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Netbooks and Linux

I managed to get an Acer Aspire One a couple months back for £150 brand new.  I was interested to see what Acer's Linpus Lite was like and what I found was shocking.

Acer's edition of Linpus Lite is a horrifically simplified interface, almost as if it were designed for children.  A few big icons in 4 categories, and that's it.  I never did find out if I could actually install anything else.  I was also astonished to find that Firefox was only version 2, and so was OpenOffice.  Overall, it was a very disappointing experience, and naturally I wiped the whole thing off and installed the awesome Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

Now I can begin to understand why so many consumers have returned their Linux netbooks and asked for Windows instead: because the version of Linux they were given was awful!  I cringe at the thought of the number of people who finally decided to give Linux a try, and their first and only experience of using it was Linpus.  Linux's reputation must have taken a beating.  I'm quite sure that the returns would have been dramatically reduced if UNR had been installed instead.  It's far more user-friendly, looks better, performs better, comes with a lot more software, is more configurable and has a huge repository of software to install at the user's will.

 I really hope Acer will ditch the monstrosity they currently use and help restore Linux's reputation to that of a fast, stable, agile and capable platform.

On a related point, I'm also disappointed with many manufacturers who offer Linux netbooks with a lower spec than their Windows counterparts.  They half the memory, or offer 8Gb SSD harddrive instead of 120Gb, or exclude Bluetooth.  Why?  Linux may not be as resource-hungry as Windows, but the public's impression will be that they won't be getting a good machine if they buy a Linux version.  No wonder Windows has won the netbook market: the industry has failed to deliver the right spec and the right OS.

 

Windows 7

A few boring hours today so I decided to give the Windows 7 RC a shot. I've never really used Vista and while I use Win XP at work, this was all a rather new experience to me. Since it is currently free-as-in-beer until March or so (which is a looong time in the beer world) I didn't feel that bad about embracing the monopolists for a short while.

 So after roughly an hour of installation including partitioning and updating I  booted into Windows 7. Frankly, my first impression was that it seems pretty good. I know there's been a lot of flaming over this, but the interface reminds me a great deal of KDE4 and that's entirely a good thing in my book. Still haven't figured out how to disable that annoying double-click-to-do-anything feauture though. 

First problem: No sound. Woo, 

I've heard a lot about it looking and feeling similar to KDE4, and since I've been following that project for quite some time 

 

Product Test: HP F4283 MFP (Multi-Function Printer)

HP F4283 PrinterHere is a quick test and first impressions of the HP F4283 printer on Ubuntu.

 Set-up

The set-up process takes less then 10 minutes - most of which is spent getting rid of all the sticky stuff :-)

Before plugging it into your computer, turn on the power and install the cartridges. The supplied cartridges is (apparently) 1/3 of the normal capacity - according to the sales person. I'll just take their word for it for now.

After the cartridges are installed, an alignment page is print automatically. You take this page and put it in the scanner. Press the scan button on the print and the printer does the alignment (it makes weird noises - I think this is normal).

Now plug it into your computer.

Configuration

Ubuntu Printer Set-upIn Ubuntu (9.04 64-Bit) a window will pop-up. Everything was detected automatically. You can just hit the appropriate button to produce the standard Ubuntu print test page.

This whole process took the greater part of like 10 seconds!

Scanning

On the Gnome menu, go to "Applications -> Graphics" and you should find the XSane option near the bottom of the list. Click on it and wait about 15 to 20 seconds to detect the scanner.

The first scan was a no brainer - can it get any easier then this?

 

 


Quality

The print quality is acceptable for me for documents, but I wouldn't print photos on this printer just yet. The Ubuntu test page showed slight imperfections in the various colour boxes but it's acceptable for day to day use in office document production.

The scanner is acceptable as well. I mostly use it to prep hard documents for faxing anyway, so my expectations are rather low. Yet, the scanned image was supprisingly high quality.

Conclusion

For the price I paid (ZAR499 - just over US$60) was money well spent for me. I am very happy so far.

