Jolicloud – Linux Made Easy

Somehow Linux and I have never got along well. Every time I tried to install it something or the other went wrong (mainly the drivers) which frustrated me to the point that I gave up. Maybe if I had persevered a little more, I may have covered the last mile. But then my life and business revolves around Windows. Linux was more of an experiment, nothing more.

I am one of the unfortunate many that bought a piece of crap HP Pavillion tx2000 tablet PC (see “HP Pavillion tx 2000 Boot/Black Screen Solution“). It has been lying around at home gathering dust waiting for me to put an end to its misery. The problem with the tx 2000 is that the NVIDIA graphics card heats up so much that you could flip the tablet and use the bottom to fry an egg. I began wondering whether installing a light weight operating system like Linux could somehow keep the temperatures down to a point that I could actually use it for something. Recently, a tweet from @ralphg alerted me to Jolicloud, a free operating system based on the Debian and ubuntu flavor of Linux specifically designed for low specification netbooks. So I decided to try it out. Although the tx 2000 is not a netboook and was not listed in the list of supported hardware, the Jolicloud installer went ahead and installed the operating system alongside Vista smoothly.

Not only has Jolicloud tweaked ubuntu to work properly, they even maintain a list of applications that they have tested to work well with the operating system. These applications can be automatically downloaded, installed and updated using one click. However, you can go ahead and install other Debian packages on your own as well. I downloaded a beta of Bricscad for Linux and installed it. No problem at all.

Bricscad for Linux (click image for larger view)

I installed Adobe AIR and then was able to install TweetDeck for Linux. Jolicloud puts a simple UI over the original ubuntu UI. But you can switch back and forth between the Jolicloud and ubuntu UI’s.

The tx 2000 has been running for a few hours now and it has not heated up as much as it used to. As a result it has not gone into coma, at least not yet. I am going to let it run overnight and see if it is still alive in the morning. I am trying to see if I can put this piece of crap to some use. although I am not exactly sure what I am going to do with Linux in my Windows world.