Adventures In Computing

August 13, 2008

Getting You Up To Date

Filed under: Asus, Dell, EeePC, GNU/Linux, GoblinX, Kubuntu, Linux, opensuse, Ubuntu, Vostro 1500 — Normand Bissonnette @ 1:14 am

I have gone missing for over two weeks, I was on vacation and I sort of took some time off of working on my computers.  I have now returned and my post will be more frequent.  The first thing on my agenda  is the Dell RAM situation I told you about in my last post.  Last week when I got home I called the Dell service line to get them to ship me the replacement RAM for my Vostro laptop.  They told me that I would get the 1 Gb RAM card within 10 business days.  The courier tried to deliver it to me 18 hours after I hung up with Dell.  I was not at home so I called them and got it delivered to my place of work the following day.  I still have to return the defective part.

Before I had the problem with my Vostro 1500 laptop, I was thinking of getting a MSI Wind netbook.  My eeePC is still working fine but I find the keyboard painfully tiny, it is hard to type with accuracy since I have normal adult hands.  I think the keyboard was designed for child.  The service that I got from Dell was great so I might wait until the release their mini Inspiron which wil be release, hopefully, in the near future.  I have a suspicion that when it is releases it will have ubuntu’s netbook OEM pre-installed.

I have also read  somewhere on the Internet that Apple will have a true netbook in 2009.  I used to have an Apple Macintosh which I really liked at the time.  I would keep OS X but I would have a dual boot with Ubuntu as my main OS.

I am not sure what I will do but I will keep you in touch.  Tomorrow is m day off so I intend to remove OpenSuse and Install Kubuntu on one of my computer I want try KDE 4.1.  I am sure They have made improvements to 4.0.

This evening I tried to get Goblinx on my eeePC but I could not get X to start.  I think that the screen resolution is what is preventing X to work.  I am tired so after an hour I have decided to take a break.

I guess that is it for today I sit back and watch the Olympics on television


July 16, 2008

Solving eeePC Fan Noise Confirmed

Filed under: Asus, EeePC, GNU/Linux, Linux, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 9:40 pm

I did the Ubuntu updates on my eeePC this morning knowing that I would have to recompile madwifi yet again, since there was an update to the kernel. I did not realise that I would have another small problem.

After compiling madwifi I restart the eeePC and the fan noise is back again, damn, damn, damn!  Will the fix that I wrote about in this post work?  I hope so.  I am already late for work, I have to wait until the end of the day to confirm or debunk that if you turn off the eeePC, unplug the power cord and remove battery and install battery solves the loud fan noise.

This is the first thing I do when get home from work and I am glad to tell you that it works.  I turn on the eeePC before attempting the fix to see hear if the fan is loud, it is.  When I start the netbook after installing the battery again The fan cannot be heard.

June 26, 2008

Solving Fan Noise on eeePC

Filed under: Asus, EeePC, GNU/Linux, Linux, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:31 pm

In April when I purchased my eeePC I noticed that I was very quiet, whisper quiet would probably be a better way to describe it.  After I had installed Mandriva on it, the eeePC became “Homer Simpson whisper quiet”!  For those of you that do not enjoy watching The Simpsons, when Homer Simpson whispers you can hear him miles away.  I searched the Internet and found out that this fan noise in the eeePC occurs in a lot of them.  I was not impressed, I almost returned it to the store.I learned to live with it.  I like everything about the eeePC except the loud fan noise.

eeePCI decided to update the kernel, I had put it off because I did not want to re-configure the wireless since every time we update the kernel in Ubuntu on the eeePC we lose the wi-fi.  It is very easy to configure but I felt lazy.  Back to the topic in hand, I update the kernel re-booted the eeePC no wireless.  I plug in a land line still no Internet connection.  I had read about this minor inconvenience, the solution is to turn off the eeePC, remove the battery, install the battery, boot the computer and voila Ethernet works again.

I got a surprise when I booted the eeePC, no fan noise!  Being a realist, not a pessimist, I taught to myself that the fan had burnt out.  It was working to hard and it burnt out, damn, damn, damn.  The second taught I had was maybe it is fixed and is working like before.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  So I decided to work with the eeePC a little to see if I had a problem or a solution.  After 20 minutes or so the fan kicked in and it was whisper quiet.  The good whisper quiet.  I quoted Homer J Simpson “Woo Hoo”.

