November 28, 2007

Laptop Mag EEE / XO comparisonLaptop Mag has a comparative article, pitching the XO laptop (the device in the OLPC project) against the EEE. Overall, the article concludes with the EEE as the winner, although the XO triumphed in the design, price and connectivity departments – the mesh networking functionality does look rather good, but, not at the expense of a machine which reminds me of ET… However, the XO was not designed for someone sitting in an office*, whereas the EEE would easily fit into this environment.

While the XO and the Eee PC 701 were designed for different purposes, when comparing the elements that are common to both, the Eee PC 701 provides a better computing experience for the money.

*Other than perhaps the offices of the Early Learning Centre, I guess.


“Fresno Unified officials buy 1,000 wireless laptops that will fit on students’ desktops.”

November 28, 2007



where all the EEEs have gone…

For nearly a year, Fresno Unified school officials searched for a laptop that wouldn’t clutter a student’s desk.

Thursday, school officials said they purchased 1,000 wireless laptops that fit on a desk alongside textbooks and notebooks, as well as give students the opportunity to build a digital portfolio of essays, drawings and other creations…

Fresno Unified’s endeavor is the first of its kind in the nation because the laptop maker, ASUS, unveiled the 7-inch creation just last week. What makes the ASUS laptop unique is its built-in keyboard, said ASUS project manager David Leung. Other small laptops have touch-screen keyboards, he said.

Fresno Unified was the first school district to purchase ASUS’ 7-inch laptop, Leung said.

Not sure that a keyboard is as unique as they claim, but, there we go…

More details here.

Patent infringement claim against OLPC device

November 28, 2007

Not related to the EEE as such, but, interesting news that the owners of a patent relating to multilingual keyboard technology are suing the OLPC project for wilful patent infringement (“wilful” being important, because of the possibility of treble damages under US patent law), and illegal reverse engineering. Lagos Analysis Corp’s (“LANCOR”) claim is pretty specific, as it accuses the OLPC project of purchasing two machines containing their proprietary technology, and extracting it for use in the OLPC. LANCOR is seeking “substantial damages” and a permanent injunction against distribution of the allegedly infringing product.

There is more about this on MarketWire, although, readers should note that this is a press release from LANCOR.

This is an interesting case, as Nigeria, where LANCOR is situated, is one of the beneficiaries of the OLPC project. On the one hand, LANCOR wishes to protect its intellectual property, but, on the other hand, one can’t help but wonder whether suing what is essentially a charitable project is in the overall best interests of the company – would a royalty-free licence to the relevant code, allowing the OLPC project to continue distribution, perhaps in return for some form of advertising / presence in the OLPC device itself, be a better option?

Connecting to HSDPA via Internet Sharing on HTC TyTN running WM6

November 27, 2007

One of my main challenges when getting the EEE was to get it talking to my HTC TyTN smartphone via a Bluetooth dongle, so that I could have high-speed Internet access on the move. To complicate matters slightly, I have flashed my TyTN with a WM6 ROM, and I wasn’t sure whether this would be a hindrance or not… well, I seem to have struck on the right solution, as it’s certainly working for me at the moment.

I basically followed ericmoritz’ guide on EEEUser.com, but, this didn’t work for me, so I made a slight change. The change was this:

After installing bluez-util, and running bluetooth-applet from a new terminal, I opened the Bluetooth Applet from the tray on the EEE, and set the dongle to visible and connectable mode. Having done this, I used Settings/Bluetooth on the TyTN to add the EEE as a new device, using the passcode “1234” – I found that this created a suitable partnership between the two devices.

I then closed Bluetooth-Applet (Ctrl+C in the terminal which launched it), and uninstalled it (sudo apt-get remove bluez-util)

Then, I followed the guide as written, although, it is worth noting that, before running sudo ifup bnep0, you need to have tapped “Connect” in Internet Sharing on the device, otherwise it will fail.

Hope this helps anyone struggling with the existing guide.


QuickTip: whereis

November 27, 2007

Okay, so you’ve installed something on your EEE, and you can’t find where it is. Or you’re trying to run a command, and it’s coming back saying “Command not found”. Do not fear- there is another command which might be able to help you – whereis.

All you need to do is type whereis followed by the command you want. So, for example, taking the example of picasa (below):

whereis picasa

This returns the locations where the command is found:
picasa: /usr/bin/picasa /usr/X11R6/bin/picasa /usr/bin/X11/picasa /opt/picasa/bin/picasa

So, if running picasa does not work, running /usr/bin/picasa should do the trick.

Why not give it a try with ifconfig – see if you can find out your IP address! (There are better ways of doing this, but, this is just an example of using whereis!)

Installing Picasa

November 27, 2007

If you want Google’s Picasa on your EEE, here’s how 🙂

1.) Download Google’s automated installer for their repo authentication key:

wget https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/google-repo-setup.sh

2.) Run the newly-downloaded script:

bash google-repo-setup.sh

3.) Update apt:

sudo apt-get update

4.) Install Picasa:

sudo apt-get install picasa

You can, of course, add Google’s key and repo name by hand, but, this seemed the easier option.

Asus to release SDK for EEE

November 27, 2007

Asus has announced that an SDK for the EEE will be made available, but there are no more details at present. It is not clear what form this SDK will take, and what languages will be required to use it, but, it represents a very positive step that Asus is keen to make the Linux version of the EEE a success, through the promotion of user-developed applications.

Asus is also pleased to announce the upcoming release of the Eee PC SDK. This will allow for the development on the Eee PC by the OpenSource community making it easy to develop, easy to port and easy to release software for the Eee PC platform. Please check back soon at eeepc.asus.com for more information in the upcoming weeks. We are pleased to work with the OpenSource GNU/Linux community to extend the richness of the Eee PC beyond the standard commercial offerings.