Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ubuntu Netbook Remix on HP Mini 110

ubuntuNote: This article is written for the Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 release. The current release of Ubuntu is 11.10 (as of Jan-12) and no longer offer the Netbook Remix, although the standard edition is said to work on netbooks. 

For a long time I have been looking to try out the Netbook release of the famous Ubuntu Linux distribution, and see if it made my HP Mini 110 any better than running it with Windows 7.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix is a optimised edition of the desktop Linux system with a custom layout and interface that is intend to ease and enhance the netbook experience. As the desktop edition, the netbook remix comes with Firefox, OpenOffice, Empathy just to name a few to get you started on your way.
I have installed this onto my HP Mini 110 (HP Mini 110-1135TU) and it is now running great. However, there were some things I had to do before it was 100%. Out of the box, the wireless card does not work. Standard Ethernet does, but wireless cannot be found. But before I go into that lets start with the install.

Hardware Checklist

This is a simple table outlining the devices and their working state on the netbook once the OS was installed.
Device
State
Intel Atom CPU
Working
Monitor/Display
Working (and correct resolution)
RAM
Working
HDD
Working
Network Card
Working
Wireless Network Card
Needed addition configuration, but working
Card Reader
Working
Wireless Switch
Working
Bluetooth
Working
Shortcut Keys
Working
Sound
Working

Download and Install

This is how I got it installed. First I must emphasis the importance of a good backup before system changes. Please perform a backup before continuing. Also make sure you have an available 1GB+ USB Flash Drive. This will be used for the install.

1) Download the Ubuntu Netbook Remix from here.
2) Once the ISO was downloaded, I went to Pendrivelinux.com and downloaded the Universal USB Installer. This utility will install the ISO image onto a USB Flash Drive. Please backup any data off this drive as it will be formatted and all data will be lost. When running the software, select Ubuntu Netbook remix 10.10 from the drop-down and it should automatically find the ISO image (if not you can always manually locate it). Next plug in you USB Flash Drive and select the drive letter from the dropdown. Then click Create. Once this is done, continue on.

usb_linux

3) Plug the USB Flash Drive into the HP Mini 110 and boot off the Flash Drive. You can force this by pressing F9 at the BIOS to bring up the Boot Order Menu. Once you have selected the USB and are booting, this will take some time. This will boot into Ubuntu Live giving you a chance to demo the software. When you are ready, install the software with your preferred configurations.

U3.1_unity_01_large

4) Once you have installed the system you can now start using your netbook. Next I will guide you through getting the wireless working. Out of the box 90% of the devices are working without any configuration so enjoy.

Wireless Network Card

Getting the wireless interface was so what tricky and didn’t seem easy at first but then I was surprised when it did work. I was able to get it working with the thanks to some helpful contributors at Ubuntuforms.com.
1) Ensure the wireless switch is on.
2) Open Terminal. This can be found in the Applications menu.
3) These are a series of commands that will uninstall the various components and reinstall them.
-sudo apt-get - -purge remove firmware-b43-installer
-sudo apt-get - -purge remove dkms
-sudo apt-get - -purge remove bcmwl-kernel-source
-sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source
-sudo reboot
4) Once the netbook has rebooted, your wireless card should now be working.

Ubuntu on this netbook is excellent and the Unity interface is excellent. If you have found this article helpful, please let me know in the comments section. And if you need further help, also leave a comment.

Windows 7 SP1 is out

Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 is now available. Not that exciting really. No new features. Just a bulk load of the updates you probably already have. You’re Welcome!

Sony looks to pull music from iTunes

Music giant Sony is looking to pull its music from the all popular Apple iTunes store after Apple rejected Sony e-reader application.

The music industry has been, for a long time, looking for a way to pull out of the grips of the Apple iTunes store and it looks like Apple last app rejection to Sony could be the beginning of the end.

Since rejecting Sony’s e-reader app from the App store, Sony is now threatening to pull all their music from the iTunes store and looking to put more effort into either their own ecosystem and alternative system that has yet to hit the market.

For now though, the music is still available and will be for users to download through the iTunes store.

Guitar Hero’s last show

Activision this week made the announcement that they will be shutting down the Guitar Hero franchise.

The once-popular game Guitar Hero were the player would use a toy guitar-shaped controller to “play” along to the music will no longer be developed as Activision will be shutting down the division that develops the franchise including DJ Hero.

Less than two years ago, the game reportedly brought in $2 billion to the company however that is no longer the case as sales continue to decline. The high cost of licensing fees and royalties further meant that the game was no longer profitable.

For those who still play and enjoy the game, downloadable content will continue to be available for some time to come.

Nokia to use Windows Phone 7

Nokia and Microsoft have gotten together to create, what could end being a shakeup to the smartphone industry. Nokia devices will now run Windows Phone 7.

Nokia will be dumping their native mobile OS Symbian and will be adopting the new Microsoft platform as their new smartphone operating system.

This new move will see a boost to both companies sales. Nokia and Microsoft will be working together in development while Nokia is set to define the Windows Phone 7 smartphone.

Bing will become Nokia primary search service across Nokia’s devices and Nokia Maps will become apart of Microsoft core mapping services such as Bing and ad services.

Monday, February 7, 2011

NSW Election Twitter Feed: The Fun I Have

The Daily Telegraph site is running a campaign on the NSW Election, and currently they have a monitor going for the Twitter hashtag #NSWElection. I thought I would have some fun with it.





Saturday, February 5, 2011

Foursquare for sex (NSFW)

As my friends will tell you, I am a huge Foursquare fan, but this is taking it to the next level.


Apple Store coming to Penrith

According to the Apple site for future stores, Penrith NSW will be getting one.

The famous Apple stores have gained the reputation of being shiny and selling nothing but the handful of products that Apple offers. And now Penrith will be home to one. Who would have thought?

I now look forward to my work receive increasing amounts of questions and support enquires regarding their new Mac or iPhone.

By the way, I recommend you read this blog on the views of some of the workers of the Apple Store: http://crapplestore.blogspot.com/

New Windows Home Server released for testing

The next installment of Windows Home Server was released to the public for testing.

Windows Home Server 2011, codename Vail, has been promoted to Release Candidate status and is now available for download and testing. One of the most outstanding missing features is the famous Drive Extender technology which was pulled from the software late 2010.

Drive Extender was the technology allowing users to add and remove drives on the fly as well as providing a data duplication system. It has been said that this technology was removed because the software being incompatible with the systems of Microsoft's larger partners, leaving enthusiasts confused and betrayed.

While the drive extender may be gone, WHS 2011 still comes packed with features like Media Streaming, PC Backup, and Remote Access.

If you would like to be apart of the testing process, go to the Microsoft Connect site and sign up for the programme. http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer