Yay! I've got a shiny white Asus eeePC 900 Linux. It's so cute it should have a Hello Kitty sticker on the back. The eeeuser forum has been invaluable. Here's some things I've learned.

- The 900 with the 0502 bios upgrade does what the overclocking techniques did for the 700. It runs at 900Mhz on power and 650 on battery with speed stepping. So just ignore all those threads about overclocking.

- There's a repo at http://download.tuxfamily.org/xepcrepo p701 main
with a lot of packages specifically built for the eeepc. Add in the xandros repos and do pinning. pimpmyeee.sh does most of this for you but needs tweaking. Don't bother with the pure debian repos as there's very little that isn't already in those above and they'll just introduce dependency problems. pimpmyeee also makes it trivial to enable full desktop mode.

- Upgrade amarok to at least 1.4.8 (from xepcrepo) to avoid problems with the latest iPods and make lastfm streams work. It also seems to be more stable with large libs of tracks in samba shares that are not always there. check out dynamic collections and/or disable watch folders for changes to avoid Amarok just forgetting the whole collection.

- For some unknown reason, the eeepc xandros doesn't use the usual /etc/rc.d methods of auto-starting services based on runlevel. this is just weird! /etc/init.d entries exist but their not used. You have to create startup scripts in ~/.kde/Autostart with entries like
sudo /etc/init.d/autofs restart

[edited to add] There's an easier, better way. Near the end of the boot process it runs entries in /etc/fastservices where each entry is the name of a file in /etc/init.d So I added these two lines

- /etc/mtab keeps being recreated and grows like topsy with duplicate entries. Delete it and link it to /proc/mounts

- There are loads of forum threads about delaying network shares till after wireless connections come on line by putting netstart scripts into /etc/network/if-up.d/ They're all deluded! mountnfs in that directory is what the system uses anyway to remake samba and nfs shares. The problem is that wireless takes a little while to startup after networking comes online.

A better route is to use autofs.
1) build a mount command line for your samba share. Use cifs. add a noperm parameter so that a remote samba share that understands linux permissions doesn't override your local view of the permissions (like say a linksys Slug)
2) modify /etc/auto.master like this
/mnt/auto/ file:/etc/auto.mysamba --timeout=300 --ghost
3) create /etc/auto.mysamba
[mountname] -fstype=cifs,[mountoptions] [sharename]
where sharename is something like ://
4) autostart autofs in your startup script in ~/.kde/Autostart
Now your share will be available as soon as you use it and will just return nothing when it's unavailable.

- Alt-click-drag let's you move the few dialogs that don't fit in the screen height.

- My internal microphone was crap and probably broken. I don't think I'm alone. I salvaged a mic capsule from an old portable home phone and soldered it in. Works a treat. You can get the screen surround off without opening the main case and voiding the warranty!

- Vodafone have a linux driver specially for the eeePC and 3G modems. It's got a couple of weird dependency problems that may or may not screw you up. Ignore them and it just works. Now I have to work out how to get it inside the case.

- It needs a bigger battery. Asus are screwing around with giving the UK a smaller capacity than the 700 or the 900 in other countries. There are aftermarket batteries that are more than double the capacity. but big.

more later.

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[ 24-May-08 8:19am ] [ ]