HP F4283 Product Page

 

Wont be good

With new Linux.Com we got many opportunity for share our experiences. Blogs, groups, submitting articles. all of these good. But one thing about the site will be problem. "Guru Wars" because some of pll want the rewards so badly, they can simply take every unneccesary steps for being number one. This kind ranking systems can be huge problem for our community.

Make c/p and post unlimited blog entries

Join all groups

Be everyones friend

Send some sort answers to all topics at the forums(yeah, gg^^, yow yow)

and be number one! Linux.Com can continue this race, but they must make some changes for the  safety of our minds :D First of all they should close the ranking system to members with this ppl wont know whats their status. Second they should remove guru status from the main page. I really dont care whose ranking better. If they are good i can read their work by myself.

Your Fan

Ceyhun Alyesil

 

10 days till Fedora 11

Fedora 11 Leonidas has many new features:
  • 20- second startup
  • New versions of desktop environments: Gnome 2.26, KDE 4.2, XFCE 4.6
  • New versions of desktop applications: Firefox 3.5, OpenOffice.org 3.1
  • New package format- rpm 4.7
  •  

    Keyboard shortcut for Gwibber

    I've recently joined Twitter and its great! I installed Gwibber and its a nifty client. Being the rodent averse person I am, I had to find a way to have a keyboard shortcut for this trivial task. So, what did I do? I wrote this:

    #!/bin/bash

    ppath=/usr/bin/gwibber
    prg=Gwibber
    prgstr=gwibber
    if [ -z "$(ps -eaf |grep -i $ppath|grep -v grep)" ] ; then
        nohup $prgstr &
        sleep 1
    fi
    [ -z "$(wmctrl -l |grep -i $prg|grep -v grep)" ] && $prgstr
    wmctrl -a "${prg}"

    This launches Gwibber if its already not running. Otherwise, it just brings the window to the foreground. Best part of Gwibber is, it ensures you only have one instance running so this works even when Gwibber is iconified on gnome-panel.Bless you wmctrl

    My HP Laptop had an "Information" key which was lying idle. So, I fired up "xev", got the keycode, assigned it to a virtual key (F21 in this case) and attached the above script to it in Compiz! So now, I just need to press one key to check my Twitter feeds :)

     Next step, modify it to work as a toggle key...

     

    Hallo Linux.com

    Hallo Lieber Leser,

    du bist also auf einen weiteren Blog eines Linux-Nerds gestoßen und möchtest wissen wer ich bin? Eigentlich niemand besonderes. Ausser du siehst das vielleicht etwas anders: ich bin Schüler aus Rheinland-Pfalz, beshäftige mich in meiner Freizeit sehr viel mit Linux und möchte hier einfach einen Blog starten, der das Leiden eines jungen Linuxnutzers beschreibt. Ich bin fest von der benutzbarkeit von Linux überzeugt - und damit meine ich für jeden benutzbar - aber es tauchen doch immer noch ein paar Fehler auf, für die es Lösungen braucht: und die stelle ich hier vor ;-)

     Ich habe zwei Linuxsysteme: einen Desktop (Dell Dimension 3100)  und ein Netbook (Lenovo s10e)

    Mein Desktop ist so konfiguriert: 2GB RAM und eine 160GB Festplatte, darauf ein 64bit Ubuntu Linux in der aktuellen Version (Jaunty Jackalope)

    Auf meinem Netbook läuft mit 1,5GB RAM und einer 160GB Festplatte eine 32bit  Jaunty Installation.

    Diese beiden Systeme perfekt miteinander zusammen spielen zu lassen ist nicht schwer, aber sie genau das tun zu lassen was ich will, dass ist die Kunst darin Linux zu benutzen. Dabei meine ich nicht einfache Aussehensanpassungen, nein, ich rede von einer konfigurierbarkeit, wie sie ein Windowsnutzer niemals erleben könnte. Das erfordert etwas Erfahrung - und diese versuche ich hier zu teilen.

     

    The first post

    I always waste the first post like this.
     

    Congratulations Linux.com!

