Adventures In Computing

December 17, 2008

The Diversity Of Linux Window Managers

Filed under: EeePC, GNU/Linux, KDE, Kubuntu, Linux, opensuse, Samba, Thunar, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 2:59 pm

A misconception among most Windows and Mac users is that an Operating System and a desktop environment are the same. Linux users have the opportunity to know better. Linux users have the advantage of using several desktop environments/windowmanagers  like Gnome, KDE, Fluxbox, XFCE and Openbox to name only a few. Alot of new converts to Linux will start with Ubuntu as their Linux distribution of choice therefore they will start with Gnome for a desktop environment. A few years back when I switched over from the dark side, Windows, to Linux I started with OpenSuse and the KDE desktop environment. I did enjoy my time with KDE and OpenSuse until I decided to try Ubuntu with Gnome. I also install the KDE desktop environment as a safety net.

At first I did not like Gnome as much as KDE, but I have to say that I only used it 30% of the time. When I decided to give Gnome a full hearing I got rid of KDE completely and go with Gnome. I have been using Gnome ever since. I had Kubuntu on a computer that I rarely use.  Well I decided to get reacquainted with KDE. I installed Kubuntu 8.10 with KDE 4.1.3 on my number two computer, I use this computer everyday. What I have seen so far of KDE 4.1.3, I like. KDE looks a lot more polished than Gnome. I can’t wait to see the improvements the KDE developers have instore for us when KDE 4.2 comes out in January.

I have also installed CrunchBang on my eeePC. CrunchBang have OpenBox as a desktop environment. I wanted something lite on resources on my eeePC 701, CrunchBang fits the bill perfectly… well almost perfectly, Thunar does not play well with SMB network shared files. I found a post on how to set up fuseSMB, it worked until I restarted the eeePc and I could not get it working again. I tried PyNeighborhood that also worked until I restarted the computer now I can see the files on the other computers but I cannot access them.  Before you say anything I set up the correct user and password. I finally decided to install Nautilus along with all the necessary packages for network shared files. Now it works fine. CrunchBang is based in Ubuntu and it is perfect for a netbook being a lightweight OS.

There is a Linux window manager for all types of users. I recommend everybody to try something new once in a while. Open up your mind a give it a go, you may find something better for your specific needs.

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November 11, 2008

Ibex Quite Mundane To Install

Filed under: 64bit, EeePC, Funny, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Humor, Humour, KDE, Kubuntu, Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 64bit — Normand Bissonnette @ 5:52 pm

I have installed Ubuntu 8.10 code name Intrepid Ibex on three computers. I upgraded two computers from Ubuntu 8.04. I installed Kubuntu 8.10 on a computer. No major situations to report. It has become very mundane to install Ubuntu or even upgrade. There is no reason for the regular Joe not to install Ubuntu on their “Windows” computer. Come on haven’t you heard we are living in a new era first Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, now switch to Ubuntu!

I have two computers that I still have not did the upgrade; the eeePC, I’ll do it when I can spare time. The other I will not upgrade until the gpac package is fixed. I use this computer to remux HD movies so that my Xbox 360 can play them and with mp4box that is included in the gpac package available with Ibex I cannot remux the HD movies 😦

I almost forgot to mention that I have installed the 64 bit version of Ibex on most of the computers. 32 bit computing is so twentieth century 🙂

On an other note here is a great Matrix/Windows parody, I know that most of you must have seen it, this is for those who haven’t, enjoy.

September 22, 2008

Converting One Person At The Time

Filed under: 64bit, BIOS, Dell, EeePC, GNU/Linux, Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 64bit, Vostro 1500, Windows, Windows XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 6:21 pm

On Sunday I installed Ubuntu 8.04.1 AMD on my friends laptop, an Acer.  I won’t go into detail how easy the installation and tweaking was.  I was done within an hour.  I have been trying to convince Jacques since he got his laptop in 2007 to try Ubuntu.  He finally asked me to do it last week, I think he was tired of me bugging him.

Before I did his upgrade to an operating system that works out of the box and is very secure and looks great, I had been wanting to update my Dell Vostro laptop’s BIOS and I had to this from a bootable DOS disk since the BIOS is only available as an .exe file.  I decided that I would create a DOS bootable USB stick.  I found a few how to’s on how to do this from a linux based computer.  Nothing I tried worked.  I took the decision that in October when I would upgrade to Ubuntu 8.10, I would either install XP and have a dual boot or install XP just for updating the BIOS then format the hard drive and install Ibex.

With Jacques laptop at home I had another option to update the BIOS.  I removed both hard drives from the two laptops, placed Jacques’ HD in my Vostro 1500 and installed the BIOS updates from XP.  It worked.  It took less time than trying to create a bootable DOS USB stick.  I think that I’ll create a USB with XP that is bootable with my eeePC just in case there are more updates to the BIOS.  Problem solving is my forte.

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.

July 14, 2008

Glad To Be Invited To The Party

Filed under: EeePC, GNU/Linux, KDE 4.0, Kubuntu, Linux, opensuse, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:16 pm

I am very happy that my little blog is now aggregated on Planet Ubuntu Users.  I am sad that my first post is about getting rid of Kubuntu in favour of openSUSE.  I was pissed off at Kubuntu at the time of writing that post, now that I have calmed down I may change my mind.

I had tried to get on PUU a month ago or so but was not accepted because I had sent a picture of the back of my head instead of a proper hackergotchi.  I was to lazy busy to create one, so yesterday I finally decided to do it and try again.  I am glad that I did. There are lots of how-to’s on the ‘net you can follow that can help you if you don’t know what to do, I used Nicu’s How-to as a guide.  I was going to write a how-to on using gimp but there are so many of them already I decided against it.

While I was looking for a picture of myself to change into a hackergotchi, I decided to change two of my computers desktop backgrounds.  The first one is “kramer”, my laptop.

The second one is “babu”, my eeePC.

I’ll leave you with that.  The next post should have more substance.

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.

June 14, 2008

Ubuntu Works Just Fine On The eeePC

Filed under: EeePC, GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, Linux, Samba, Thunar, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 8.04, Xubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 2:57 pm

Earlier this week I played around with eeePC.  I had Ubuntu 8.04 and I decided that I would go with Xubuntu to see if it would be faster.  I installed Xubuntu, tweaked it so that everything worked (wireless, function keys and the like).  I then tried to configure Thunar for samba browsing.  I screwed up and it did not work.  After a few hours of trying to fix it I gave up and reinstalled Xubuntu.  This time I got it right and I could my other computers while using Thunar.  I was tweaking the system and I lost my two panels.  Piss me off!  I was not impressed.  At the same time as this I could not connect to my wireless network with my full size laptop, what the hell?

I had to erase my wireless password on the laptop and enter it again to get it to work.  I figure this out after a few minutes.  The eeePC was a bit harder.  After playing with it for an hour or so I got back my panels but I could not get Samba browsing with Thunar.  Damn, damn, damnation!  I was tired off all this bull and I decided to take the easy way out:  I installed Ubuntu again and after tweaking the system everything works fine.  The moral of this story is if it works don’t fix it.

I’ll just add that I have gotten rid of a panel to give me more “space” for applications.  I also tried the new Ubuntu netbook remix that we all have been hearing about the last few weeks and it promising.  It is not yet ready so I uninstalled it.

Back in June 2006 I posted a picture along with “Procrastination” I guess that I am either a visionnary or psycic since it features a Heron and now I am using Hardy Heron on several computers.

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.

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