Oh it is lovely, but…

June 22 2009
Do you still need the big one?

Do you still need the big one?

So I went ahead and got me an iPhone. And I’m just childish enough to want to test out the blogging software for it. Pretty good actually, even if I am still having a few problems with the keyboard. You can’t tell, because the auto correct is doing a fine job, although it gets confused if you put in one too many characters.

Never quite realised what I was missing with the App Store either. It really is more than just a novelty isn’t it?


Right, now I’m writing from a proper keyboard (well, the Eee901 anyway) here’s some more random thoughts…

– Big downside is that now I need my netbook to be as fast and responsive, or else I’ll just stop using it. And that doesn’t make sense because the iPhone isn’t good for writing more than 140 characters at a time.

– Slightly concerned that without MobileMe I appear to have no security. All my passwords for Twitter, Facebook, this blog and more are saved into apps and autostart, but setting a PIN unlock is impracticable since the phone shuts itself off every 30 seconds, and remote wipe isn’t available unless you sub for MM.

– Related point, the battery life is crap.

– Switching to landscape view is inconsistent and occassionally doesn’t work where it should. why can’t I flip the screen for comfort when browsing the app store?

– Having problems with pairing my bluetooth headset, and it’s still too big for a phone…

But really, these are all very minor concerns compared to everything that’s good about it. I don’t use a Mac or iTunes, so will need to figure out a hack for getting music on there without going through VMware every time, but the speed and cleverness of switching to the screen you want to be on is brilliant. But there’s enough written about how good it is elsewhere, and it’s all pretty much true.


Boot problem finally fixed

June 4 2009
A simple fix for a problem that shouldn't be there

A simple fix for a problem that shouldn't be there

For months now I’ve had an annoying problem with Ubuntu. It boots to Gnome login in less than 30 seconds, but then pauses for a long time before showing the desktop. Through tweaking and fixing I’ve got this down to something reasonable – another 30-40 seconds, but it’s still too long. I’d narrowed the problem down to an error message with PulseAudio, but figured a full reinstall was the only way to fix the machine (and undo all the other bits I’ve fiddled with and lost track of). Not having the time to do that recently, I’d filed it under ‘Things to do’ at some random point in the future.

Except I don’t need to any more. After months of occassional searches, yesterday finally threw up the solution. In order not to trigger a time out error during login, both your user and root apparently need to be members of the groups pulse, pulse-access and pulse-rt. But, for some reason, they’re not by default. At some point in the past I’d added my user to one of these, but not completed the whole set.

Anyway, the upshot is that now everything is working smoothly and perfectly and I’m happy. Anyone else who’s having problems can find a much more detailed troubleshooting guide here.


Also worth mentioning

May 6 2009

Update on the Eee 901. I reinstalled Jaunty completely, as the ACPI scripts I’d been using stopped working, and the boot time slowed after an update to the beta package.

Now I’ve installed the 2.6.29 kernel on it (which gives you Bluetooth on/off), AWN’s dock and the same ACPI scripts by Elmurato. Everything is working perfectly, including all toggles. The only thing left to do is update the touchpad driver for zooming functions.

Boot time is good – from pressing the on switch to usable desktop in about 40 seconds. Not as good as the default Xandros still, though. Important point to mention is that installing another OS over Xandros often kicks out the boot booster, which skips through the POST checks quickly. There’s a guide to re-enabling it here.


Jaunty is go…

April 26 2009

Finally plucked up the courage to upgrade my main machine to Jaunty and it was an absolutely painless process. Even VMWare is working fine after the kernel upgrade, and that’s the first time that’s ever happened.

I still get a 20-30 pause between the gnome login screen and the desktop appearing though. Something that’s been installed and removed in the past is bugging it out, and the only error I get is a gnome-desktop-panel timeout one. The problem is that this has been related to a Compiz/Nvidia bug – which isn’t the one I’ve got. A clean install is probably the only way to fix it.


Jaunty desktop

March 29 2009

This is the Eee now. Decided against a dock like AWN for a change, to try and keep things as low overhead as possible.

The Ubuntu wallpaper will change, obviously…

Overall, the new Jaunty theme is great. And can be cut down for a netbook.

The new Jaunty theme is great. And can be cut down for a netbook.


Jaunty beta out

March 28 2009

Excitingly, the beta for Ubuntu 9.04, aka the Jaunty Jackalope is out. I’m downloading it to my Eee 901 right now. I have high hopes that finally this is the distribution that will give me the boot time I had with the original Xandros, make all the function keys work, and still be a fully functional desktop.

It’s also very attractive. Screen courtesy of Softpedia.

It looks even better when you delete the gnome panel bars and throw in a dock like AWM

It looks even better when you delete the gnome panel bars and throw in a dock like AWM