miercuri, 24 noiembrie 2010

Linux Mint 10 - Perfect for home users

By far Linux Mint 10 has proven to be the best Linux distribution not only for experienced users but also for users that are sick and tired of getting into (let's say ) trouble(s) using "the classic operation system" that requires a lot of additional software . Software that many times is NOT FREE of charge.
Simple said : Linux Mint 10 is the most USER FRIENDLY operation system that can be downloaded and used for FREE "out-of-the-box" along with it's default applications or/and thousands of any other applications an user might need.
Besides the fact that it comes with a beautiful new graphical interface ( I'm talking about the Gnome "flavor" desktop ) it also makes computers with pretty modest resources to run smooth enough.

I will not present features that are already described on Linux Mint official web page. I will say that it comes with the new kernel 2.6.35-22-generic that , at least regarding my Bluetooth headset ( Sony DR-BT100CX ) allows me to be able to take advantage of ALL features this headset provides.
Now all functions of my Bluetooth headset that Linux Mint 9 was not able to handle ( Pause, Next, Preview ) work perfect with this new kernel under Linux Mint 10.

There is ONLY ONE thing ( a bug imported obviously from Ubuntu 10.10 which can be found on all other Ubuntu 10.10 based distributions) that might be a little bit disturbing for a new comer.

As shown in pictures, if the panel containing the Menu , the Clock and Calendar is located "classical" at the bottom of your Desktop, if you want to access the Calendar ...you won't be able too see it because it is "hiding" on the upper right corner of the screen. At least this is happening on my Netbook.

So , I had to re-position the panel on the top ( right click on an empty space of the panel, choose Properties and then
Orientation: Top ).
As you can see if I click on the Date , now the calendar is visible and also all settings you might want to do ( setup your location, how the temperature and wind speed should be displayed ).

As I said, this is the only "inconvenient" a new comer should conquer in order to enjoy Linux Mint 10 experience.

One more time I remind you that the this distribution is available to download for FREE on Linux Mint official website http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php by choosing the Live DVD standard version suitable for your computer's specific architecture - 32-bit or 64-bit.

You'll find also on the same web page a PDF manual that describes some features of this operation system.
Consult it and you might give it a try. You won't regret.

joi, 20 mai 2010

Linux Mint 9 on netbooks/laptops/desktops – Amazingly fast, loaded and simple to use.

IMPORTANT NOTICE!   There are reports that in Linux Mint 9 - Isadora (based on Ubuntu 10.04 - Karmic Koala) the wireless card will loose connection with the router from time to time. The problem can be easily solved upgrading the default linux kernel 2.6.32 that Linux Mint 9 comes with to the new kernel 2.6.36. Follow this LINK to do the necessary upgrade if you have an ath5k or ath9k (Atheros wireless card ).  
Not much different as in “look and feel” from Linux Mint 8 but...very fast and not only!

I won't talk about desktop backgrounds or other insignificant stuff. It looked good before, it looks good now.

I have installed Linux Mint 9 on two computers : an Acer Aspire One and a Toshiba Satellite.

Installation on Acer Aspire One took exactly …. 10 minutes! While on Toshiba Satellite A135-S4467 the installation was done in 3 minutes!!! Pretty cool , eh ?

Once the installation completed you'll find pretty much everything under the hood.

However, you'll need to install a package to help manipulate images from photo camera, so I'll recommend F-Spot.

The big surprise comes if connecting an iPod Touch or an iPhone. Once connected such device, a window will pop up asking you if you want Rhythmbox to deal with the connected device.

I don't know if ( and I don't see any reason why ) Banshee or Amarok will handle an iPhone or an iPod Touch but for sure Rhythmbox will do the job.

This regarding the manipulation of the audio files in and from the aforementioned devices.

As for the pictures, the Image Viewer or the F-Spot should do it just fine.

For those who own iPhones or iPods Touch and wanted to make the change to Linux this is a great news.

