Skype Video calls work on Asus Eee PC

December 22, 2007

Skype LogoI haven’t tried this personally (yet) but there is a nice how-to over at LaptopMag.com that details how to install Skype 2.0 on the Asus Eee PC and make video calls with it.

While we have Skype 2.0 support on the Zonbu, the Zonbu hardware currently lacks any built-in camera. More annoyingly, the Logitech family of Quickcams (one of the most popular) does not currently work either. As I’ve noted for months, this is a key area Zonbu needs to progress rapidly.

You can read the LaptopMag.com post here: http://www.laptopmag.com/features/Skype-with-Your-Webcam-on-the-Eee-PC.htm

-Mr. Zonbu

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Asus Eee PC has great video performance

December 22, 2007

I’m still testing the Asus eee PC but so far I’m really impressed.

That being said, it is in a different category to the Zonbu, so its value to Zonbu is as a potential benchmark in a number of categories. And benchmarking against it should be a priority for the Zonbu team. It is a very well done product.

I’ll be posting more in the coming days, but in the mean time, as I expected, I’ve discovered the graphics power is substantially better than the Zonbu. Video and Flash playback is wonderful and advanced desktop effects appear to work well. The whole machine feels snappier than the Zonbu laptop (albeit a lot less usable with the smaller screen and tiny keyboard).

Check out this example of Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy running on a 3e with Compiz enabled. Very nice. Our Zonbus should have something like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRP8fPcaSzI

-Mr. Zonbu


The Beauty on the Zonbu Laptop

December 21, 2007

The Beauty told me at lunch today that she is finding the Zonbu fine for daily use but finds it very slow to boot and that after multiple hibernations it doesn’t always come back.  She then presented me with the laptop, after 20 minutes of waiting, trying to recover from hibernation.

Definitely a few things to work on.  But so far, no major complaints.   Well except for the wireless not persisting on reboot (part of the reason for the hibernation constantly), and the printer insisting on being re-installed each time it is powered on.

-Mr. Zonbu


DW Desktop Linux: 2007 – The year that was

December 19, 2007

Distrowatch has a piece summarizing the world of Desktop Linux distributions in 2007. It’s worth a read to get a quick snapshot of where things stand with the various major distributions, and developments in the space over the course of the year.

Of interest to Zonbu users is the observations about Gentoo (the distribution upon which the Zonbu OS is based):

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Half the puzzle? Does Zonbu have the software right and the hardware wrong?

December 18, 2007

PuzzleThis has really been bothering me for the last month or so: I think Zonbu may well have one of the nicest, easiest to use, most consistently integrated and user friendly Linux desktops available.

I don’t say that lightly, as I’ve used it extensively for the past four months as my home Internet machine and I’ve now moved my wife on to the platform.

But I have strong lingering concerns that the Via CPU and graphics chipset that Zonbu is currently shipping as their hardware platform is going to be rapidly eclipsed by better performing, better marketed hardware running other, less impressive, Linux distributions.

Hardware is a commodity business – let the experts do their stuff…

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My Asus 3e PC has arrived…

December 18, 2007

Asus 3eee PCMy Asus 3e PC unit has arrived.  In fact it arrived at my tropical island lair looking like a forklift skid had been driven clean through the shipping box.  Said skid then severely maimed the box the Asus unit was in, but managed to miss the unit itself, thankfully.

I’ll do a full review in a few days, but a few frist impressions:

-Very nice build quality, looks and feels expensive and well put together

-It’s small, very small, but stylish (mine is black) and you can tell it was put together by people who have been building laptops for a long time and keep a list of what works and what doesn’t for port layout etc

-The touchpad properly supports double tapping

-Keyboard is too small for my regular sized man hands

-It had a nice little “first run” wizard, but didn’t seem to save my WiFi encryption key (however I was able to easily pull it off a flash key

-Screen is nice but 800 x 480 quickly becomes a problem, but its perfect for quick “on the go” tasks

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Just the fax, Ma’am

December 17, 2007

OpenOffice.org logoMrs. Zonbu had some feedback for me this morning – there are almost no templates included with the OpenOffice install on the Zonbu. In particular, she wanted a stock fax cover sheet for something she was doing, and none were to be found.

I had a quick look and there is an official template package available, and I think it should be embellished and included.

You can find the package here:
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Zonbu Releases 7.1066 upgrade

December 17, 2007

Zonbu LogoA new release is out. The changes are listed below. It looks like a significant and important release, with many applications being moved to the newest versions, including the instant messenger, Skype, Firefox, Gimp (Image Workshop), F-Spot and more!

Version 7.1066 – released 2007-12-16

New features

  • New Public Feature
  • Vector Drawing software: Inkscape
  • Sleep for Desktop Mini
  • Desktop Clock widget: Cairo-Clock

Improvements


Beauty: Evolution needs to Evolve to make her happy

December 16, 2007

Evolution IconWe’ve hit our first stumbling block.

Evolution, it the form shipped with the Zonbu, does not include the signature of the respondent (at the top) when you reply to a message. Oddly, while it top posts the text, the signature is at the very bottom of the message chain.

Say what you will about top posting, the reality is that Outlook puts it at the top with the message. For better or worse, that is what people generally expect when they are average windows users.

Someone has finally written a patch for Evolution that gives you the option of turning on this feature (which apparently makes certain geek skin crawl). I, like many others, welcome the feature. Without it, it would literally stop me from switching away from Outlook.  And by the way, my signature starts with two -‘s and I’ve been using e-mail since the Vax.  Never forget that being right, and doing the right thing, are often not the same.

Here is some background on the fix:

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Beauty & The Geek Part II: XP to Zonbu laptop, moving the data

December 16, 2007

Bon Voyage LogoAs promised, I took a few hours this afternoon and migrated my wife from her XP/Acer Celeron laptop to the Zonbu laptop. This post is all about how to move the critical user data from XP over to the Zonbu OS Linux desktop.

It was not quite as easy as I would have liked, but it was still relatively quick and painless.

The Zonbu website, under applications, makes the following claim:

Full-featured Email and Calendar program — recommended by About.com, “Evolution looks and feels like Outlook, and it has great email features.” Get up and running in moments with the Zonbu data import/export wizard, and transfer all your email history from Outlook or Outlook Express.

I was never able to find such an Import wizard.

Searching the online documentation yielded no reference to import and/or Outlook. I ended up falling back to Google. As Outlook (for e-mail and contacts) is the principal thing my wife was using, other than her web browser, it ws especially important that all of her Outlook content (some 175M) was moved over.

So how did things go?

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