Ice cream anyone?

With the British summer disappearing behind a torrent of rain ice cream isn’t the first thing you’d be looking for right now… unless it’s an Ice Cream Sandwich…

Having found out that an early contract upgrade to an HTC One X isn’t going to work well for me (thanks a bunch Orange) I started looking around the ROM lists on xda developers to see if something better was available for my rather battered and bruised Desire. I was running Cyanogenmod but although it had some nice features it felt rather rough around the edges at times… 10 minutes later I found this beauty…

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1484648

A quick flash later and I’m on ICS… very impressed 😀 The phone feels slick, smooth and the UI looks very polished to the point where I’m not missing HTC Sense now. Have also installed Mounts2SD to get around the Desire’s paltry internal memory provision, seems to be working so far…

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1342387

End result with my usual selection of widgets to emulate my favourite parts of the Sense home screen (Simple Calendar Widet and Sense Analog Clock) it’s good to go…

At the same time I decided to get my eeePC 2G Surf out of semi-retirement and see what else I could do with it. This was the device that started off the boom in cheaper consumer web devices that’s eventually led us to the tablet market today. Bearing in mind this was a very basic spec even when it was new back in 2008 means it’s prehistoric by today’s standards. Getting something modern and productive onto it was a challenge that seemed like a way to make some use out of a wet and miserable Saturday afternoon…

I’d already tried Chromium OS (didn’t fit on the 2GB internal SSD, how it needs that much space I don’t know), JoliCloud (same issue) and stripped down XP (best bet up until now) I was wondering if there might be a version of Android that might work… fortunately there is… even better there’s an eeePC specific build!

http://www.android-x86.org/
http://www.android-x86.org/download 

It only needs a couple of hundred MB to install and works well with http://www.linuxliveusb.com/ to make bootable USB installation media. Installation was painless and within 10 minutes Android was up and running.

Verdict? Rather pleased with it, boot speed is around 1 minute and once you’re in it feels snappy enough, only Youtube struggles somewhat but that’s to be expected to some extent. The widgets certainly work well and browser has been fine. The only oddity is getting used to dragging to scroll web pages but you can use Fn+Down as an alternative.

Certainly worth trying out to give that old netbook a new lease of life. For those who remember Art Attack, as Neil Buchanan would say “try it yourself!”

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