I am wondering if this would solve other peoples fan noise problems.  I hope that you try it out and works for you like it did for me.  Now I can really say that I like everything about my eeePC.

June 22, 2008

Avant Windows Navigator on The eeePC

Filed under: Asus, Avant Windows Navigator, EeePC, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 8.04 — Normand Bissonnette @ 11:22 am

I decided to try Avant Windows Navigator on my laptop and eeePC.  I sort of like Apple’s dock.  After working with it on my laptop for a day I installed it the eeePC.  I figured that it would give me more real estate on the small desktop. It did.  Do I like it or not?  That is the question.

I was undecided if I wouldawn keep it or not on both computers until I tried to play video on the eeePC.  The eeePC froze!  I could move the mouse but if I clicked on something nothing happened!  At first I didn’t know what was the cause but when I asked myself what did I change that could have caused this to happen the only answer I could come up with was Avant.  Before I removed Avant I had to make sure that was the cause.  After I turned off the computer by holding down the power button, I turned it back on and tried the video again and it froze.  Turn off, turn on computer quit Avant Windows Navigator tried video and it works perfectly like before.  I knew then without a doubt that Avant was the problem.  I decide to turn avant back on one more time and try playing video before taking drastic measures.  The eeePC froze again.

I had to make a decision.  Do I keep Avant or not.  If I keep it on the eeePC I have to spend sometime trying to fix it so that I can enjoy video on the small PC or completely forget watching video on the eeePC.  I chose the easiest option for myself, I removed Avant from the eeePC.  I did not like it enough to convince me to invest the time debugging it.

I do not have this problem with my laptop, so as I am writing this it is still on that computer.  I have been using it for that last few days and will leave it on for at least a complete week before I make my final decision if I keep it or not.  At the moment I don’t see any advantage to keep it maybe I will change my mind later on I have been known to do that at times.

May 6, 2008

Install Fest Part Two

Filed under: Asus, Compiz-Fusion, EeePC, GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, Linux, Mandriva, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 2:52 pm

A week ago tomorrow I installed Ubuntu on a friends computer. I also had to install a DVD burner in my friends computer. I had issues with the new DVD writer and the CD writer. After screwing around with them I figured that I did something stupid and I should not have made this stupid mistake. Both the DVD writer and the CD writer were set as masters. All my ROM issues were resolved when I set the CD to slave. What a stupid mistake on my part.

After this install I decided to take a break from computing. I can be quoted as saying “I hate computers”. I have taken a break from working on computers. This has lasted until Saturday. I survived five days without working on my computers. After work on Saturday I installed Ubuntu 8.04 64 bit on one of my computer and the eeePC also has Ubuntu 8.04 on it.

I had tried the Ubuntu server kernel on a 32 bit install so that I could use all of my 4GB RAM. I could not get the goodness of desktop effect because I could not get the Nvidia driver to work. This computer being very vain, needed the Compiz-Fusion effect.

I did not like that when I was using my eeePC every time I booted the laptop I had to mount my samba shares. This computer has only 8 GB of memory so I use the hard drive of another computer to save my large files. Ubuntu does this automatically so I switched it to Ubuntu. I have noticed that with the desktop effects on UbuntuI can pay video and there is no jerkiness like there was on Mandriva.  There are quite a few How-To guides out there so do a google search and you’ll have a brand spanking new Ubuntu OS on the eeePC.

I have also installed DSL (Damn Small Linux) on an older IBM notebook. There is a learning curve here.  I might install it on an other older computer that only has 32 MB of RAM and I can’t find anything else that will install on it.

April 18, 2008

Mandriva 2008.1 On eeePC

Filed under: Asus, Compiz-Fusion, EeePC, GNU/Linux, KDE, Linux — Normand Bissonnette @ 12:02 am

I finished the internet install of Mandriva 2008.1 on my eeePC.  I ended the last post with 2hrs and 43 minutes left in the install of Mandriva according to the GUI.  I think that I have been through a time warp because it only took an hour to finish the install.  It took a total of 2hrs and 15 minutes for the install.  I tried it out and almost everything worked.  I did not realise that the internet install was the free install and instead of having the nonfree-flash application it had the gnash.  Gnash still has bugs.  When I was trying the Metisse window manager I could not play video, all I got was a black screen, the same can be said when I was using Compiz-Fusion.