If you have a cheap netbook or any other laptop just put inside Linux Mint 9 and it will become a very powerful tool to serve you perfect no matter if you're gonna use it for home or business purposes.

Let me make this clear : it is not only the operation system but also the repositories that “backup” the system with thousands and thousands of useful applications.

You don't have to install them all. Just think about what you need or what would you use normally on , let's say Windows.

For example, you've just installed Linux Mint 9 and you remember that you were using Windows Media Center on your old system to keep organized your pictures, music files, videos.

Is it possible to find something similar working with Linux Mint ? Of course!

Just go on Google and search something like “ linux media center”.

A multitude of answers will pop up and among them you'll find Moovida.

How to install it? Well, first let's see if Linux Mint repositories have this Moovida package on their repositories.

A fast way to check this: click on the Menu icon on the lower left corner of the screen ( I assume you're using the Gnome “flavor” interface) and then click on Package Manager. You'll be instructed to insert the administrative password. Do so and the Synaptic Package Manager window will appear.

In the Quick Search field insert “moovida” and ...here it is. Just check the box next to moovida and the application will be installed with all necessary dependencies.

If you want to install Skype use the same Synaptic Package Manager and you'll find the package there. I'm sure that Skype for Linux will work good with the internal sound device of your system and also with any more or less newer model of webcam attached.

You don't have to carry along anymore the CD stack with drivers for any piece of hardware your computer has or you'll attach.

WIFI works just great and also Bluetooth. No driver needed. Linux Mint 9 has everything necessary to handle these things with great stability.

I've also noticed another essential improvement regarding Firefox and the way it handles now the embedded video files.

If in previous versions of Mint ( 7 and 8 ) Flash Player plugin was causing embedded videos to run not quite smoothly forcing me to replace Firefox with Google Chrome , now in Mint 9 seems that the problem is solved very good.

In an older posting I've mentioned that the OpenOffice Writer is capable to open and edit that creepy ”.docx“ format. But it's not all! The OppenOffice Writer can do more ! Once edited a document you have the possibility to save it in a multitude of formats including...PDF.

Now think about it a little bit: you have a fast,extremely safe, long term supported and very stable operation system capable of handling thousands of programs and applications even on low performance computers saving you the trouble of searching and installing drivers and it's all for free. More that that, with it's latest release all you have to do is to plug in your iPod Touch or iPhone and have no worries loading or unloading any song or picture you want.

The question is : why would you pay to have an operation system that any potential attacker will break in extremely easy, offers you a media player that plays only few audio/video formats and requires even more money to be payed for any additional software that you might need???

Just use Linux Mint 9 and if you like it ( I see no reason not to !) just donate something to the team of developers. They'll use the money NOT TO get rich but to buy in the future new hardware that will appear on the market so they'll have the necessary equipment to test and improve their Linux distro !!!!!

marți, 23 februarie 2010

Basic Guide for Enterprise Linux® Servers - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, CentOS 5, Scientific Linux 5

Finally ready and with the whole support of a lot of people...it's done.
The book is hot and ready containing a lot of ( I'd like to think ) useful information about configuring different type of servers based on Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 5.
For each chapter I've tried to provide exercises as closer as possible to real life that might help any system administrator to figure out solutions in case problems may occur. Pretty fair, right?

As an addition to the Observation in Chapter 3 page 52 referring to the use of the cat command calling the /dev/urandom device for generating a random set of passwords, allow me to launch this challenge:

How would you generate a set of passwords containing 9 random characters when you want to use all numbers, symbols, and letters of your native language (of course, considering that your keyboard is set appropriately for your native language).

               cat  /dev/urandom | tr -cd " ? " | fold -w ? | head

Replace the question marks with the right expressions and ... check if it works!

