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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Posts about eee

Android on x86: report

Since I ex­pect An­droid on tablets to be a big thing in 2010, I am ex­per­i­ment­ing with the clos­est thing I can get: An­droid in my eee 701 Surf 4G:

SDC14690

I got the test­ing An­droid 2.0 im­age from http://an­droid-x86.org. I had the 1.6 "stable" one but it was... well, it worked aw­ful (half the key com­bos or menu op­tions caused it to crash, re­boot or oth­er­wise au­to­com­bust).

So... how is it work­ing? Slow, but it has po­ten­tial!

The bad:

  • It boots quite fast... but my tricked full Arch Lin­ux in­­stall boots faster.

  • It works sloooooow, you can see in­­di­vid­u­al let­ters when you type in the search gad­get. I read this is a tem­po­rary prob­lem, though.

  • I am get­t­ing a "cas­­trat­ed" ex­pe­ri­ence be­­cause the open an­­droid app stores are not as well stocked as the of­­fi­­cial an­­droid mar­ket­­place (and come on, why the heck can't I get free apps from there???)

    I see ob­vi­ous holes in the app land­s­cape that I sup­­pose are well cov­­ered in the mar­ket (like, is there a Ra­­dio­­Tray re­­place­­men­t?)

    No text ed­i­­tor?

    No semi-de­­cent word pro­ces­­sor? Not even one that gen­er­ates HT­M­L?

  • The web brows­er is pa­­thet­ic. It may be nice for a phone, but for a "re­al" sys­tem? It's aw­­ful. You get the mo­­bile ver­­sions of all sites (ob­vi­ous­­ly) and many don't let you switch to the re­al ones! (even google does that, for Google Read­­er), and of course, no flash.

  • The email app is ter­ri­ble. You can't not-­­top-­­post!!!! "In-Re­­ply-­­To" is of­f-spec!

  • The WiFi set­t­ings are way too hid­­den. They should pop if you click on the wifi icon.

The good:

  • It shuts down in­­­cred­i­bly fast.

  • Some apps are quite nice, spe­­cial­­ly the Aldiko book read­­er is awe­­some (and I can share the ePub books with fbRead­­er on the arch lin­ux side.

  • The in­­­clud­ed SSH client has great ideas.

  • I love the "all your da­­ta is in the SD" ap­proach. I do the same thing with Lin­ux. In fac­t, I have the same ex­act da­­ta or­­ga­ni­za­­­tion now on both OSs :-)

  • The home screen with the slid­ing app draw­er: nice

  • The "grab­bable" sys­tem no­ti­­fi­­ca­­tions on the top bar: very nice

  • The "use the menu key to get the menu" thing? ge­nius ;-)

  • The "ev­ery­thing fullscreen all the time", thing? works on this screen.

  • App in­­stal­la­­tion is a solved prob­lem here.

  • I know I will be able to get Qt work­ing na­­tive... can't wait!

I am not sold yet, Arch is just so much faster right now, and it can do so much more, but...

  • I am get­t­ing a touch­screen for it, so I can ex­pe­ri­ence it more the way it's meant to be ex­pe­ri­enced.

  • I am us­ing it a lot to read at night in bed (Just fin­ished Mak­ers, read it, it's cool!).

  • I am us­ing it for ca­­su­al mail read­­ing (I refuse to re­­ply with that bro­ken ap­p).

  • It's a pret­­ty nice alarm clock, so it's be­­com­ing my bed­­side OS.

I'll write an­oth­er re­port once I have the touch screen or a new (hope­ful­ly faster!) ver­sion run­ning.

DBUS-reactor, or AsusOSD must die!

How to write a tiny python app (less than 50 lines) that re­acts to events on the DBUS bus­es. For ex­am­ple, dis­play­ing a no­ti­fi­ca­tion when you press one of your key­board­s' spe­cial keys.

Read all about it

Open with: Google Docs

The eee is smal­l. It has very lit­tle stor­age. So, why should I use dozens of MB on a word pro­ces­sor? Be­cause I get word doc­u­ments in the mail ev­ery once in a while.

In fac­t, the on­ly word doc­u­ments I get are er­ror mes­sages from win­dows user­s. Here's the pro­ce­dure ev­ery one of them seems to have found to tell me what's in­side ex­plor­er's er­ror pages:

  1. Cap­­ture the screen

  2. Paste it in­­­to Word

  3. Mail it to me

I sup­pose copy­&­paste of the page con­tents was too hard. But any­way, I usu­al­ly man­age by hav­ing kword or abi­word handy, but I was think­ing...

I am reading my email. That means I am on the net. That means google docs is right there. And they have a python API! 15 minutes later... open_with_gdocs.py

#!/usr/bin/env python
import gdata.docs.service,gdata,sys,os

# Create a client class which will make HTTP requests with Google Docs server.
client = gdata.docs.service.DocsService()
# Authenticate using your Google Docs email address and password.
client.ClientLogin('joe@gmail.com', 'whateveritis')

ms = gdata.MediaSource(file_path = sys.argv[1], content_type = "application/msword")
entry = client.UploadDocument(ms,"tmp_open_with_gdocs/%s"%sys.argv[1])
os.system("firefox '%s'"%entry.GetAlternateLink().href)

Try it, as long as you have fire­fox, a de­cent ver­sion of python and gda­ta it should open the doc you pass as first ar­gu­ment on google docs in fire­fox.

Re­mem­ber that you need to delete it lat­er if you don't want it, and re­name it if you want to keep it with a de­cent name.

