"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, 28 January 2011

Some minor layout changes ...

I made some minor changes to the blog, a part from some cleaning in the "button salad" on the side bar the major change is the message board removal. Feel free to leave your messages as post comments.

New toy on the desk: Arduino Ethernet shield

Let me start by saying that I've not forgot my Arduino board in a drawer, I've been mainly playing with the provided examples without producing something worth to be blogged. Working with hardware require more free time than simply experimenting with software; time that unfortunately I do not have (attaching your Arduino board to your computer while travelling by train is a bit impractical and make you look a little suspicious). By the way during the last electronic surplus fair, here in Genoa, I bought an Ethernet shield: a little board that connected, sandwich like, over the Arduino board give it the capability of connecting and communicating over a local network and even over the Internet if you configure your network the right way.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Alternative distributions for the EEEPC: PupEEE

I decided to give a look at some Linux distributions designed for netbooks and alternative to Ubuntu. I'm not going to replace Ubuntu any soon, even if I don't like the latest version, the one I have installed is going to be supported for a long time. I'm simply curious to see what alternatives are available, for netbooks, and to test how they perform on my EEEPC.
The distribution I decided to start with is PupEEE: the EEEPC tailored version of the famous small footprint distribution Puppy Linux.

Download and install

I downloaded the latest version of PupEEE from its download page. Preparing a bootable media from the downloaded zip is a little different from usual but not difficult. Once I extracted the zip file on an empty SD card I simply executed the “bootinst.sh” script placed in the “boot” folder.

Once extracted PupEEE only takes only about 130MB of disk space (this is a really small footprint), I've been able to install it on an old 256MB SD card that I had left in a drawer with other obsolete or useless things.