miercuri, 10 februarie 2010

Ubuntu UNR (Ubuntu Netbook Remix) 9.10 on Acer Aspire One

I have to say that installing and using UNR 9.10 on my Netbook was quite an experience. A pleasent one, of course.
As I have specified in a previous article using different Debian/Ubuntu Linux based distributions has advantages or disadvantages looking from an user with more or less experience point of view regarding "the Linux stuff" generally speaking.
So, using different pictures of my desktop I'll try to explain what you'll find already installed in this new Canonical Ltd. release and what you'll have to install in case you'll need some more applications.
When your Netbook/Laptop will be powerd up , you'll see something similar to the image above.
The Favorites menu as also all others that follow are customizable.
I'm using my Netbook to keep in touch with family and friends so I've added to Favorites Skype and Pidgin.
I am using my Netbook almost like a portable media player so Banshee, EasyTAG and F-Spot were "a must have" in this menu.
By the way, Banshee organizes your music files and also helps you transfer them into and from your iPod or other portable player you might have.
I don't know if it will work with the iPhone or iPod touch. I don't have one so I can't tell anything about this.
More than this, Banshee will organize and play your Video library too. The AVI format is played perfect by Banshee.
For pictures I have F-Spot. Helps me also with the transfer of pictures from my photo camera.
The gFTP application added here is useful for me to upload/download files into/from my home server and also into/from other computers in my home network. Simple application and very easy to use.
The next menu is Files &Folders.
You can see here how I have organized my folders and where I'm keeping my stuff.
In Volumes area of this menu you notice one of my partitions that was mounted separately. Kinda like the D:\ drive in Windows.
What follows next reflects infact how Debian/Ubuntu Linux based distributions keep organized their menus and applications.

I know, it's odd to see here the CD/DVD Creator application for my Netbook but from time to time I'm using an external DVD burner ...eh.. old habits die hard I guess.
You don't have to navigate up to this menu and select Take Screenshot if you ever need to take a screenshot of your desktop.
You can do this fast if you hit the Print Screen button on your keyboard. It's already linked to this application.

In the Graphics section you notice the GIMP.
This application is not installed by default so you'll have to install it by yourself pretty easy using the Synaptic Package Manager located in System menu under the Administration section.
When you'll install the GIMP be sure you'll install also all necessary plugins requested if you have a scanner or a multifunctional  that you'd like to use with your computer.
Shortly saying , the GIMP is similar to Adobe Photoshop doing the same thing but IT IS FREE software!

The Internet menu organizes speciffic programs.
What is NOT installed by default: gFTP,
Pidgin, Skype, Java.
I had to install these applications manually with the Synaptic Package Manager.
Instead of Pidgin you'll have installed by default as "messenger" another application called Empathy which looks and does the same thing as Pidgin but ... I like Pidgin more.
You can uninstall Empathy also using the Synaptic Package Manager. Just select it there and choose Mark For Removal or Mark for Complete Removal then click Apply.
Skype was installed from their home webpage. Just Download the appropriate Ubuntu 32 bit package into your computer then double click on it . It will be installed in a jiffy.

Now I can talk about the reason why a few months ago I was so excited about Linux Mint 7 then about Linux Mint 8 and now I end up using UNR 9.10.
Well, everything was about Skype, Pulseaudio and my Bluetooth headset (you've noticed probably the little Bluetooth icon on the upper right corner of my screenshots).

It's a long storry but if you'll ever get into the same problems read this so you won't waste your time in the future.
Here it is: I'm using Skype a lot and I like to use my Bluetooth headset with it.
I also like to listen to my brutal heavy metal music and I like to use my Bluetooth headseat for this ( well, for me this is not optional but mandatory while people around me don't have the same feelings about this music... I guess they have something against good art! hahahahahaha).
Linux Mint 7 comes with Pulseaudio sound server. You can also uninstall Pulseaudio in Linux Mint 7 loosing  a lot of applications that depends on it ( sound and video players especially!) but there is no problem because Linux Mint repositories offers you other applications instead that don't need Pulseaudio.
Linux Mint 7 + Pulseaudio + Skype + Bluetooth headset = a lot of trouble and time wasted to make all together work.
Finally I had to uninstall Pulseaudio to determine Skype to get ridd of the only option in it's sound options that was Pulseaudio.

