Lemote YeeLoong autographed by rms
My Lemote YeeLoong netbook autographed by Richard Stallman

Lemote YeeLoong

My preferred portable computing device is Freedom Included's Lemote Yeeloong netbook, running completely free (as in freedom) software, from the BIOS up.  It is one of the few (possibly the only) computers that has no proprietary software or firmware, and for this reason is recommended and used by Richard Stallman.  In fact, my Yeeloong was autographed by Richard when I saw him at a recent Arisia.

Here is some technical information about the machine itself:

CPU: MIPS64 (RISC); 1GB RAM; 160GB hard drive; WiFi; built-in camera; CD drive (this may or may not also read DVDs, I don't know)
Operating System: gNewSense mips (one of the few completely free GNU/Linux distros)
Ports: headphone, microphone, 2 USB, ethernet (on the right side); power in, VGA, 1 USB, and some kind of SIMM slot that I don't recognize (on the left side) [a total of 3 USB ports]

Note that although the YeeLoong has a VGA port, the external monitor is not configurable as a seperate monitor, it can only mirror the built-in screen.  Further, the external VGA quality is extremely poor and the video is fuzzy. The built-in screen is sharp, bright, and clear.  Screen resolution is 1024x600 and is not changeable.

Pluses: The Lemote YeeLoong is small, it's light, it runs emacs, and is completely free (as in freedom).  What more could anyone need?
Minuses: keyboard layout is impossible to use (see below). Machine is slow. gNewSense mips Synaptic repositories not up to date.  Battery charge only last 2 or 3 hours.

I initially found the non-standard keyboard layout to be very dificult to use, often hitting the up-arrow when I aimed for the small right shift-key, and often hitting the Fn key when aiming for Ctrl.  The Tab key is also very small and another inconvenience.  I assume that with time, the keyboard layout will become familiar.
Includes OpenOffice (presumably this version of gNewSense predates the OpenOffice/LibreOffice split)
Includes The Gimp
Includes "GNOME Web Browser". Konqueror is installable through Synaptic, and is the browser that rms was using.

All in all, a fun and useful little machine—I am very pleased with mine.


I usually use one of these two desktop wallpapers, specifically designed for the unique 1024x600 screen resolution of the Lemote Yeeloong: (click thumb to view/download full wallpaper. See fullsize, non-lemote-yeeloong wallpapers here and here.)


Audrey Kinlok