Fedora install support for netbooks -- small screen size

Christopher Beland beland at alum.mit.edu
Fri Jan 8 06:41:35 UTC 2010

On Thu, 2010-01-07 at 14:30 +0000, Adam Williamson wrote:
> I'm finding it very hard to think of any other remotely current bit of
> hardware you might conceivably want to run Fedora on, which doesn't have
> at least 600 pixels vertically.
> The last time I had a system with this problem was a Sony Vaio
> Picturebook C1XD - which was 1024x480. I bought that system in 2001. The
> Picturebook line went to 600 pixels vertically with the next revision.
> It was discontinued several years ago...

Well, we're still supporting CPU architectures that first appeared circa
1995...people are certainly still running systems they bought in 2001.
It would be nice to tell my Dad (who was in this boat last week), "oh
well it won't run Vista, but I'm sure if you do a minimal Fedora install
on it you can still check your email" and not have his reply be "the
installer was broken, I couldn't make it past the first screen" because
the "Next" button fell off the screen.

At some point, I certainly agree the cost to developers of supporting
software for old hardware becomes greater than the cost to end users
(who aren't even necessarily paying for software support) that would be
involved in upgrading the hardware.  But if applications and Anaconda
responded to "by Jove, this screen is unreasonably small for my
well-proportioned user interface" situations by throwing up emergency
scroll bars or eliminating gratuitous whitespace, that doesn't seem like
too much trouble to go to.  Especially since small screens (real or
virtual) could be in the unimagined future as much as they are in the
wish-it-were-forgotten past.

It *would* actually inform these sorts of decisions to see some Smolt
data on what screen sizes real users actually have right now, but after
poking around some in the web database this info is not jumping out at


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