eeePC Netbook Ubuntu mod and a bit of fun

As you can see, I’ve managed to get TweetDeck installed on my languishing eeePC 8G Netbook.

Originally we’d picked the eeePC up as a light web browser, but found the native Xandros OS a bit weak.

Time passed and we’d not had time to really explore the potential of this little guy…until now.

First off, the OS needed a rework. I was considering a TinyXP (stripped down) Windows XP install, but decided against it for a number of reasons.

Then Easy Peasy was released. It’s a fork of Ubuntu Linux, optimized for the requirements of the netbook’s smaller form factor (screen, keyboard, wifi, etc).

Cutting to the chase, the Easy Peasy installation went perfectly, following these instructions.

Then, to make this refreshed netbook work for me…it needed TweetDeck (the ultimate Twitter client) which runs on Adobe AIR. Ubuntu and Easy Peasy don’t include AIR, but lucky for me there was a simple walkthrough which I’ll summarize here:

  1. Open the Terminal
  2. Download the file from here using the wget command:
    http://airdownload.adobe.com/air/lin/download/1.5/AdobeAIRInstaller.bin
  3. The name of the file is AdobeAIRInstaller.bin
  4. Save the file in the Home folder (Places > Home Folder)
  5. Run this command:
    chmod +x AdobeAIRInstaller.bin
  6. Now run this command:
    sudo ./AdobeAIRInstaller.bin

The normal installer will open, install it. From now whenever you download a .air file, just double click it and it will be installed.

So this means we simply browse to the TweetDeck download page, click on the Linux Version, and select ‘install with AdobeAirInstaller’ when prompted by the operating system.

Poof done! TweetDeck now installed and the eeePC netbook can now play with Twitter like the big boys.

Latest Ubuntu release unleashes my laptop

As some of you may know, my household server and my ageing Compaq Presario R3230CA laptop both run Ubuntu. Well imagine my surprise when the latest upgrade to Ubuntu (7.04 Feisty Fawn) activated the dormant WiFi hardware. Previous Ubuntu versions didn’t support the Broadcom 802.11g wireless, but judging from my happy results, the Feisty Fawn release does!

Woot!

I’d been keeping Windows on the system to support my WiFi, but now, I can actually nuke it and run this puppy purely on Ubuntu. Sounds like an interesting experiment.

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We don’t need no steenkin’ Windows – eWeek labs reviews Ubuntu 6.06

Not really a suprise to me, though I’m no Linux guru, just a user who upgraded from Red Hat 3.04 through to Ubuntu 6.06. I must say, it is a very nice alternate environment. eWeek Labs recently awarded Ubuntu Linux 6.06 LTS an Analysts Choice award.

This latest Ubuntu release, which became available in June, has won our ardor with a tight focus on desktop usability; an extremely active, helpful and organized user community; and a software installation and management framework that’s unsurpassed on any OS platform.

In addition to outperforming Linux rivals as a desktop OS, we found that Ubuntu is a solid choice for server deployments”provided, at least, that the sort of graphical management hand-holding that one would expect from Microsoft’s Windows Server or from Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server isn’t a priority.

Of course, Ubuntu Linux is free. In fact, Canonical will even ship you professionally packaged discs to install and distribute to your friends. These are ‘Live’ discs that will run from the CD-rom, not touching your precious hard drive, unless you choose to install the operating system. Ubuntu Linux is available in x86, x86-64 and PowerPC versions.

My one qualm with the current distro is that It won’t load/recognize the wi-fi driver for my HP/Compaq laptop. Since it’s a reasonably common unit, I’m sure there will be a patch/fix/how-to that will overcome this issue.

So, nothing to do this rainy, August long weekend, then why not grab a copy of Ubuntu and check it out for yourself!

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We don’t need no steenkin’ Windows – eWeek labs reviews Ubuntu 6.06

Not really a suprise to me, though I’m no Linux guru, just a user who upgraded from Red Hat 3.04 through to Ubuntu 6.06. I must say, it is a very nice alternate environment. eWeek Labs recently awarded Ubuntu Linux 6.06 LTS an Analysts Choice award.

This latest Ubuntu release, which became available in June, has won our ardor with a tight focus on desktop usability; an extremely active, helpful and organized user community; and a software installation and management framework that’s unsurpassed on any OS platform.

In addition to outperforming Linux rivals as a desktop OS, we found that Ubuntu is a solid choice for server deployments”provided, at least, that the sort of graphical management hand-holding that one would expect from Microsoft’s Windows Server or from Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server isn’t a priority.

