Friday, May 30, 2008

My DIY Twitter Client via FireFox

When I XP-fied my Eee PC, one of the things I *avoid* doing is install non-essential apps to it to preserve my 1Gb+ free storage. To do this, I used PortableApps from the external SD card but not all the things I want to use are available as a portable application... one of them is a Twitter application.

Anyway, having tried using the mobile version of Twitter on my iPhone, I tried adding a new sidebar panel on FireFox Portable with the url and it worked! Now I uninstalled Twhirl and Adobe Air and is now using my twitter sidebar most of the time.

There is a question in the comments section on how I "detached" my sidebar from Firefox. I did it by installing a Firefox add-on called EZ-Sidebar.

Bullet-point Review: The Axioo Classmate PC

  • It looks like the Neo Xplore X1.
  • Unlike the Neo Xplore X1, the Axioo Classmate PC doesn't have a traditional hard drive, opting for a meager 2GB SSD.
  • It has PCLinuxOS preinstalled which I find rather difficult to work with.
  • In preinstalled Linux is full-blown -- too many apps installed.
  • The integrated graphics processor is powerful enough to run Compiz Fusion with relative ease.
  • It does look like a kid's lunchbox when closed.
  • It is difficult to use on a WPA-encrypted wireless network but a breeze to use on an unprotected wifi network.
  • Its ethernet connection is also relatively easy to configure.
  • Plays stunning video -- provided the video file is of high quality too. :)
  • The keyboard has a better feel than the keyboard of the Eee PC. However, it only has one [Shift] key, making touch typing a chore.
  • No integrated webcam (as if I use my Eee PC's integrated webcam...).
  • Integrated speakers are barely audible.
  • The package I got doesn't have a restore CD, which will make it difficult to restore in case something goes wrong with the OS.
  • Driver download from the web seems to be non-existent (I can be wrong here) making a DIY upgrade to WinXP an impossibility (for now).
  • Should be good enough if a user only intends to do web surfing, emailing and 'light' document writing.
  • I'd be laughed out of the conference room if I decide to bring this to a meeting.
  • The SD/MMC card slot is at the back of the unit, making it a chore to install/swap cards.
  • It only has two USB ports available.
More later...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Eee PC has VD!

Well, VD, in this case means Virtual Desktop (gotcha!).

When I went "Philistine" and installed Windows XP on my Eee, one of the things I missed was the virtual desktop that was built in to Eee's bundled Xandros Linux. Well, when I downloaded TweakUI Powertoy from Microsoft, I noticed an application called "Virtual Desktop Manager". I downloaded it (its quite small) and installed it. At first I was sort of lost on how to use it -- it turns out that you'll have to do a right-click on the Windows Taskbar and choose the virtual desktop manager from the toolbar submenu.

Anyway, I was able to activate it and it seems to work well.

Now I can organize my running apps more efficiently and I also have an additional eye-candy which I can show my non-geek friends.

Acer Aspire "One"

Hot on the heels of Dell's entry to the ULPC niche comes Acer's Aspire One. Both ULPC is expected to make an appearance next week at Computex. [from umpcportal]

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dell-icious ULPC from... Dell

Gizmodo was able to snag an exclusive photo of Dell's entry to the ULPC (Ultra Low-cost PC) niche and it looks absolutely Dell-icious!

I hope this is not one of Gizmodo's infamous practical jokes...

Via OpenBook: If At First You Don't Succeed

When Asus announced their popular Eee PC, Via Technologies followed suit with their own NanoBook reference design. Despite their similarities, the Eee PC succeeded while the NanoBook came out as a"2nd rate trying hard copycat" and the dismal reviews for Via's "baby" did not help at all.

Now, it looks like Via wants to have a second shot at the niche created by the Eee PC by releasing the OpenBook reference design website. This new design's specs are quite impressive on paper and should they pull this off at the current $400 price of similarly designed computers, Via may have a winner here.

Here's hoping...

Monday, May 26, 2008

CDisplayEx on Eee

I was a a bit bored and decided to read some comicbooks... on my Eee. I used CDisplayEx and the reading experience is pretty good!