I took a break and went to donate blood.  Please do the same.  When I got back home I decided to re install Mandrake 2008.1 the One version not the Free version.  I used an external CD this time and the install only took about 10 minutes.  This time I can view video on YouTube but I still did not have video when I used Metisse or Compiz-Fusion.  I disabled the 3D effects since the eeepc will be my portable video player.

My first impressions of Mandriva is nice looking and seems to do everything I want in a ultra portable notebook.  I have to figure out what to do with the video problem and that seems to be the only tweaking to be done.

April 16, 2008

eeePC Operating System Switching

Filed under: Asus, EeePC, GNU/Linux, Linux, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Xandros — Normand Bissonnette @ 2:44 pm

eeePCI finally broke down and got myself an Asus eeePC 8G.  I actually got it last week.  I tries the Xandros Operating system that came with it for about 30 minutes and decided I wanted to be able to do more so I converted it to the advance desktop by following the instructions found here.  After a day with Xandros advance desktop, I decided to switch to eeeXubuntu.  I read several places that there were no updates available for the Xandros version on the eeePC, so I went with an Ubuntu derivative since I am well versed with Ubuntu.  If you need help install eeeXubuntu there is a great how to at

The first day I had eeeXubuntu I decided that I would try Compiz-fusion to get all the effects.  I don’t know what I did wrong but I lost all my borders and after playing with it for a few hours I got rid of the effects and back to the plain-jane XFCE desktop.  Everything works fine with eeeXubuntu after the user does a few tweaks.

The last few days I have been reading that Mandriva 2008.1 has complete eeePC support out of the box.  So today I decided to switch to Mandriva.  I have no USB DVD/CD drive therefore I have to do a network install.  Mandriva has instructions here and so does eeeUser.  I decided to go with the KDE desktop and I am installing it over the internet.  My internet speed is fast 5 Mbps but it is still going to take hours for the install.

Once the install is done I will have to trim it done by getting rid of application I will not use or cannot use like k3b the burning application.  I had some misgiving about installing Mandriva because it uses rpm packages and I did have dependencies problems in the past.  That was the main reason why I switched to Ubuntu from openSuse almost two years ago.  I am a glutton for punishment.

It has been one hour since I started the install and according to the install window on the eeePC I still have to wait 2hrs and 43min before the install is done.  I don’t think it’ll take that long, but what do I know?  I leave on this note and I will post the results when the install is done.

March 31, 2008

Tough Decision: EeePC or iMac…or Both?

Filed under: Archos 605, Asus, EeePC, iMac, iPod, iPod Touch, Xubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 6:29 pm

Last week I was on vacation, I did not have time to play/work with my computers. Then why am I writing a post on this iMaccomputer related blog? I have promised you that I would write four posts a month. Today is the last day of the month and I only have three posts this month so do the math: This is a filler post. On Thursday of last week I was in an electronics store and I was on the verge of buying myself an iMac computer. I had asked the clerk to get the iMac ready and I would be back in 15 minutes to pick it up. 15 minutes later I was back in the computer section of the store and the clerk I spoke with was with another customer, so I decide to go and look at computer switches since I would need one because my router was all plugged out. I chose a switch but there was no price on it, so I put it back on the shelve and head back to the computer department to pick up the Apple computer but the clerk is still busy with another customer. The other clerks are speaking among themselves. My conscience kicks in and I ask myself “Do I really need another computer?” I answer “Yes, of course”. My second question is “Do I need it now?” “Yes” my heart says “No, it can wait” my brain says, and I decide that since nobody at the store wants to help me at that moment, they do not deserve my business. So I left with no computer. I’ll have to wait for the next generation of iMacs before I purchase one.

I now have to decide if I should get an Asus EeePC eeepcor wait a bit and get the iMac and either an iPod touch or an Arcos 605. The way I see it at the moment the EeePC will act as a portable media player so I do not need the iPod Touch or Archos 605 and I would like to install Xubuntu and try that for a while. All I’ll need are some memory cards to be able to save data and put entertainment on. At this moment The EeePC is winning the battle, but will it win the war? Only time will tell, and knowing myself I’ll end up with an iMac and an EeePC.

I know not a lot of you leave comments but if you have suggestions noe is the time to tell me before I make up my mind. That is it for this filler post. I promise that next month all the post will be all killers and no fillers.

p.s. In the near future I’ll have some somewhat important news on something I am working on, so keep coming back to see what it is.

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