Setting up the EEE 1005PE

This post has been far too long in coming – mainly because some miscrent broke into my car and stole a bunch of my gear – including the charger for my 6 hour old ASUS EEE 1005PE. The replacment charger took over 40 days to source (that’s what you get for living in New Zealand).

Anyway, this georgous wee netbook replaced my vintage EEE 701 4G and came pre loaded with Windows 7 Starter – and a bunch of trialware which took an absolute age to purge from the drive. It’s now dual-booting Win7 and Ubuntu 10.04 (which is my primary OS of choice).

As a side note – under Ubuntu 10.04, the Atheros AR2427 wireless card fails to be detected due a different hardware device ID of 002c which the ath9k wifi driver in the current (~ June 2010) kernel does not understand. However, all is not lost – simply follow the HOWTO written by James Little to add the patched driver to your current kernal and, 5 minutes later, you’ll have a wireless Ubuntu netbook once again (Thanks James!!)

These *are* the Droids you’re looking for…

Hat tip to @VodaphoneNZ for re-igniting my interest in having another crack at the following post which I originally wrote for an internal publication for my employer. I’ve changed some of the phraseology,but the basic content – apart from the opening paragraph – remains pretty similar. Once again, these are my personal opinions and are presented as such.

Vodafone NZ Tweets about it's new Android lineup [24th June 2010]

If you are in any way connected to the mobile phone world, you would have heard of the Android phones, an increasing number of which are now starting to make their way into the New Zealand market. Vodafone have been quietly selling android phones since the middle of last year, and third party importers have been importing them in increasing numbers since around the same time. With the release today of ‘FroYo’ (Android 2.2), Vodafone NZ have come out with an impressive looking list of devices sporting the Android stack.

The disappointment for me being that, like other Telcos in the space, a number of the devices announced are running some fairly old versions of the stack, and there is no clear message for the as to how to update their devices, or indeed if this is even possible. I’d certainly like to see the Telcos, or the community, or a collaboration of the two – to come out with some simple HOWTO guides (or simple “Sorry – but you can’t” messages) around updating the device to more recent software. Let me know in the comments if you have come across anything which may help the average Joe (or Jane) with this…


What is ‘Android’

‘Android’ is a software stack including an operating system, middleware and core applications – kind of like Windows on your PC. It was first unveiled in 2007 by a firm who was subsequently bought by Google, who’ve since released most of the code under the Apache (software and open source) license. And that decision is what has captured the attention of the community.


Continue reading “These *are* the Droids you’re looking for…”

What is this “Android” thing that people are talking about?

The first week of April 2010 saw the announcement of Telecoms first Android handset, with the exclusive launch for the XT network of the LG GW620.

Telecom is not alone in the New Zealand market with Android handsets. Vodafone have been selling the HTC Magic since the end of June 2009 and independent device importers also have a range of Android phones.

Globally, the industry is expecting big things from the handset manufacturers as well as the Android platform in 2010. At the Mobile World Congress (the world’s premier mobile event) in February, it was announced that 60,000 Android handsets are shipped every day (though what ‘shipped’ means was not clarified).

Continue reading “What is this “Android” thing that people are talking about?”

The Big Move: Weather Station is GO!

Okay – after a bit of fnarkling, we’re back with Temperature, Humidity as well as that ever useful Wind and Rain data.

Not only are we transmitting in elegant Flash interactivity, we’re also on Twitter – should that be your thing (note, this is currently set to tweet every 15 minutes).

So – there we go, weather data is being captured, next steps (after house wiring) is to get a live weather cam up and running so you too can enjoy our lovely view.

The Big Move: Weather Station BACK!

..well, mostly.

Over the last week I’ve managed to run some power to a nearby cupboard where the La Crosse WS2300 LCD has been sitting and I’ve now got a PC in there gathering the data, and spitting it out to the Weather Page via a very slow WiFi link.

The biggest stinker about this is the external temperature/humidity sensor is not producing data, giving me a flatline of 10.2 degrees C, which I assume can only be a remnant of the last data held when the station was disconnected back in June 2009 in preparation for the house move. So, while there is some data being delivered, it’s not quite 100% – or that interesting due to the lack of the outside temperature.

I’ve raised a ticket with the excellent folk at Scientific Sales where I bought the unit and hopefully, they will be able to suggest a remedy which won’t involve too much expense. Until then, bask in the oh so interesting data of wind direction and speed, as well as the temperature inside the cupboard in which the data logger is stashed.