Once Pulseaudio away from my computer, I had to find a script, customized it a little bit  and then installed it into my Netbook to be able to use my head seat but unfortunately sound ONLY without voice. Fair enough but not justifying those 40 dollars payed for my Bluetooth Sony headset.
Good, now after all this , Skype displayed in it's sound menu a lot of other options and even if I couldn't use the microphone from my headseat at least I could talk using the microphone of my Netbook.

Wait, wait , wait! The story is not over yet.
Then Linux Mint 8 came out so I was all so damn excited about it that I have installed it without even trying. Big mistake because this time when I have removed Pulseaudio I have lost not only Audio/Movie players but whatever was necessary for my laptop to produce some noize: the sound !
That ment that in Linux Mint 8 Pulseaudio was the default sound system!!

After a whole day and a night and another morning all lost to find some work arounds for this problem and also after a lot of cursings in languages that I didn't even know that I was able to think ( or speak )....I GAVE UP! I surrendered so ...back to Linux Mint 7 and all that work again!

Until a few days ago when I've decided to see what's all about the UNR 9.10.
Especially because they said it's lightweight.
All I had to do was to plugin my Cirago USB dongle Mini into my Netbook, push the sync button on my headset and using the Bluetooth application synchronizing the headset with my computer.

I was about to die two times: first when I discoverd Pulseudio the default sound system also here in UNR 9.10 and second when I saw that Pulseaudio recognized my headset without any additional workaround or script as I told you before.
More than that, Pulseaudio gave me this time the possibility to choose between full duplex (but lower sound quality when in a conversation ) sound + voice and high quality ( no voice) while listening to my music through Rhythmbox or Banshee!!!!!
So now I am using Skype + Pulseaudio+ Full features Bluetooth headset with UNR 9.10. HOOOOOOOOO-YAAA!!!!

Back to some more screenshots now!
In the Office menu you see the Adobe Reader 9 which I've manually installed.
If you want only to read the PDF documents Evince is enough and it is installed by default.
You see here the hole OpenOffice stuff,
another nice "gizmo" which in UNR 9.10 comes with it's version 3.1 that FINALLY OPENS that sensless (at least for me) format named .docx !!!!

Next screenshot presents the Sound& Video menu.
Banshee is not installed by default. I just gave it a try and I like how it works in UNR.
Rhythmbox came by default but I uninstalled it once I saw Banshee at work.

An important note for the sound and video stuff: if you want to play the .mp3 format files you have to install by yourself using again the Synaptic Package Manager the appropriate plugins. UNR will not provide this stuff by default due to all that approprietary software thing bla-bla-bla-I-sue-you-halt-das-ist-mine-scheize.

In addition I've also installed the EasyTAG application that helps me write tags and correct names of my mp3 music files so Banshee (or Rhythmbox) will transfer them and organize them in the same order and in the same "folder" into my iPod.
The last menu -System- is the most complex one and refers to all kind of settings you'll want to apply to your
computer ( Preferences section ) and also useful system-tools ( to use them you'll need administrative password) in Administration section.

