Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Moblin V2.0 Beta (release 2009-07-10) try out

I have been running Moblin V2.0 Beta on my AcerAspireOne netbook for the past 1 week, I think is time for me to do some commenting about my experience.

As far as I concern, Moblin’s has a very good responsiveness towards my expectation.

In terms of OS start up, it took me merely approximately 30 seconds from boot up till the MyZone is being shown on my screen. But due to the reason that I only do boot-up directly from the live images via my USB thumb drive, thus I am not sure on how much delay it will incurred if I have my Messenger and Social Networking site properly setup and hooked up to MyZone.

On other aspect, Moblin’s UI responses towards my command is rather fast as well. The Moblin’s toolbar slides down from the top edge of the screen just in time whenever I point my pointer on the top edge of my screen. I don’t see any lagging on the sliding down animation. And when I move my mouse pointer across different icons within the tool bar, the icon highlighting animation run smoothly and accurately on where your pointer is pointing to.

However, for being fussy, I do see some area of improvement needed on the responsiveness. First of all will be the scrolling function. I do find the vertical scroll bar response towards my action rather slow, and sometime it is just not start scrolling at all. Secondly, I do see a couple of seconds delay in launching of a webpage after I entered a web url into the Internal Panel and hit the Enter key. The other one which is the most annoying to me, will be the tooltips of opened application/dialog from Zones Panel, because on random case, the tooltip will be stuck on the screen itself, not disappearing, even I have close the Zones Panel, resulting on some floating tool tips which neither can be closed or clicked or activated on the screen, overlaying with other running component’s of window/dialog.

As Moblin is still in Beta version, I believe there are still plenty of rooms for Moblin to expand in terms of it features and capability. As of today, it does offer some very basic feature such as multimedia player, internet browser, integrated IM, calculator, text editor, tasks list and calendar.

Going back to the IM where I mentioned in my previous post (Moblin Vs Google Chrome OS). I did say that I am not sure on which Messenger service I may connect to, but now I do after trying it out. There are quite a number of Messenger service which Moblin is able to connect and integrated with its People Panel. I have not tried the other but my Yahoo and MSN account. Moblin successfully connect to both my Messenger service account and “virtualized” them in such a way that from the People Panel, you wouldn’t know which of your contact is from which service, they are all virtually in just one account, where you may interact with anyone of them from any messenger service all in the same way within Moblin.

Personally, I do hope there will be some very light weight version of open format document reader (and editor if possible). This is because I believe that most user of the netbook will not just merely do web browsing, most of the time they will need to use for advance editing tool other than basic text editor to do some simple documentation works.

Additionally, not everything can be launched into the Zone of your choice at anytime. Only applications launched from within the Applications Panel will have the options of preferred launching Zone. In example, whatever you launch from the toolbar will be defaulted to be always launched into Zone 1. From my own personal point of view, it could have been done better by allowing them to be launched into user’s preference Zone, such that user will have more control on how they would like to organize their running applications. :)

Another thing which I think is really missing currently will be the shut down feature. Yes, you heard me correctly. The current beta version is a OS with no shutdown feature. The only way you could do the shutdown it via pressing your netbook’s On/Off button. I think it is really necessary to have a proper shut down procedure so to ensure that everything is properly closed/ended before the machine is turned off.

The connectivity panel I tried out is just a very basic connectivity panel, with simple buttons and a simple list of all found networks (I was using Wireless connection) for you to connect to.

One thing I like it in the Connectivity panel is that it will automatically identify the type of encryption method used by the network and what user needs to do is merely click on “Connect” button and enter the passkey into the requested field and you are connected, unlike in Windows XP/Vista, where user will need to identify and set accordingly for every single details of the network before they can gain the access to it.

However, I did consistently experience connection lost whenever I visit certain website (example Facebook games), and it will not re-connect by itself, not even if I manually re-connect to the network. It just simple don’t connect after that. The only way to reconnect it is to do a reboot and reconnect. And sometimes the connectivity status does not reflect the right status (example, while the status said I am not connected to any network, I might still be able to do web browsing and have my IM account logged in). I have report this to Moblin’s group and they claimed that this issue should be fixed within their latest Moblin V2.0 Beta Live Image (the one I used was released 2009-07-10) whereby some of the connectivity modules are updated and will provide a more proper and user friendly graphical user interface.

I got a very good support from the Moblin’s development team when I report my connectivity issue to them. I do also subscribe to their BugZilla (so I can report bugs and receive bug fixes update directly from the developer’s community). I suppose due to the reason of the rapid development which is going on currently on Moblin’s developer community, I receive so much updates from them about existing defects/bugs update via my email, frequent enough to get me busy for checking my inbox for the latest update from time to time. :)

I believe Moblin’s group had done a good job to put on all relevant and useful information on their comprehensive official website (http://moblin.org) where user will be able to get all the required information (at least to me) and they will be a whole group of Moblin’s developer willing to get in touch with you to help you solve your problem.

Overall, I am satisfied with what Moblin’s V2.0 Beta version had offered to me and I will say it is up to my expectation as of the current state as a Beta version. I am looking forward for their next release (their release candidate) so that I could try out more and expect more surprises, so they could really turn me ON and convinced me to switch to the full use of Moblin on my netbook. :)

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