Finally got a decent Haiku laptop - My observations/suggestions

I’ve been wanting to give Haiku a bit more serious of a try for a while now, but I wasn’t really able to because my daily-driver laptop is a Core 2 Duo machine, and the lack of power-management support meant that if I left it on for any length of time, it would get egg-frying hot and start the fan going full-blast. That’s one thing on a desktop, but for a laptop it makes it pretty much unusable :confused:

Luckily, I just nabbed a laptop on the cheap that should be perfect for the purpose. If anyone wants to dig it up themselves, it’s the HP NC6000; it’s a Pentium M, so it’s not exactly world-ending mighty, but it’s plenty zippy for a lightweight little OS like Haiku and can take up to 2GB of RAM (PC2700,) and SpeedStep works perfectly, so it doesn’t constantly run hot (does get a bit toasty at times, but nothing unmanageable; I’m going to redo the thermal paste and see if it improves any further.) The optional-but-common built-in wifi is, as far as I can tell from the documentation, one of Intel’s various models (supported,) or the Atheros chipset mine has (also supported,) and the audio is standard AC’97 (seems to work fine.) Video’s a Radeon Mobility 9600 with either 32MB or 64MB, so it should be in an ideal position once 3D drivers start getting written/ported. The only downside thus far is some major drift on the touchpad when I leave my finger sitting in place; I’ve got a replacement on the way, so we’ll see if that resolves it. Alpha 3 installed without issue; I’m going to put the latest nightly on it when I get a chance.

So anyway, I should now be able to do a bit more acclimating to Haiku. This thread is where I’ll post my observations and suggestions.

To start:

  • It would be really nice to have a way to block windows from overlapping the Deskbar, at least when it’s in Windows taskbar mode. “Always on top” helps, but it’s still annoying because maximized windows wind up behind it. It basically defeats the purpose of having that mode.

  • It would be nice to have a snap feature for resize on the lower-right corner of the screen like there is for relocate on the upper-left; I suppose it’s possible that I might want to resize a window past the borders of the screen, but it’s not nearly as likely as my wanting to resize it to the border (especially since auto-maximizing causes that Deskbar overlap issue.)

  • Does Haiku support standby mode? It doesn’t standby when I shut the lid, or when I click the power button. This is a pretty crucial feature for laptops…

I recently paid $122.50 on eBay for a near brand new (I honestly don’t think anyone ever used it, super clean with 9% battery wear) Gateway LT2804U N570 Atom Processor netbook (2 cores, hyperthreaded at 1.6 Ghz). Bumped it to 2 gig for $12, shrank the Win 7 Starter on it to half the disk size (125 gig) and chopped up the rest with several Haiku partitions (get a boot menu for them and Win 7 with Haiku’s BootManager). It has Intel Extreme vid so looks great hooked up to a 1280x1024 monitor. Just hook up a standard USB keyboard and mouse and it’s a fun machine to play with.

Has HD audio so sound should work but it doesn’t (eventually, I guess). WiFi won’t work with WPA2 but does with Open. Ethernet works. Touchpad works.

I don’t mind having this as an option too, I just like all of my tabs and I have plenty of free screen space on my display, so it’s not a problem for me personally. For someone with different tastes this feature of new browser pages as new stacked tabs might be considered more preferable, I guess.

Same problem with the Gateway LT2005u and LT2804u netbooks. They don’t work with WPA2. They work on Open wireless so at least that’s good for public places like cafes, bookstores, etc.

Intel HD Audio is another issue. Media Player thinks it’s playing the mp3’s but no sound to go with what it “thinks” (this is on the LT2804u, the LT2005u works).

So yeah, maybe I see why it’s going on alpha4. Still, it’s awesome and a lot of fun to play with!

  • I think this has been mentioned before, but it would be great to have a feature for WebPositive to use “stacked browsing” instead of tabbed browsing, since it’s a perfectly viable scheme that’s already in place in the OS.

  • Workspaces would be handier if the focus was remembered for each, so that you automatically switched back to the active application for that workspace.

It would be really nice to have a way to block windows from overlapping the Deskbar, at least when it’s in Windows taskbar mode. “Always on top” helps, but it’s still annoying because maximized windows wind up behind it. It basically defeats the purpose of having that mode.

Good luck with that, pal. For whatever reason some Haiku developers like it the way it is now, though it doesn’t make any sense in “top” and “bottom” mode (Windows taskbar mode), at all. I’d like to have it as an option in Deskbar Preferences disabled by default (for hardcore old school crowd). I mean, even big icons without application titles (a-la Superbar) were implemented in Deskbar not so long ago, so why not make full screen windows not to overlap the Deskbar?

Well consider kallist5 has focused on radeon_hd you might not be in the ideal position but you will probably get support shortly after radeon_hd I imagine. See here though the situation may have changed somewhat.

I look forward to quad core atom and possibly improved AMD mobile chips :smiley: next year.

Personally, I like to have tabs within the window as it is now. If there’s too much of them, then I open another Web+ window, stack it along and open new tabs there. Good thing is you can stack windows of many different applications, I use this feature all the time.

Well, I wouldn’t mind having tabbed browsing as an option, but in the context of a web browser for Haiku, it does seem like a redundant system, taking up screen space without adding much functionality that couldn’t be implemented with the existing approach. Besides which, there’s currently no tab-switching keyboard shortcuts, whereas window stacks already have them…

Oy…the wireless is supported in terms of being recognized by Haiku, but it won’t connect to my network - working from the terminal, I run ifconfig with the proper SSID and key, and it pops up a dialogue box for me to select the encryption type (WPA2,) but it fails to actually connect…