machines, but much more responsive than the original Windows 7 Lite OS that was originally installed in it. I had installed Windows 10 on it, which ran faster than W7 Lite, but then I completely wiped Windows and installed 17.3 Cinnamon, and more recently added Xfce. I see no speed difference between Cinnamon and Xfce, while I wouldn't call either one "snappy" both are just fine to use.


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