"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Friday, 20 March 2015

Test Drive: Xfce (Xubuntu) on the EEEPC 900

As promised in previous post I continued in my touring about testing lightweight desktop environments on the EEEPC. This time I installed on my netbook the most famous lightweight desktop: Xfce.
I've been using Xfce for many years on my, now dismissed, old Sempron 2400 desktop computer. I never worked with it on the EEEPC. At the time the EEEPC was my “fastest” computer and Gnome used to work fine enough on it.

Installation and first impressions

I installed Xfce from shell by simply typing:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
After the installation process competed I logged off from the Gnome-Shell session and logged back in after selecting Xfce (Xubuntu Session) as desktop environment.
Here is the Xfce just after logging in:

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Test Drive: Ubuntu-Gnome 15.04 (Beta 1) on the EEEPC 900

As my hardware is getting old I start living the usual “Upgrade season” with more anxiety than eagerness. The question “Will the computer still work with the new release” becomes every year more fundamental and eventually I enter in a sort of “No-news-good-news” spirit where shorter new features list are welcomed while every novelty is looked with suspicious.
So I downloaded the newly released Ubuntu-Gnome 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) in order to test it on my old netbook mostly to see if it would continue working properly after being upgraded.

The test

I booted the EEEPC from my USB disk and, after a quite short boot time, I've been taken to the usual “Install or Try it” welcome screen:

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Test Drive: Lxde (Lubuntu) on the EEEPC 900


My good old EEEPC netbook is, day by day, getting too old. Apart from usual aging hardware problems, like the decreasing battery capacity, also the software side is worsening at every update. I still have the latest Ubuntu release installed but Gnome-Shell is showing a persistent delay in responding to some mouse actions like opening menus or showing the activities screen.
I decided for giving a look to some of the so called “light-weight” desktop engine in order to possibly completely or partially replace Gnome-Shell.

Lxde (Lubuntu-desktop)

Lxde is, together with Xfce, among the most famous lightweight desktop environments. I decided to install it on my netbook instead of performing my tests with a live disk like I usually do. This should let me obtain a more accurate and realistic test. I'm not too worried about leaving my system too “dirty” since I'm probably going to re-install the whole operating system on the EEEPC once I'll have come to a decision.
I so installed Lxde trough the apt-get command:
sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
then I logged out from Gnome-Shell and logged back in after selecting Lxde from the login menu. Lxde offers, in the login menu, selection between two desktop modes: the “classic” (Lubuntu) and the netbook (Lubuntu-Netbook) mode.

Lxde “Classic” mode

The “Classic” Lxde desktop shows a Gnome-2-like user interface with a bottom panel and a bottom-left program launcher menu.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy 11111011111!

I mean Happy 2015! of course. Since the coming year has this nice binary representation let me use it to wish all my readers all the best for the New Year.

Happy New Year!

New toy on the desk: Raspberry Pi


During a recent Electronics and Surplus fair just before Christmas I decided to buy myself what I consider has been the computer of this soon-to-end year: the Raspberry Pi.
I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with it, apart from experimenting of course. Probably I'll use it as headless server thanks its low power consumption it would be able to stay on-line 24 hours a day.


Before to start

The Raspberry board (a B+ model) I bought was a bare-bone one so, before to start, I had to procure a 2A USB power supply and a 8 GB Micro-SD memory card. Some cell-phone charger can power the Raspberry (mine didn't) and on the 'net you can find Raspberry disk images as small as 2GB but, for a stable use, a dedicated power supply and a big enough memory card are needed.