    Well i think this website its quite impressive and renewing. More interactive and openminded. Well done!
     

    grnotify in den Jaunty Quellen

    Die Vorgeschichte: Neben Linux besitze ich noch eine weitere Sache des WWW, welche mich sehr interessiert und wo ich mich auch etwas auskenne: Google. Da liegt es nahe, wenn man versucht diese beiden Sachen zu kombinieren. Da ich mich, wie bereits erwähnt, sehr mit Linux beschäftige, lese ich jeden Tag etliche Nachrichten und Blogs mit Linux als Themenschwerpunkt - und das an verschiedenen Standpunkten. Also brauche ich einen Feedreader im Web: der Google Reader.

    Die Programmvorstellung: Diesen kann man sehr leicht und sehr gut mit einem Linuxdesktop verknüpfen: das in den Ubuntu-Quellen enthaltene Paket "grnotify"ist ein Applet, welches sich so lange ruhig verhält, bis es neue Feeds gibt. Diese kann man dann aus dem Applet heraus öffnen. Das geniale daran: es prüft die Anzahl der ungelesenen Feeds vom Google Reader. Also kann man auch im Google Reader Feeds lesen und bei der nächsten Abfrage verringert sich die Anzahl der ungelesenen Feeds in grnotify. Hat man also 10 ungelesene Feeds und öffnet fünf aus dem Google Reader heraus, weiß auch grnotify, dass es nur noch fünf ungelesene gibt.

     Das Problem: In der Version die in den Jaunty Paketquellen enthalten ist aber gibt es mit grnotify ein Problem: Es will nicht mehr starten. In der Fehlermeldung heißt es, das Modul "GoogleReader" würde nicht gefunden werden, es ist aber da. Ob es ein Bug im Programm oder in Python ist, ist mir nicht bekannt, aber wie man es umgeht: Man nutzt einfach eine ältere Version, da das Programm schon immer zum Feedabrufen gedacht war, funktioniert also auch eine ältere Version, und sogar noh besser als die Aktuellste: sie startet nämlich. Auf  gnomefiles.org gibt es diese funktionerende Version von grnotify. Die Versionsnummer (1.0.2) zeigt: sehr nahe an 1.0, also bestimmt stabil. Kann ich nur bestätigen ;-).

    Viel Spass

     

    Fsniper

    Fsniper is a tool to watch for files, and execute commands on them. It can be aquired by anyone running archlinux via these commands

     wget  http://aur.archlinux.org/packages/fsniper/fsniper/PKGBUILD

    sudo makepkg -i

     

    and that's it. Installed. To start fsniper use the fsniper binary. This will start in the foreground by default, which negligates it's use. Instead of executing it with a "&" appended, we just use the --daemon option. This executes it as, you guessed it, a daemon. Don't execute it yet though, as we have no configuration file

    Fsniper uses one configuration file, located in ~/.config/fsniper/config. It  has a very simple structure, but it is a bit littered with curley brackets, so be carefull. Here's the layout:

      watch {

                    Directory/you/want/to/watch {

                                     files {

                                           handler = comand you want to execute on file

                                      }

                      }

    }

     

    The files can be defined via name or mime type. The program takes wildcards (* and so on) aswell as enviroment variables. For the handler, "%%" is the full file path, while "%" is just the file name.

      As you can see, it's a simple setup, but hugley usefull. Here is my configuration file:

     watch {

                    $HOME/bin {

                                    * {

                                                   handler = chmod 755 %%

                                     }

                      }

                    $HOME {

                                     Desktop {

                                                        handler = rmdir %%

                                     }

                     }

    }

    The first one makes every new file in my bin directory executable, and the second one deleats the Desktop folder everytime it is created (kde desktop keeps making one)

     

    I can't see much more to say about fsniper apart from one thing, DON'T use it on file types you are likly to download with firefox (*.tar.gz, *.zip, *. jpg ect, ect,) as they are first put into a *.*.part file, while a seperate *.* file is created, meaning that the *.* file is acted upon, but before it has had any data inputed into it from the *.*.part file.

     
    Page 139 of 155

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