Back in 2007 I got an Asus Eee PC, one of the fist netbooks, which were tiny laptops that (typically) ran Linux. It served me well for quite a while and I eventually turned it into the controller for my RepRap.

After I had it for a year or so my wife’s old laptop died and we were looking for a (cheap) replacement, and by that time you could get netbooks that ran Windows. Granted, it was Windows XP, but hey, it was over a decade ago. She used it for a few years until I got her a (used/cheap) MacBook Air and her old Eee PC 901 sat in my office doing nothing.

In the most recent cleaning fit I found it and was about to drop a lightweight Linux onto it (probably
Lubuntu or Xubuntu, which I’ve used in the past) but then I remembered there was a Raspbian Pixel distro for Intel machines (aka “Mac and Windows” computers) so I burned a disk, booted it up, and it was like the old days of install Linux on dodgy hardware! Manual disk partitioning, errors, multiple tries, but in the end, it worked!

So I’ve now got a laptop running Raspbian Linux. And since it’s old hardware it probably runs at a speed close to a modern-day Raspberry Pi, but has a built-in screen, keyboard, trackpad, speakers, etc. It’s like a portable Pi. (Sort of.) The one tricky thing is that when installing software you need to grab the Intel version, not the ARM version… but other than that, it’s like a Pi without the GPIO stuff. I can see it being useful for developing and testing things in a Pi-like environment with Raspbian. Maybe I’ll use it for something.

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