Today I want to answer a question. A question that I have persistently addressed for more than 10 years now, as a daily Linux user. I guess I first discovered Linux because of performance issues. On netbooks, of all devices. It was back in 2007 or so. I had just arrived in Japan, and the netbooks were all the craze at the time. This was before Smartphones were even a thing - it would take another couple of years for them to surface in the mainstream.

My netbook was made by ASUS, if I remember correctly. A very decent machine, all things considered: it had a very low resolution screen (1024x768), a small by very comfortable keyboard, and a very small form factor. You could carry it in one hand. It was light as a feather, and practical to put into any small bag. The only problem is that it ran on Windows XP. And it was slow as hell. The hardware did not help: the Atom was certainly not the fastest CPU in the Wild West, and it only had 1GB of RAM to operate. Under such constraints, Windows XP was constantly starving for resources and it was completely unusable. While I had been aware of Linux for a long time, this was the first time I would actually install it on one of my devices. It was a matter of necessity, after all. If I wanted to keep using this netbook, I would have to find something more efficient to run on it. There was a netbook-friendly build of Ubuntu at the time. I guess I managed to install it without a hitch. And lo and behold, what used to be a very slow machine under Windows XP turned into something a lot more usable under Ubuntu. This was my first realization that a change of OS can bring significant improvement to very same hardware under the hood.