All icons you saw in different menus could be placed with a simple click also in the Favorites menu but....why bother if you can do something more elegant.
Notice the Keyboard Shortcuts icon in this section, click on it and you'll figure out how how to create keyboard shortcuts to any application you want without navigating all those menus and searching for the application you wanna use.
For example, Alt+W opens in my computer Firefox , Alt+E opens the mail, Alt+B opens Banshee, Alt+T opens a terminal, and so on.
To be honest I don't remember when was last time I used the mouse for my laptop!

sâmbătă, 17 octombrie 2009

Acer Aspire One and all Laptops/Notebooks/Netbooks <------> Linux Mint

So...you've decided to try Linux Mint on your laptop/notebook/netbook ( it really doesn't matter the brand, processor, RAM or HDD capacity!).
Even if it's for the first time in your life you're using a Linux distribution...just don't be scared of trying it! I assure you : once you'll start using Linux Mint your troubles (as in Windows) with restarting, reinstalling, using cracked programs will end.
First you have to acquire an ISO image of this distribution.
The developers provide two versions :
1.Linux Mint 8 "Helena" - Main Edition (688MB)
2.LinuxMint 8 Universal (1GB)
Both are available for download at http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=45.

I remind you that Linux Mint is a free distribution which was born from someone's effort to offer everyone an extremely easy to use, fast and reliable alternative to whatever "trademark-crap-with-big-name" is on the market. So consider donating to have this Linux distribution more and more improved!

My suggestion: go on and download the torrent that points to the 697MB/32bit one.
The ISO file you've just downloaded will be used to ”burn” a boot-able CD ( no matter what operation system you use I'm sure you have the necessary tools and also you know how to use them in order to create a boot-able CD ) or a boot-able USB key.

Create a boot-able USB key

This works great when your laptop/netbook/notebook doesn't have an internal CD/DVD reader/writer and also you don't want to spend 60 dollars for an external one!.
You'll need an USB key with at least 1GB capacity and a program that will help you “transfer” the ISO file on your USB key. Remember that IT IS NOT a simple file transfer copy/paste.
The program you need is Unetbootin and it is free, available for download (Windows and Linux) at http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ . The program is extremely easy to install and use and the webpage provides all necessary information so I'll not insist on this.

After downloading and installing Unetbootin you need to format your USB key.
For this, insert it into a free USB port and if your operation system is Windows , right click on the icon representing your USB key and select Format.
It's okay if you'll use the default fat32 format.

When it's done, remove and then re-insert the USB key and start the UNetbootin program.
In the window that opened be sure you select the following:
Disk Image: ISO
[Select the path to your downloaded ISO file] ( it's the box right next to Disk Image )
Type: USB Drive
Drive: [the_letter_that_represents_your_USB_key] .
For Windows users this could be D:\ , E:\ , F:\ , etc while for Linux users this could be /dev/sdb1 , /dev/sdc1 , /dev/sdd1 , etc.

When all these settings are done just click OK and the program will start creating your boot-able USB key.
It will take a little time and when the progress bar will reach 100% the program will ask you to Reboot your computer.
Do as it says!

While your computer restarts, press the key that will give you the possibility to access the BIOS.
Usually for laptops this key is F2.
Once the BIOS menu initiated , find the boot options, and using UP/DOWN arrows highlight the USB key ( it should appear in this menu as USB HDD: ).
Then, depending of your BIOS, use the F5 and F6 keys ( sometimes + and – keys will do the same ) to place the highlighted option on the first place ( meaning the option on the first place will be considered as being the drive to boot from ).

Then using the same keys, put on the second place the Hard Drive ( it will appear as HDD: or IDEO: followed by manufacturer's brand, serial number...something like that).
When you're done, just press F10 to save your settings ( by default YES is highlighted ) and then press ENTER.

The computer will restart with the new settings and , of course, do not remove the USB key so the BIOS will find it and boot the operation system from it ( in the present case – Linux Mint ).
If everything was setup correctly in BIOS when restarting your computer will display the boot: prompt.
Press ENTER and the next screen will display the Unetbootin menu with some options.
At this point if you want only to try Linux Mint without modifying anything at all into your basic operation system already installed highlight the Default option in this menu and press ENTER.
In less then a minute you'll have Linux Mint up and running.

Yes, the Desktop is green! And the icons too! But don't worry about this. If you don't like it you can customize everything: Desktop background, Theme, Icons, Fonts.
You can even designate keys or combination of keys to initiate any program you like without being necessary the use of a mouse supposed to click on different icons.
This is extremely useful in case you have a netbook with a small display (8 or 10 inches display).