My Eee PC on SP3

I just applied Windows XP Service Pack 3 on my XP-fied Eee PC. My free space was down to 1.5+ Gb from around 2 Gb. No worries because the SP3 uninstall files now weighs in at around 220+ Mb and once I see that my system is stable, I'll let CCleaner remove it so I'd still have ample space on my Eee.

I downloaded the SP3 file manually and applied it by double-clicking the file. I opted to do the download-and-install method because I heard that it is among the safest way of applying the patch.

So far, my Eee PC seems stable enough. The hacks I installed before SP3 are all working flawlessly and if I do not encounter any problems until Wednesday, I'll clean up my SSD to free up precious disk space.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

NetBook Remix: Ubuntu for ULPCs!

It looks like the niche we are in, the ULPC (Ultra Low-cost PC) niche, will have our own Ubuntu distro called "NetBook Remix". Here's what Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, has to say about it when asked by The Guardian, if he will be coming out with a special Ubuntu version for the small laptops we love:

We're announcing it in the first week of June. It's called the Netbook Remix. We're working with Intel, which produces chips custom-made for this sector.
So that's it, straight from the horse's mouth. Can't wait for June!

Here's the link to the complete interview.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

uMobile + LG KU 380 + CDR King "Smallest Bluetooth Dongle" = Happiness?

I just bought a really small Bluetooth dongle from CDR King and paired it with the free uMobile handset (LG KU 380) and guess what? I got a decent online speed from my house at Sta. Rosa Laguna!

If I can consistently get this speed, then I'll have a reason to just drop my CRAPPY Digitel DSL service. Why? well, look below and see why I'd prefer surfing using my cellphone:

The Redfox Wizbook [Know Thy Eee-nemy]

The ULPC (Ultra Low-cost PC) niche is indeed getting crowded as more and more manufacturers enter the niche and here's one of the latest entries: the 10-inch screen Redfox Wizbook. Running a 500 Mhz AMD LX800 processor, this *may* be a bit slower than the Eee PC *BUT* this baby costs only Php19,000 (around $450) making it worthy of a second look.

There is a smaller Wizbook (Wizbook 800) that has an 8-inch screen and has an LX700 processor running at 400 Mhz. Priced competetively at Php 16,000 (around $ 380), this is a direct competitor of the original Eee PC 701.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Separated at Birth?

Snagged this controversial photo from engadget. See anything suspiciously suspicious?

Taking The WinXP Plunge... Again

After holding out for a looooong time, I finally took the plunge and installed Windows XP on my Eee PC! I'm actually posting this from my spanking brand new(?) OS! My first attempt was not up to par because it rendered my Eee PC mute (no sounds).

Anyway, I was able to finally make everything work now and so far so good! To save on the disk space I did not install any major applications on Windows, opting instead for the Portable Apps suite. Installed as portable apps are OpenOffice.Org, FireFox, 7-zip, GAIM, uTorrent, and few more. I am using portable apps not only to save disk space but also to prevent my Windows XP registry from being borked before its time. Now, almost all my programs (except for a 3rd party firewall app Ashampoo) are running off my 2GB SD Card. To "fix" the low resolution screen of the Eee PC, I also installed Astray+ *after* updating the graphics drivers as recommended here.

Even with Windows XP, the Eee PC is still not "able" enough to function as a primary PC and it will still act as my secondary, take-along computer. So far, I have not seen any obvious advantage of using Windows XP over the bundled Xandros Linux except that my Eee PC is now more vulnerable to 99% of the malware out in the wild.

I wonder how long I can tolerate using this before going back to Xandros?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Eee PC 900, Unboxed... Locally!

My good friend, reverseengineer (of Macadoodle and PeeePCeee) got his grubby little hands on a review unity of the Eee PC 900. For the uninitiated, the Eee PC 900 has a larger screen, larger internal storage (up to 20 GB) and presumably also a larger pricetag.

Anyway, reverseengineer has had the pleasure of doing an unboxing "ritual" and it can be found here.