Asus Eee, day 4

Not the third fourth day in a row, of course. This little computer has been more of a challenge to use with a version of Ubuntu Linux than I originally thought and that’s taken up my spare blogging time. The problem is I got the lowest spec-ed computer in the line; if you get the 4 gig version, I understand from my Asus Eee’s original owner, you’ll be just fine.

Indeed, he was the one that pointed out the hack that allowed me to install eeeXubuntu, a lighter version of Ubuntu Linux specially designed for the Asus Eee. The key is permanently inserting a 2 (or larger) gig SD flash card — the kind many of you have in a digital camera — and linking it to the main drive, effectively doubling it.

Unfortunately, if you’re not saying to yourself “Jeez, Scott’s really oversimplifying it” then I can’t recommend you try this yourself. That said, the default operating system on the Asus Eee is not bad for most users. It’s about to get a bit geekier.

Shenphen has the hack half-way down on this page.

Worked like a normal Ubuntu install after that.

My next concern is that there wouldn’t be enough room for the applications I want.

Using Synaptic Package Manager, I removed the following and their associated files:

  • Gimp
  • the games
  • Thunderbird
  • Gnumeric
  • Abiword

Then I added the following, with recommended files:

  • Writer, Calc and Base, plus its us-help
  • pdftk
  • xubuntu-restricted-extras
  • xubuntu-at-mag (to try to make some use of the screen magnifier)
  • xdiskusage

I also enabled Language Support for English and added the volume and weather applets to the menu bar. I also followed these tips to reduce the number of writes to the disk.

Lastly, I added the Medibuntu repository to Synaptic Package Manager and added acroread, giving me the most recent Adobe Acrobat reader.

My only reservations is that I’m not using the ext2 file system to reduce the number of writes to disk, and I’ve not learned the advantage of compressed file systems, like unionfs (with the Asus Eee operating system uses, I think) nor how to do it.

As before, I’ll keep you posted.

Later. I added Miro.

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