/sigh

Adding more functionality to Kubuntu 9.10 NBR

In a previous article, I covered off the installation of Kubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) onto an aging, but much loved and reliable ASUS 701 EEE Netbook. In this entry, I will detail a few of the additional bits of functionality I’ve added to the already awesome Netbook Remix (NBR) of this latest OS drop.

Topics Covered

As always, if there are things you think I should be including, or better ways of doing stuff, let me know in the comments 🙂

Pairing Bluetooth to a Nokia E71

Using an inexpensive bluetooth adapter allows you to get online without having to drag out cables etc when you’re on the bus, in the car – wherever.

The adapter detected fine – but then came the job of setting up the pairing with my Nokia E71:

On the EEE

  • From the Home Screen, open the ‘Internet’ group, then open up ‘kbluetooth’
  • You should see a bluetooth icon appear on your toolbar
  • Right-click the bluetooth icon, and select ‘Settings’ > ‘Bluetooth Adapters’ from the dropdown menu.
  • From the ‘Bluetooth Adapter’ dialogue box, set:
    • Adapter Name: ‘[WhateverYouWant]’
    • Mode: ‘Discoverable’

NOTE: Your Netbook is now being all promiscuous and stuff to the world, long-term, this isn’t good.

  • Click OK


On the Nokia E71

  • Select ‘Menu’ > ‘Connectivity’ > ‘Bluetooth’ and set:
    • Bluetooth ‘On’
    • Visibility ‘Shown to all’ (the same promiscuous warnings apply)
    • My Phones Name ‘[WhateverYouWant]’
    • Remote SIM ‘Off’ (not sure what it does, didn’t need it on)
  • Now, scroll/tab to the right and you’ll see the ‘Paired Devices’ list.
    • Select ‘Options’ > ‘New Paired Device’

Your phone should now scan for any bluetooth devices in range (if your workplace is anything like mine you’ll see a heap of devices)

  • ‘Select’ the device with the name you set in the EEE steps above.
  • The phone will now prompt for a passcode – Enter a passcode (numeric) into your phone.

On the EEE

  • You should now be prompted to enter a passcode on the EEE, enter the same numeric code

On the E71

  • You will be asked to ‘Authorise device [the EEE] to make connections automatically’, select ‘Yes’
  • Your connection should now appear in the phone

(Optional)

  • Select ‘Options’ > ‘Assign short name’ and change the name of the device to something more friendly if you wish.

On the EEE

  • Right-click the bluetooth icon, and select ‘Settings’ > ‘Bluetooth Device Manager’ from the dropdown menu.
  • Your E71 should appear in the list, select the device and click ‘Set Trusted’

Congratulations, your devices are now paired… now to do something useful with the connection!

Installing EEE Control (EEE PC Tray)

EEE Control is a utility written to allow easy management of the ASUS EEE embedded devices such as en/disable the Webcam, SDCard, Wifi as well as setting power and performance schemes.

To set it up under Kubuntu NBR, simply open a terminal window and enter the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install eeepc-tray

You should see an icon appear on your taskbar which allows you to access the functionality supported by your model of EEE netbook.

Installing UbuntuONE

Ubuntu One is your personal cloud. You can use it to back up, store, sync and share your data with other Ubuntu One users.”

…it’s just not in the Kubuntu NBR by default. To fix this, simply open a terminal window and enter the following:

sudo apt-get install ubuntuone-client-gnome

You will then find a UbuntuOne cloud icon in your ‘Internet’ applications group, and from there you are only a simple configuration away from your 2GB of free storage out in the interwebs somewhere.

Installing Skype

Skype is a VoIP client, if you haven’t heard of it in the last 5 years, you’ve probably been living under a rock – it works, the voice quality is acceptable and while the video capability can be variable, it’s got a huge number of subscribers so, give it a crack – you’ll probably find a number of your friends are already on there. My Current Skype Status is:

To get things running on your netbook, see below:

Remember, those of us with low resolution screens may need to invoke the <Alt> + <Mouse Click & Drag> trick to see the bottom of some dialogue boxes.

Hope this helps those of you out there wanting to squeeze a little more life out of your beloved Netbooks

Installing Karmic Koala (9.10) on an ASUS EEE 701 netbook

Koala

So – Karmic is out, and for those who are looking to upgrade to the new goodness, there’s a few simple tricks to make the process pretty much painless.

If you’re already running (K)Ubuntu 9.04, simply open up a terminal window and type:

update-manager -d

For those installing from scratch (and to be honest – it’s what I tend to still do, hang up from the Windows days?) things are almost as simple.