I am not turn­ing it in­to a re­al ap­p, but it's good enough for me. Put it in your path and as­so­ciate it to your .doc files.

A sim­i­lar thing for .xls is triv­ial. A script that would han­dle both, al­so.

Could please some­one take this and make it a re­al ap­p?

Rebelling against insanity: Wicd requires half of GNOME

UP­DATE: you can get this pro­gram now at google code

I have been us­ing my eee for a while al­ready with a sort of Kubun­tu in it.

How­ev­er, my favourite wire­less/wired net­work man­age­ment app is wicd, which is a Python/GTK ap­pli­ca­tion. Or was, since ver­sion 1.4.1 re­quires python-g­nome2-ex­tras.

Which de­pends on ....

libart-2.0-2 (>= 2.3.18), libaspell15 (>= 0.60), libatk1.0-0 (>= 1.13.2), libbonobo2-0 (>= 2.15.0),
libbonoboui2-0 (>= 2.15.1), libc6 (>= 2.6-1), libcairo2 (>= 1.4.0),
libfontconfig1 (>= 2.4.0), libfreetype6 (>= 2.3.5), libgconf2-4 (>= 2.13.5),
libgda3-3, libgdl-1-0, libgdl-gnome-1-0, libgksu1.2-1 (>= 1.3.3), libgksu2-0 (>= 1.9.6),
libgksuui1.0-1, libglade2-0 (>= 1:2.6.1), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.14.0), libgnome-keyring0 (>= 2.19.6),
libgnome2-0 (>= 2.17.3), libgnomecanvas2-0 (>= 2.11.1), libgnomeui-0 (>= 2.19.1),
libgnomevfs2-0 (>= 1:2.17.90), libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.12.0), libgtkspell0 (>= 2.0.2),
libice6 (>= 1:1.0.0), libnspr4-0d (>= 1.8.0.10), liborbit2 (>= 1:2.14.8),
libpango1.0-0 (>= 1.18.2), libpng12-0 (>= 1.2.13-4), libpopt0 (>= 1.10), libsm6,
libstartup-notification0 (>= 0.8-1), libx11-6, libxcomposite1 (>=1:0.3-1),
libxcursor1 (>> 1.1.2), libxdamage1 (>= 1:1.1), libxext6, libxfixes3 (>= 1:4.0.1), libxi6, libxinerama1,
libxml2 (>= 2.6.29), libxrandr2 (>= 2:1.2.0), libxrender1, zlib1g (>= 1:1.2.3.3.dfsg-1),
python-support (>= 0.3.4), python (<< 2.6), python (>= 2.4), python-gtk2,
python-pyorbit, python-gnome2-desktop

In short: a 87MB down­load. That can't be good. In fac­t, there are al­most no changes from 1.3.1 which did­n't re­quire all that! Ex­cept for one change that makes all the dif­fer­ence on a eee PC: ver­ti­cal re­siz­ing to un­der 400px. :-(

So, be­cause I am who I am, I did this:

wicd-qt.png

It's a re­place­ment for wicd's gui.py and tray.py. On­ly needs PyQt4 which I al­ready had and de­pends on:

libc6 (>= 2.6-1), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.2.1), libqt4-core (>= 4.3.2),
libqt4-gui (>= 4.3.2), libstdc++6 (>= 4.2.1), python-central (>= 0.5.8),
python (<< 2.6), python (>= 2.4), python-sip4 (>= 4.7), python-sip4 (<< 4.8)

See a dif­fer­ence there?

Took me about 3 hours to hack to­geth­er, and works (ex­cept for wired con­fig, the prefs di­alog, stat­ic IP and script­s) but the hard work is done.

If any­one wants a copy, just ask. I ex­pect KUbun­tu could use some­thing like it?

Yes, Xandros was horrible. But this ubuntu thing is working out nicely!

As I said be­fore, the bas­tardized Xan­dros 1 sucked. In fac­t, I man­aged to de­stroy it. So I de­cid­ed to switch to an­oth­er dis­tro. Any dis­tro.

En­ter ee­eX­ubun­tu, a eee-­tuned Xubun­tu 2.

Since I pre­fer KDE to XFCE, I start­ed hack­ing at it, and pro­duced, IMVHO, a much nicer thing.

keee.png

As you can see, it takes slight­ly less space than ee­eX­ubun­tu's de­fault, and a whoop­ing 1GB less than the de­fault dis­tro.

How did I do it? First, by de­cid­ing what I want­ed.

  • No Open­Of­fice. Kof­­fice is enough to read doc­s, then there is Google doc­s, and I pro­­duce my texts us­ing do­cu­tils

  • No print­­ing. I have not used a print­­er in 5 years. What are the odds I will use one from the eee?

  • wicd for net­­work con­­fig­u­ra­­tion. It works for wire­­less/wired/en­cryp­t­ed and has no prob­lem what­­so­ev­er re­­con­nec­t­ing af­ter sus­pend.

  • yakuake for ter­mi­­nal. It us­es the least screen-s­­pace pos­si­ble: none if you are not us­ing it.

  • Fire­­fox + Flash (I would use Kon­­queror, if flash9 had not bro­ken it)

  • Kmail + Akre­­ga­­tor for mail and RSS

It works great, boots in 35 sec­onds (and I have not tuned that, yet).

Here's the list of in­stalled pack­ages and here's the list of re­pos I am us­ing

Maybe some­one more en­ter­pris­ing will make a re­al dis­tro out of it.

1

Which is it­self a bas­tardized De­bian etch.

2

Which is a XFCE-­tuned ubun­tu