Arora: Lightweight Browser

Eee users, a little poll here: who else dropped Firefox after 3.5 turned out to be a bloated monster that crashed on underpowered computers every other minute? Sure, I disabled a lot of addons, but still it crashes like crazy. I’ve been using Chrome as my primary browser for a while now, and it’s been good to me so far. Heck, even the beta versions (yes, I took a big leap and installed a beta release; I lead an exciting life) even with their tendency to crash and being unpolished and well, being so beta-like, is even better than Firefox.

In my quest to find a better browser suited for netbooks, I saw Arora. This browser is:

a lightweight cross-platform web browser. It’s free (as in free speech and free beer). Arora runs on Linux, embedded Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, Windows and any other platforms supported by the Qt toolkit.

Arora uses the QtWebKit port of the fully standards-compliant WebKit layout engine. It features fast rendering, powerful JavaScript engine and supports Netscape plugins.

This new browser also boasts of these features:

  • very fast startup
  • integration with desktop environments
  • smart location bar
  • session management
  • privacy mode
  • flexible search engine management
  • ClickToFlash plugin
  • download manager
  • WebInspector, a set of tools for web developers
  • 30 translations

However, this browser has serious stability issues, kind of like that creepy ex you dumped that one time. It won’t open the My Asus Eee PC homepage without crashing halfway through. Maybe it works on a stronger system, but I won’t be using Arora until it stabilizes. But an exciting project like this is worth keeping an eye on.

Download Arora here.

No Major Releases from Asus this Year

Read this interesting article, and the insights from EeeUser:

Asus have released quite a few netbooks in the first half of 2009, between the Seashell series and the touch screen netbooks, Asus have been pretty busy. However, according to some industry sources, that is all we can expect to see from the Asus line for this year.

These same industry sources are saying that Asus wont be releasing anything new before the end of year holiday season and that they may even wait until 2010 to get the full benefit of Windows 7 and Intel’s new Pine Trail-M Atom processors when they are available.

Asus are still expected to launch the Eee PC T101H before the end of 2009, however, but probably not much else.

I certainly hope it won’t spell out the end of netbooks as far as Asus is concerned. We’re looking forward to better and more affordable netbooks next year, Asus.

Tiny Core Linux Update Available

An update for Tiny Core Linux is available for download at the official site.

According to Eee User,

Tiny Core Linux, the Linux distribution that was almost custom made for the Eee PC, works great on the Asus netbooks, and flies on the Asus Eee PC 701. Tiny Core Linux v2.2 is available for download immediately.

Tiny Core Linux boots entirely into RAM, which is very quick and easy considering it is only 10MB in size, and presents a basic interface to users, from which they can access anything they need to. At such a small size, it really is a Do-It-Yourself system, providing just the basics and allowing the user to build upon the foundations in any way that they want.

Seeing the screenshots though, I see that it’s a command-line interface. Not a big fan of command lines, but for a 10MB complete operating system, I won’t complain.

Moblin Asus Eee PCs?

Confession time folks: I hated Xandros. Well, kind of. Which is why I decided to switch to eeeXubuntu a couple of months after I first got my Eee.

Which is why I’m excited to know that Asus may finally let go of its dependence on Xandros, and release a netbook running Moblin Linux soon.

We can only hope guys.

The Eee PC 1101HA’s battery life is awesome

Asus’ first 11.6 inch netbook’s battery life is great, according to a review by Laptop Magazine. Come on, it can run for 8 hours and 44 minutes on a charge with the included 6 cell battery. How cool is that?

Well, not really. Because it runs on the 1.33HGz Intel Atom Z520 CPU and Intel GMA 500 graphics, you sacrifice a bit of computing power for longer battery life.

But really, if you don’t mind losing some juice for longer battery life, go ahead and get the 1101HA.

Also, it’s pretty.

Hackintosh Compatibility Chart

If you’re wondering which netbook to buy so you can install Hackintosh on it, this handy chart will give you the pros and cons of each netbook.

Also, read Gizmodo’s complete guide.

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Asus EEE PCs to be sold with Moblin 2.0?

According to starting Octobre 2009 Asus wil sell netbooks with Moblin 2.0 pre-installed. It is not known if this will include the whole Asus EEE range or only be a secondary option. Asus is also in talks with Google to launch netbooks with Google Chrome OS.

Asus SDRW-08D1S-U External DVD-RW Drive

Yugatech has gotten his hands on one of Asus’ external DVD-RWs meant for netbooks, the Asus SDRW-08D1S-U External DVD-RW Drive.

In a nutshell, it’s no different from other external DVD-RWs out there. Check out his review.

Windows 7 Eee PCs: How they fare against XP

Okay, in Australia: Eees preinstalled with the much-awaited Windows 7 have been compared against the long-running netbook favorite, Windows XP. And here are the results:

The Windows 7 RC had all the usual tests thrown at it, including HD Tune, Geekbench, Cinebench, 3DMark06, wPrime, PCMark05 and Sandra 2009. The results indicate that Windows 7 performed very well against Windows XP, but in many cases Windows XP edged out and beat Windows 7 just slightly. For example, on idle battery under Windows XP, the battery management to work for up to 10 hours and 14 minutes, which was only 9 minutes more than Windows 7. The test also showed that the Asus Eee PC 1005HA on the Windows Experience Index graphic test scored 2.2, so even Aero could be used, though on AC power.

[via EeeUser]

Synaptics to produce touchscreens that can recognize 10-finger gestures

Okay, I’m not much of a fan of touchscreens. I admit, they look really cool, they make you look either like a tool or the most awesome guy when you bring out your touchscreen gizmo at the nearest coffee shop. And I admit, finger gestures are pretty cool.

But I’m kind of torn at the fact that Synaptics is out to produce a touchscreen that can recognize 10-finger gestures. As if 2-4 finger gestures aren’t confusing enough already.

Here’s a video. Enjoy.

Synaptics ClearPad 3000 Demo from Gizmodo on Vimeo.


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