Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

Netbook update

I got another hard disk; it worked, and the little Packard Bell XS subnotebook is up and running.

My first attempt, to make it dual Windows / Linux boot was a disaster. It REALLY didn't like a vanilla XP installation and became increasingly unstable the more I tried to tweak it. Packard-Bell quoted me £51 for an install disk; after I'd stopped laughing I installed Ubuntu 11 and didn't bother about dual boot. This has gone pretty well, though there are still a couple of problems to sort, most notably the internal WiFi is either stuffed or isn't Linux compatible. I suspect stuffed since it wouldn't run under Windows either, in the brief moments Windows actually worked. Ubuntu automatically recognized the only WiFi stick I have, but that's old and fairly big and blocks the other USB socket. I don't want to use it with a netbook, it'll just get in the way, so I've ordered a teensy Wifi-N podule that only sticks out about 10mm (and shouldn't obstruct the other USB port), which is selling at a fiver and is allegedly Linux compatible without drivers.

Anyway, so far the installation seems pretty solid; some programs don't want to work (hardly surprising given the screen format etc.) but nothing has crashed the system and I've got all of the funtionality I really need in a netbook - Libreoffice, Firefox, Spider solitaire, a good Sudoku game, a keyboard I can actually type on, etc.

Pending the WiFi stick it's pretty much done, and I have a reasonably fast netbook for a total of about £60 - which includes the netbook and postage, the hard disk and the WiFi stick.

Oh, and the Madame Vastra picture I linked to yesterday makes wonderful wallpaper for a small screen if resampled to the right size...

Expect to see me trying to sell off my old HP Jornada some time soon - I really don't need a laptop, a netbook, and a pocket computer, especially one that runs Windows bloody CE, and I could never get the Jlime Linux port for the Jornada to work.

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