Getting the Files

  1. Grab a 2GB or larger USB stick
  2. Hit the web for your ISO files

Once the files are downloading (and they’ll take awhile as everyone hits the servers initially (trying a torrent may help), head on to the next step…
Making your USB bootable

  • Grab Unetbootin for your OS for a really easy way to create a bootable USB drive
  • Insert your USB stick, double check where it’s loaded then create!

On your EEE 701

  • Because of the native resolution of the original EEE, a number of dialogue boxes don’t fit so well on the screen. This is mostly only a hassle during the installation as, afterward, you should be able to hold down the <Alt> key while click-dragging the window you want to see the bottom of.
  • If you have an external monitor available, connect it and change the screen settings to display a more reasonable resolution, larger than the crippling 800×400 of the native 701 🙂
  • If you do not have an external monitor available, don’t panic – we can simply use the keystroke navigation as detailed below
    • Ubuntu Install (First Screen)
      • Press <Alt> + <F> (Forward)
    • Welcome Screen
      • Choose your language then <Alt> + <F>
    • TimeZone / Where are you
      • Select your location
      • <Alt> + <F>
    • Keyboard Layout
      • This should detect fine so…
      • <Alt> + <F>
    • Prepare Disk Space
      • To install to 4GB SSD (This will delete EVERYTHING ON THE DISK and install from a blank partition)
        • <Alt> + <E>
        • <Alt> + <F>
        • Partitions will calculate
      • For a Custom Install (to use SDHC card in a EEE for instance)
        • <Alt> + <S> (to Specify partitions)
        • <Alt> + <F>
        • Setup partitions as you wish
          • I chose to use /dev/sdc (the SDHC card) creating a Primary partition of [Full Size of Storage minus Amount of installed RAM (for swap) ]
          • Set mount point to ‘/’ and use the ext4 file system
          • Create a logical partition using the rest of available disk as swap (which should be size as the amount of RAM in your system)
          • <Alt> + <F>
        • Partitions will calculate
    • Who are you- Obvious really:
      • Your Name <Tab>
      • Login/Username <Tab>
      • Password <Tab>
      • Password Verify <Tab>
      • Device Name<Tab>
      • Choose your Login type
        • “Require My password” <Alt> + <M> – Default
        • “Login Automatically” <Alt> + <L> or
        • “Require my password to login and Decrypt Home folder” <Alt> + <R>
      • <Alt> + <F>
    • Summary
      • Last chance to check all your selections
      • Alt + I (to Install)
    • And now the installation will start…

At the end of the installation process, you will be prompted to remove the install media (USB drive) and reboot the machine.

You’re done!

Windows 7 RTM – The last installation

Windows 7 PackagingSo Windows 7 is now released to manufacturing (RTM for you acronym junkies out there) and this is the last time I’ll need to be installing the operating system before it appears in the shops. During the Beta, aside from a few minor issues with hibernate, Windows 7 has been wonderfully stable and, I must say I’m impressed by the new Media Center interface (EngadgetHD have a look at it here).

Anyway – this is a HOWTO for installing the Windows 7 RTM [Get it here] from a USB drive, mainly because it’s faster than doing it from a DVD, and also – because my various DVD drives appear to not enjoy talking to each other. These instructions assume a Windows based operating system, I completed them using Windows Vista.

Continue reading “Windows 7 RTM – The last installation”

spyPhone or iPhone?

BlackHatI’ve just finished reading this interesting article on an iPhone vulnerability which (could) propagate via SMS messaging and is due to be revealed at Black Hat in Las Vegas on Thursday (US time).

While currently unpatched, I imagine it’s got the attention of the team at Apple (though they haven’t responded – yet) so, in the meantime – be careful what you should you receive a txt message with a small square as the contents, the vulnerability allows the attacker to take control of many of the devices functions – including the microphone and camera. 😯

The Big Move: Weather Station DOWN!

I’m on the move… the last few weeks have been a steady extraction of the technology which is running here, and last nights victim was the Weather station

Weather Station Offline
Weather Station Offline

Those of you following my Twitter stream will probably know that I’m on the move from Casa de Rob to a new abode…

So – the last few weeks have been a steady extraction of the technology which is running here, and last nights victim was the Weather station which was showing live weather here. Of course, once we’re all moved into the new house I’ll be reassembling what I can, but there is much negotiation with the Wife before everything can get cabled up… Until then:

It’s winter in Auckland, New Zealand – it’ll either be cold and raining or cold and crisp.

Stay tuned 🙂