If you want to explore what's “under the hood” just click on the Menu icon ( lower left corner ).
You'll discover a multitude of programs ( free and already installed ): audio/video players, image editors ( GIMP is an Adobe Photoshop like program ) , image viewers, Open Office ( Microsoft Office like program), Pidgin ( instant messenger program that allows you to login with different accounts on Yahoo Messenger and/or different other popular instant messengers you might use and have accounts on), Firefox Web Browser , Thunderbird Mail, Transmission Bit Torrent and a lot of other applications that look like whatever you know and/or use already on Windows.

If you have an iPod ( Apple product ) then Rhythmbox solves the problem with the transfer of your music files from your iPod into your computer and vice-versa. Like iTunes but better and with less consumption of resources.
The transfer of mp3 files will be handled into/from any other portable mp3 player similar as in Windows.....EXCEPT Zune.
If you have a Zune mp3 player , things are very “nashpa”.
Zune belongs to Microsoft so because they didn't want to reveal much about the processor, the software and how all things are going on inside a Zune portable player, Linux can't handle this kind of players.....for now.

What you won't find installed by default is Skype.
But don't worry about it! You can do it by yourself accessing the lower left corner Menu, then click on Package Manager ( a very important and useful tool that helps you install into your computer everything you want ).
This will work if you have configured an active Network Connection.

When the Synaptic Package Manager starts , you'll find in it a box that said Quick Search. Just type in it Skype and here we go … found it!
All you have to do now is to select the package named “skype” , right click on it and in the menu that opens select Mark for Installation.
A dialog box with two buttons will appear : Cancel and Mark. Of course, select Mark and in a few seconds ( depending on your speed of your connection ) Skype will be installed on your computer.

If you have a netbook with webcam and microphone included , all you have to do is to adjust the necessary settings in Skype so you'll have sound and video in a jiffy.

Netbooks being so called “last generation” devices ….Linux Mint will have and use drivers for all internal hardware they might contain so you don't have to worry about wireless network cards drivers, video drivers, or whatever.
Even if you have a 4-5 years old laptop there are 99% chances for Linux Mint to have the necessary drivers for it.

Linux Mint is based on Debian Linux as also are Ubuntu, Kubuntu, CrunchBang, Kuki Linux and many others.
All mentioned distributions will work perfect into your laptop/netbook/notebook and will look almost like Linux Mint too ( not so green ! ) but all of them have some more or less comfortable flows.

Some of them after update won't recognize anymore the wireless net card, some of them have an unusual graphic interface that you won't like or you might like but some hardware will require a little bit of “know what and how to do“ workaround in order to make use of them, or pure and simple some of them won't have access to so many repositories as Linux Mint has so you might not be able to install whatever needed program .

I have tested way too many Linux distributions and in the end I can say that as for the moment of this writing if you have a laptop/notebook/netbook go with Linux Mint!!!!

It is possible (especially when you put your computer to sleep and then wakeup ) from time to time that your wireless card won't be recognised.
When this happens stop your computer, wait a minute and fire it up again.
This will solve the problem for sure.

The second best would be Kuki Linux as they say it was specially designed for Acer Aspire One.
Yes, Kuki is okay, very stable and very fast but the big disadvantage…. Rhythmbox in Kuki Linux doesn't contain the necessary plugin to handle mp3 files so you can't handle your iPod in this case!!!
This requires a little bit of fucking around with it in order to install the plugin. Very uncomfortable for a “green horn” especially if you want to convince him/her to use Linux.

When time will come and you'll decide that you want to install Linux Mint , press the Install icon on your Desktop. Remember that this will guide you through a series of settings that will remove your basic operation system.

