Fedora from an Ubuntu point of view

In the interests of not becoming blinkered to one distribution, I thought I might give Fedora 11 a whirl.  Not having used Fedora since FC4, I was surprised to see the adoption of a live CD installation and relieved to avoid a DVD size download.  Just like Ubuntu it’s well polished, perhaps more so with graphical grub.

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Huawei E1550 on Ubuntu

Update: I’ve rewritten this article for 10.04.1, please post comments there and not here!

Update: You no longer need to install udev-extras in Ubuntu 10.04.

I picked up a Huawei E1550 pre-pay mobile broadband dongle, £39.99 with 3 Mobile including 3Gb usage (note it’s not the device they’re picturing).

I’m on a course next month so that’ll do fine, I have no reception at home and am not away enough to warrant a contract.

It appears to identify itself as USB storage, to install drivers on Windows then flip-flops to a modem.  Nice idea, terrible implementation, even in Windows where it installs drivers every time you use a different USB port (it’s often wise to try such devices in Windows – so you don’t chase your tail with a faulty device).  Pretty sure it’s the autorun program that’s flipping the device.

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Watch TV with VLC and a Freecom DVB-T Stick

One of the things I need my Aspire One to do is watch TV.  When you’re away, it’s nice to be able to watch a little TV.  I bought a Freecom DVB-T USB stick years ago and have always had success under Linux.  It’s small, sensitive and selective.

I was surprised, especially on Ubuntu, how easy it was to setup.

My netbook runs Arch, so I installed it on that and my Dell 1545 running Ubuntu 9.04.
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Replacing Firefox

I am a heavy web user.  Everything from webmail to banking, if I can do it on-line I will.

So when I’m away from home (which is common) I like to have connectivity.  With WiFi access and mobile broadband what to connect to is straightforward.  As I like to travel light, I prefer to use a netbook and as they are typically lower specification, you quickly become aware of software bloat.

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Install Arch Linux on an Aspire One

I recently decided to reinstall a perfectly good install of Arch on my Aspire One because someone said they couldn’t get it to work. I don’t know why this install was more troublesome than the last but it was. I’m not taking any credit here – this information is available on the Arch Wiki, its more to jog my memory for next time. Continue reading Install Arch Linux on an Aspire One

Replacing Linpus Linux Lite on the Acer Aspire One

I love my Aspire One but have come to be less impressed by the Linpus distro installed. So at the weekend I decided to try Arch Linux, which as a long time Slackware fan I had heard worked well and had good documentation.

Its all up and running and other than two quirks, the guide on Arch Wiki is spot on.

As I said, I came across two quirks – the install image used kernel 2.6.26, which detects the r8196 module for the network but for some reason will not answer a dhcp request after reboot (only after reboot) – so replace it with 2.26.27 before reboot. You’ll need to anyway because the Atheros wireless chipset in the Aspire One is supported OOB on the more recent kernel.

The second is well documented, that ext2 partitions on SD are corrupted on suspend. I opted for an XFS partition though and have not had any issues.

The only things I haven’t got working are suspend to RAM and the WiFi light (although the switch works). Neither of these is a show-stopper because I’ve got boot time down to under 18 seconds which is only a few seconds more than resume from RAM.

I’d also advise binning dhcpd and using wicd – which integrates well with XFCE and being a daemon means WiFi is up before you’ve got a desktop.

Really impressed with Arch, a distro I haven’t used before. It’s from the minimalist camp and allows a tailored installation with little or no cruft. Its documentation is fantastic (I have seen a few ideas that I intend to implement in Ubuntu!).