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All growed up

For a while now I’ve been sticking with the standard Xandros Linux that came with my Eee, simply because I hadn’t found a proper distro that supported the hardware out-of-the-box (plus the boot time on a standard OS was 3-4 times as long!). Well, all that changed at the weekend when I discovered eeebuntu, a nifty repackaging of the current Eeebuntu Hardy Heron with a custom kernel and some handy utility scripts. All the hardware works, and with the aid of these instructions I now have it booting to the login screen in just 35 seconds!
After installing my favourite writing apps for Linux (SuperNotecard and Zim), I added a subdued but stylish Emerald theme for Compiz, and my Eee is now looking extremely cool! And yes, that is an OSX-style dock at the bottom, called AWM (click on the image for a closeup view).

Anyway, my Eee PC is now ready for business, so I’m going to need another excuse for procrastinating on my writing :)

Suck an Elf!

The other day I finally got around to buying “The 10th Kingdom” on DVD (used to have it on video, back in the dark ages) – and to my extreme annoyance, the first disk in the set is refusing to play on any of my DVD drives. Grrr!
In the end we managed to watch some of it on my husband’s work laptop (with external speakers plugged in), but it’s going back shortly for a replacement or refund. A real pity, as I love the series and am really looking forward to watching the rest of it…
[For those of you who have never seen the show, “suck an elf!” is the young trolls’ favourite curse – said quickly, with the stress on the first and last words, it sounds a lot like a certain obscenity that’s popular in the UK :) ]

Bummed

What can I say? Palm have cancelled the Foleo, thus proving they have totally lost the plot. Having put so much R&D into their new device, they cacked out and pulled it at the eleventh hour, fearing poor sales. They say they are still committed to the Foleo concept when the time is right, but I think they may have shot their wad. By the time Foleo II is ready for market, it will be up against the Asus Eee 10″, the rumoured Apple solid-state sub-notebook and all manner of competition. A classic case of too little, too late…
If Apple do come out with a sub-notebook, I fear it will be either
a) a clamshell version of the newly-announced iPod Touch, i.e. running a very basic OS similar to the iPhone
b) an expensive executive toy, similar to the Sony TZ (currently two grand!!)
Frankly I’ve given up on these people and ordered a Samsung Q1 Ultra. OK so it comes with XP Tablet (yuk!), but there’s a project afoot to create a mobile Linux distro for it, and it might even be capable of running Knoppix or a similar low-profile Linux distro. I guess if you want a truly mobile computer right now and aren’t made of money, you have to bite the M$ bullet or get your hands dirty…

Z22 is here!

My new Palm arrived yesterday, and it really is cute! Small enough to fit into my shoulder bag’s phone pocket, and weighs half of nothing. The screen is obviously a bit pixelated, being only 160×160, but it’s fine for everyday use – and a darn sight more readable than the Alphasmart!
So far I’ve installed TealScript (because I can’t get used to Graffiti 2), BrainForest and HanDBase for writing notes, and a few puzzle games. Only annoyance so far – despite having turned off system sound in Prefs, it still clicks from time to time.

MacBook sudden shutdown syndrome

Aaargh!! My six-month old MacBook has started exhibiting “sudden shutdown syndrome“! I’ve done the recommended resets (and I reinstalled Tiger only a week ago), but given that my machine is in the affected serial number range, I have a nasty feeling it’ll have to go in for repair :(
Thankfully NaNoWriMo is almost over and I’ve still got 95% of my data backed up from the last reinstall, so when I’ve finished and verified my word count, I’ll be on to Apple to get this baby fixed. It’s also a good excuse to get my old iBook up and running again…

Dvorak

Whilst browsing Holly Lisle’s site the other day, I came across her posts about switching to Dvorak for the sake of her RSI. Since I also get some problems after heavy use of my laptop, I’m thinking of doing the same. It’s very easy to switch layouts on both OSX and my Linux box at work, and there are typing tutors for both platforms (KDE has a free typing tutor and you can very easily write your own exercises for it). The main problem I forsee is that I don’t have much time to make the transition; unlike a student, I don’t have several weeks’ summer holiday when I can go “cold turkey” and abandon QWERTY altogether. Also, at the moment I am of course dependent on my Palm for a good deal of my computing, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to change the layout of the onscreen keyboard.

New software – SuperNotecard

Having decided to get back to writing seriously, I tried to open my old CopyWrite files, but they aren’t being recognised! I don’t know if this is because I moved them, or if it’s an upgrade issue; fortunately each file is basically text wrapped in a bit of proprietary formatting, so I can get back the actual content if I need it.
In the meantime, I’m trying out SuperNotecard, which one of my fellow CWILers alerted me to…

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