Manish Chakravarty's Blog

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An nice distribution for my netbook – help!

I've a Acer Aspire D250
It's got WinXP SP3 + Android in a dual boot configuration ( preloaded / factory option )
My review of it ->
My usage:
This netbook is going to be my travel machine. I use the "reliance netconnect broadband+" datacard to remain connected to the matrix.. err. the internet while I'm travelling.
While XP SP3 was fine initially, I'm beginning to miss Linux on this machine.
The Android OS is pretty good, but it lacks
- anyway to recognize and dial the data card - so no connectivity in places without WiFi - the biggest deal breaker
- Apps for organizing / editing photos
- other native apps that I use less frequently but would be good to have while travelling
XP SP3 has pretty much everything I require, but
- As I install more software, it seems to be slowing down ( Standard windows problem)
- Lack of a good CII
- It's windows.

What I want:
I want to install a nice, "lightweight" distro , which
- works flawlessly with all the hardware I have - sound, wifi , datacard and hibernate/sleep are a must
- doesn't hog too much RAM.
- a good-to-have would be that the distro is compiled specifically for the Atom CPU, so that  I can extract the maximum out of this netbook ( I'm open to cross-compiling Gentoo for this , if that helps )
- KDE4 would be a good-to-have, although I can live with fluxbox + some basic apps as well.
- Good power management - I'm not sure how good/bad linux is with power management as I mostly use it on my desktops or inside a VM on my mac.
- Please dont suggest Kubuntu - anything Debian or RHEL/CentOS based would be desirable - I dont mind not have the bleeding edge software - I can compile what I want -  I want stability above all else - irritated with breakages in the Ubuntu/Fedora world. [1]

Any suggestions?
( posted from my notebook from the train - from somewhere in the middle of nowhere )

[1] - I've had Ubuntu and fedora kernel upgrades breaking sound, VMWare modules and Wifi amongst other things. Used Debian for a year on another laptop ( till mid 2009 ) and never faced any problems

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