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So I got a package delivered today, several days earlier than expected. The item was enclosed in cardboard surrounded by more cardboard wrapped in an enigmatic bubblewrap inside a mysterious padded envelope.

Upon the conclusion this matryoshka-doll experience which was fun I was greeted with a from @PINE64 which was lovely!

@msh @PINE64 let me know how you like it, i’m taking a jump there in a few months time if it continues to be positive feedback.. my thinkpad e595 is too damn heavy, and i dont like that about it. by the time i boot it i dont want to play with it anymore.

@ringo @PINE64 my first impressions of the are fantastic! Very well built for the price, performs well enough fo what I intend to do with it (web, email, LibreOffice, SSH client into servers--typical "office duties" for me)

Keyboard is nice to type on considering the sltra-slim form factor thought the trackpad is merely acceptable (sensitivity is just about right when dialled all the way up to maxiimum) so a little bluetooth mouse is handy.

Nice affordable small fanless notebook!

@ringo @PINE64 One thing I should note is that I am not a fan of Manjaro which is the default (virtually all the default behaviours of KDE annoy me and I NEVER use Arch BTW).

Because of this, and because I am a problem child by nature, I downloaded an Armbian Buster image (mainline kernel), put it on an SD card and booted off it. I liked it so I ran a little script built into the live boot to install it on the eMMC (replacing Manjaro) and I selected f2fs instead of EXT4 because I could...

@ringo @PINE64 ..since that went well I tried to invite more trouble by changing my apt sources to "bullseye" and doing `apt update; apt full-upgrade'...

...then because I am used to GNOME I did `apt install gnome` and rebooted...

...so my attempt failed. That is, I failed to encounter the trouble I was inviting and Everything. Just. Worked. Everything installed fine. GNOME works GREAT. WiFi works. Bluetooth works. Camera works. Mic works.

Installed OpenVPN. Works too.

Most excellent.

@msh @PINE64 oh wow. :D this is great news. i was going to suggest adding xfce because well thats my favourite but if youre a gnome your a gnome. :) wmaker and xfce are my goto’s… xfce for working, and wmaker for times when i feel like living in a time warp.. :D

this is a fantastic news for the first take dept, and thank yee :) had i not spent the equivalent on orgonite this month i’d be getting one, i’ll have to wait though a bit that being said.. :D

@ringo @PINE64 xfce is the default for armbian and you can switch manjaro to it easily enough if you are into the arch ecosystem so even less tuning required for you!

@PINE64 @msh intriguing… alas i am also a long long long time debian guy i dont know that i could deal with the other distros :D preference afterall.. *makes laughing face and shrugs*

@msh @ringo @PINE64 I got mine in December of 2019 and I still love it and use it almost constantly. I got the USB C Dock for it in March and it makes it even more useful.

@msh @PINE64 I do love my Pinebook Pro! Its a great little notebook. I did similar and installed the unofficial Debian installer and use sid.

Honestly, last year there were a lot more problems but now it has great hardware support for most everything!

@thatgeoguy the rate at which @PINE64 achieved mainlibe support was impressive. I'm equally impressed with the perfornnce of GNOME on it too...I guess the popularity of lighter DEs like xfce on these units is more out of preference of the typical user than out of neccesity

@msh @PINE64 honestly gnome in general is... Not bad? GTK is horrifying from an API perspective (maybe I just hate meson), but aside from a few weird bugs I've hit I actually don't think I harbor any hate for it.

@thatgeoguy @msh @PINE64 Pretty much any modern toolkit is actually really good at running on almost any remotely modern hardware; been shocked for example by how great just outright KDE / Plasma runs on a mobile device, the Planet Computers Gemini shipped with LXQt by default but I switched to using Plasma instead and it ran completely without hiccups (well, connman kinda sucks but that's a different issue lol). I think the old ideas in Linux communities about "heaviness" of DEs are outdated!
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