Coming soon Installing Linux Mint: how to create “comfortable” partitions for a laptop/netbook/notebook.

joi, 3 septembrie 2009

Acer Aspire One - Security and stability...only with Linux inside

You arrived here because you were searching for help, right?
So take your time and read this for the beginning!
As I was writing a few months ago, the Acer Aspire One is a very good tool especially nowadays.
If you got one with 160Gb HDD... you done good. Not that 120 Gb is bad but because you didn't want to be considered a cheep shit with porcupines in your pockets saving a few dollars just for the sake of "saving something".
It's worth the effort ( in time maybe ) to invest in a 6 cells replacement battery, but for now you're good with what you have. A little bit over 2 hours autonomy it's just perfect.
For those who are still searching for a good reason to buy this Netbook, no matter what operation system you decide to use ( Windows or Linux based distro ) there are some things you should know :
1. Netbook means a tool that helps you surf the Internet, read your e-mail, listen for some music, edit pictures and documents, upload and download stuff as much as you can and as long as you have an active Internet connection.
You found an access point -----> go for it but remember that not the Netbook will determine the speed of that ad-hoc wireless Internet connection! So don't blame your Netbook for a lousy connection.
2. Yes , you can go wired or wireless. It's easy to manage both network cards but this depends if you know what you're doing or you're just fuckin' around .
3. If you want to upgrade you RAM ...well, this Netbook will recognize only 1.5 Gb of RAM. That's all!
There is a scam here: there are 2 memory slots and if you bought your Netbook with 1Gb of RAM this is distributed over both slots - 2 x 512 Mb.
The manufacturer gives you the possibility to remove ONLY 512 Mb of RAM while the memory from the other slot is "nailed" there!
I guess it's their way to say " that's it buddy, you're allowed to play only with one memory slot".
So, knowing this, the only memory upgrade allowed is 1Gb. In the end your BIOS will display 1536Mb of RAM.
If you think that you can do this by your self, take a look at this tutorial and think deep before touching any screwdriver!
Here is the link http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/08/28/how-to-add-ram-to-the-acer-aspire-one-netbook/
4. You like to watch things on YouTube, right? And also you'd like to watch that shit in HD or normal, right? Well...sometimes you might not be so lucky with video streaming when connected this kind of web sites. That's because the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 your Netbook comes with is not quite a graphic card! It is an integrated ( onboard ) graphic chip on the Mobile Intel 945Gx chipset for Intel processors.
The BIOS will display VIDEO CARD 8Mb and that's it! There's no way to increase this value!
5. Do you really like Windows? I mean ... do you really like to "eat" all things Microsoft "serves" you pretending that it is the best?
How come "it is the best" when you have to pay a lot of money for anything you want to install into any computer starting with the operation system itself!??
Personally I consider ANY DAMN SOFTWARE that costs over 20 dollars... a robbery. And unfortunately they start to force people to let themselves robbed by issuing all kind of laws !

Instead of this shit I use a free Linux distribution called Linux Mint that can be highly customized for whatever you want your Netbook to do. Except games that require serious resources.
This Linux distro is available for download at http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
It provides a lot of FREE software , of course fully functional ( not 30 days trial crap ...like others! ).
They provide repositories loaded with all kind of software: software for handling transfer of music from and into your iPod, for editing pictures , downloading pictures and/or movies from your photo/video camera, even editing movies ! More, you'll have extremely good music/video players, burning CD/DVD's ( of course, you'll need an external CD/DVD writer for this! ) and , probably the most important, your system will be periodically updated.
You want Yahoo Messenger? Forget about it! Use Pidgin and you'll be able to log into any popular instant messenger program you want with all your nick names AT ONCE!
Unfortunately Pidgin can't offer you yet the possibility to use the web cam and the microphone incorporated in your Netbook.
But...you can use Skype! Works like a charm in Linux Mint on you Acer Aspire One!
Did I mentioned anywhere in this post something about "drivers"? No ??? Well I'm not even supposed to ! Once installed Linux Mint into your Netbook it will handle the hardware with no problem!
If you decide to give Linux Mint a chance I have to tell you one more thing : once you'll have an external CD/DVD drive available , just put your Linux Mint CD inside it, boot your computer and you'll be able to play with it WITHOUT CHANGING/REMOVING your basic operation system!
In time, if a lot of you will be interested to use Linux Mint I might post a step by step basic installation guide.

