My first experience with Linux was a Slackware 2.x distro that I must have re-installed/re-compiled a hundred times via 20+ 1.44Mb floppy disks. Back then, and since then to be honest, I have always had problems getting the kernel to detect and load drivers for peripherals but for a computer geek that’s half the fun of using linux. (The other problem I had back then was bad floppy disks – there was nothing more depressing than hitting 19/20 disks and getting a read error!).
I’m now running Ubuntu Karmic Koala on a little Acer netbook and so far everything I’ve thrown at it has Just Worked.
My latest test was plugging a Huawei E180 3G modem into the netbook. I almost did it just for kicks as I had no idea that it’d show up as anything other than a mass storage device.
Silly me, Ubuntu allowed me to run a ‘Create A Mobile Broadband’ connection wizard and 10 minutes later I was online.
Why 10 minutes? It appeared to connect just fine but it wasn’t resolving any hostnames. For some reason the DNS server settings were not automatically set correctly when the connection was dialled up. Anyway, manually setting the DNS server to 126.96.36.199 (via Network Connection ->IPv4 Settings) fixed it.
The only other thing I had to do (which the wizard didn’t prompt for) was enter my PIN in the Network Connection -> Mobile Broadband -> Advanced settings section.
So, Kudos again to the linux community, setting up a mobile broadband connection, even without a vendor supplied installer, is now as easy as doing so in Windows or OS X!
The Nokia N800 rocks. I picked one up two weeks ago and I’m more than happy with it.
- Great design, great form factor. The build is Nokia quality.
- Vivid 800×480 display.
- Great WiFi network connectivity and easy bluetooth phone pairing.
- Both Opera and Minimo browsers.
- Several email clients.
- Canola media player.
- Cisco VPN client.
- VNC client (and server!).
- ssh client (and server!).
- Remote Desktop Client.
- UPnP streaming client.
- Mplayer client.
- Gizmo Project (VOIP) client.
Try that on your iPhone! One other positive comment has to be around the user community – both maemo.org and Internet Tablet Talk seem to be busy which bodes well for future development for the platform.
There are minuses but importantly most are software issues (and are hence addressable)
- No obvious contact/calendar/task list sync app.
- RSS feed reader usability sucks – no OPML import.
- Flash video framerate still isn’t quite there, even after installing the latest IT OS 2007.
- GAIM doesn’t seem to want to install.
- The virtual bluetooth keyboard (XKbd-BTHID) doesn’t seem to want to run.
The lack of a decent flat rate data plan from my mobile provider (O2) continues to restrict my usage but perhaps that will change in the near future.
Now I’m just waiting for the GPS Navigation Kit to be released…
irish, linux, mobile, tech
I’m going to have to leave an Ubuntu LiveCD lying around at home – James Clarke just posted that it boots up nicelyon a Powerbook like mine. Not that I’m going to wipe OS X off my Mac but this tip means Ubantu could help as a very useful disaster recovery tool, should OS X ever fail to boot up (touch wood!).
Off to del.icio.us with it…
I recently went through a little bit of hassle getting Linux onto my old Dell Inspiron 5000e at home but once I tried MandrakeLinux (now known as “Mandriva Linux”) everything went incredibly smoothly. Well, OK, it took a while to get my 3Com 802.11b card working but only because they were not allowed to distribute the firmware (thanks Luis) for the prism54 kernel module that shipped with Mandrake.
Anyway, to get to the point, SlashDot linked to what is supposed to be The State of Linux On Laptops, 2005. Any mention of Mandrake? Or Red Hat, or Debian, Gentoo? Not a sausage. Oh dear, note to SlashDot editors – do *some* quality control on the submissions you are posting…