Back to the Good Old Days?2006.11.16
The EeePC continues to be an interesting thing to play with. Indeed, it I'm doing Linux-y things with it that I haven't done in years. Both the EeePC and to gOS $200 WalMart special have eschewed the "traditional" Linux desktop environments, KDE and Gnome, in favour of lighter, faster choices. The EeePC uses icewm in "Easy Mode", gOS uses Enlightenment. Everything old is new again. Even Rasterman (of E fame, if you go back that far) is back. He's working on making E usable on mobile devices. Sounds good to me!
Anyway, it's been fun playing with a little Window Manager again. I've never liked Metacity and KDE really is overkill on this little machine. The themes for IceWM are easy to install and understand, it's easy to tweak the UI with two simple text files. I can set keybindings like so:
key "Alt+Ctrl+f" rox
Try doing that easily in KDE or Gnome. IceWM is extremely flexible. It's really nice to see some of these hardware makers reminding us of our Linux roots. In a day with the EeePC, I've tailored the UI to what I want. Something that I don't really bother with anymore on full desktop (and laptop) systems.
I'm really enjoying tweaking the interface to meet my exact needs. I now have a custom theme with small window title bars, auto-hiding, keybindings for rox, xmms, gimp etc. It's nice to have things exactly how I want them. I've largely given up on customizing Canonical's vision of Gnome, Apple's OSX or MS' Windows.
Good for Asus for going with IceWM instead of one of the big two. Linux is all about choice, it's nice to be reminded of this.