luni, 6 aprilie 2009

Acer Aspire One - AOA 150

It's been a while now since I bought this little pretty powerful but definitely useful traveling companion.
For 300 bucks you'll have a good 1.6GHz Atom N270 Processor, 1GB DDR2 SDRAM, 160GB SATA HDD, integrated 802.11b/g Wi-Fi Certified, Acer Crystal Eye webcam, 3.5 mm audio out, three USB 2.0 ports and SDHC and multi-format media readers.
Everything in a computer with about 8.9 inches wide screen.
Some of these computers come with Windows XP SP3 Home Edition pre-installed and some of them come with a hilarious Linux version called Linpus.
Of course, for a smaller price you can get one with 120 GB HDD but my advice is: go for 160GB!
The battery lasts for approximately 120 minutes if you use Windows.
Another good advice : order one with 6 cells instead of 3 cells battery! It will double the autonomy !!
Everything works nice and pretty fast but unfortunately there are 2 important disadvantages:
1 - Some "scientists" thought that it's nice to have Windows XP pre-installed ALL IN DRIVE C ! So the hard drive has one big partition containing Windows. In case of system failure you're doomed ! You loose everything and the only method to reinstall your operation system is to use the recovery partition loaded somewhere in your hard drive.This is crap!
As crap is also the fact that you have no CD's containing drivers for your little notebook!
Okay, the little notebook comes with no CD/DVD device but as long as it has the capability to boot from an USB flash drive, I'd find a matter of common sense attaching to this little pack also an USB flash drive containing Windows XP and/or drivers for your computer. What the hell, a 2GB USB flash drive is only 5 damn bucks!!!
2 - If you have a last generation iPOD you'll have to download and install in your notebook the big crap called iTunes to help you load your music into iPOD. Once connected your iPOD to your computer everything changes in a very bad manner mainly affecting the speed of your computer because once installed iTunes is a damn shit consuming a lot of resources.
I also tried to install Windows Vista. It worked but you don't have audio drivers and, probably the most important, you don't have drivers for the wired and wireless network adapters.
I have tried to install different Linux distributions such as Red Hat, CentOS, Debian, SuSE, Fedora, Scientific Linux but with all I had in the end the same big problem : drivers for wired and wireless network adapters.
Yes, you can fix this problem for all aforementioned Linux distributions but you'll need to bang your head searching all kind of tutorials and then compiling the kernel in order to solve all problems that you might have after your system is up and running ( like webcam drivers and audio drivers ).
Now , after all this I won't keep you waiting anymore and I say that I found just the perfect operation system for your Acer AOA notebook. It's a Linux distribution called Mandriva Powerpack 2009 that is an "out-of-the-box "gizmo" solving all problems without having solid acknowledgments of Linux.
All tools provided with Mandriva Powerpack 2009 will help you manage documents ,edit and print pictures, listen music, connect, upload and download music, pictures and movies in and from your iPOD, watch on line shows, use Skype (already "embedded" into the operation system) with full audio/video features, surfing the net wired or wireless, watching movies from a connected USB flash drive with no trouble.
However, burning your own CD's or DVD's is possible only if you'll buy an external USB connected device.
More than that, Mandriva Powerpack 2009 is installed ( depending of the number of packages you want to install ) in 17 minutes and the battery will hold on around 140 minutes ( with a 3 cells battery)
Windows XP needs an hour to be installed with just a few features and the same 3 cells battery will barely hold on 120 minutes if you will not run too many applications in the same time.