Of course, Ubuntu Linux is free. In fact, Canonical will even ship you professionally packaged discs to install and distribute to your friends. These are ‘Live’ discs that will run from the CD-rom, not touching your precious hard drive, unless you choose to install the operating system. Ubuntu Linux is available in x86, x86-64 and PowerPC versions.

My one qualm with the current distro is that It won’t load/recognize the wi-fi driver for my HP/Compaq laptop. Since it’s a reasonably common unit, I’m sure there will be a patch/fix/how-to that will overcome this issue.

So, nothing to do this rainy, August long weekend, then why not grab a copy of Ubuntu and check it out for yourself!

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Snow Leopard makes me switch to Windows XP

Last week was full of excitement by Macintosh fans as Apple released the new update to the OSX operating system — Snow Leopard.

I was interested and took a look at the buzz and the business side of the release in a post over at the Future Shop Techblog.

Then I rolled up my sleeves and installed the sucker on our Mac Mini, which served as our Kitchen Computer.

Easy. Flawless. I love it when Things Just Work(tm). Apple seems to have it down pat.

Here’s where XP replaces OSX
Now, I say the Mac Mini served, past tense, as I also took this weekend as an opportunity to replace the Mini with an ASRock Ion 330, running Windows XP (for the time being).

The reason for the replacement? The Mac is just too much computer to be relegated to the roll of just a media centre. It’s just too capable a machine to be locked in the kitchen playing tunes with Songbird.

Ah, so that’s it
So, our plan is to keep the ASRock running XP, though we may move over to Ubuntu if we need to. It’s a pretty sweet box too.

  1. Intel® Atom™ 330 (Dual-Core CPU)
  2. NVIDIA® ION™ graphics processor
  3. Small (2.5L)
  4. Silent (acoustic below 26 dB)
  5. Energy Star 5.0 level (Low power consumption)

I believe it’s certified for Vista and Win7, but I need a light OS. Some of the software I plan to install on it over the next few weeks:

Of course, Firefox, Comodo Firewall and AVG AntiVirus are already installed 😉

Well, what am I missing? This is a light duty, kitchen computer, so I *think* I’ve got all the bases covered…but maybe not. What would *you* install on it?

As for the Mac Mini, well, my wife has plans for it 😉

Installing Eeebuntu on my eeePC

You may remember this post where I waxed poetic on the somewhat-easy installation of Easy Peasy Ubuntu on my eeePC 8G (it’s a 701). Well, believe it or not, I’ve nuked Easy Peasy and am now running Eeebuntu…and the install was even easier!

What got it all started was this post about the ‘base edition’ of Eeebuntu. This section caught my eye:

To accommodate the various capabilities of the vast Eee product line, Eeebuntu comes in three different ISOs: Eeebuntu Standard, Netbook Remix, and Base. A week and a half ago, Eeebuntu released version 3.0 of its Base edition, the lightest and tightest of the three ISOs.

And since I was somewhat disappointed by the speed of Easy Peasy, and Ubuntu was now two versions newer than my current install, I thought it was time to update.

So, by following these simple instructions to set up my USB stick, installing Eeebuntu went flawlessly. And it took much less time than my initial Easy Peasy install. I’m a happy camper.

As the EeeBuntu site mentions, Eeebuntu Base is the bare-bones operating system.

…is the smallest, lightest and most stripped down of the three ISO’s. Apart from Gnome and its usual configuration applications, Firefox, restricted extras and the Eeeconfigure application, there’s little else, which means it’s up to you to add as few or as many as you need.

Which means that even on my first-generation netbook, it’s much faster than the Easy Peasy, XP, or even the original Linux OS who’s name I can’t remember right now.

Time will tell how it works out, but so far, for simple netbook tasks, it’s a champ.

More about Brad Grier

Well here you are. You’ve clicked the link in my Twitter profile and are now wondering more about me. Other than the brief “web.tech.photog.comm.geek.hack” descriptor. Fun!

My ‘tweet’ history will give you a pretty good idea about me and what I talk about. But if you’re not yet following me and are considering it, 140 characters isn’t really enough to paint the full picture.

Rather than repeat everything in another pithy post, this page will serve as a repository of online resources that I think best represent me.

…and in turn, I look forward to getting to know you a bit better through your Twitter activity. And your Twitter Profile! That’s one of the things I look at when I receive my ‘new follower’ email notice. I also look at post history, frequency, and follower to following ratio. I know, picky, but there’s a lot of folk on Twitter these days, more coming online every day, and I want to make sure I use the tool at it’s best.

Thanks for looking, and following!

Web:

Tech:

My FlipBoard magazines:
” ” View my Flipboard Magazine. ” ” View my Flipboard Magazine. ” ” View my Flipboard Magazine. ” ”

Photog:

Comm:

Geek:

Hack: