EEE Officially Skype 2.0 with webcam support, works great

Video Conf ImageThis weekend I decided to do a package update on my EEE PC. I’ve resisted adding non-official repositories and generally doing geeky things to it as I wanted to compare the typical end user experience with that of the Zonbu.

To date, I’ve been a bit underwhelmed with the lack of updates. Firefox is still 2.0.0.7 and various other apps are older as well. The update function in the “basic” interface is a bit confusing and didn’t seem to be working consistently for me, but I soldiered on.

I did decide to drop to a terminal (CTRL-ALT-T) and run

apt-get update

and

apt-get upgrade

To update the package list and then install any upgrades, respectively.

Much to my great pleasure, Skype 2.0 downloaded and installed from the official Asus server. Anxious to see if it would work with the webcam without any further action on my part, I called my father (who is currently on a small remote island near Barbados) and asked him to fire up his Skype account.

Within seconds we were successfully Skyping, full screen, using the built in webcam on my end and his windows PC with built-in webcam on the other end.

I didn’t have to do ANYTHING to configure Skype once it installed. It just worked.

And the camera is quite a nice quality with good auto-whitebalancing and a fairly fast frame rate.

I am tempted to suggest that if you have a need to keep in touch with family or business associates on a regular basis, and enjoy full screen video chats, the EEE PC may be a justified expense even if thats ALL you use it for. Its long battery life and great portability mean I could chase my 2.5 year old around the house so Granddad could see him as well.

Way back in July I highlighted the fact that the lack of webcam support in the ZonbuOS was a major concern. In the last Zonbu software upgrade they made some moves to include support but it has not worked with my Logitech camera and I’ve seen various posts from others that it hasn’t worked for them either. In addition, the Zonbu notebook does not include a webcam by default, and it definitely needs to. Either way, I think Zonbu is seriously at risk of missing the boat on this.

In the mean time, while Zonbu works on it, I’ll keep using the Asus for family video chats. Good job Asus.

Now, Asus, while you’re in there updating Skype, would you mind updating most of your other packages? They’re woefully out of date.

The ZonbuOS + the Assus EEE hardware, that could be a really nice match. I’ve said it before, I think they need to co-opt the Asus hardware and ship a comparable product or offer an upgrade USB key or CD option so they can win more of these new EEE users.

-Mr. Zonbu

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7 Responses to EEE Officially Skype 2.0 with webcam support, works great

  1. Tudza says:

    Well, I tried to upgrade my Zonbu to 16GB of CF hard drive space. The results, a dead 16GB CF card and a dead Zonbu.

    The creation of the 16GB bootable card should have been easy, especially since I had another working Linux machine. Why you can’t make one with your own Zonbu I have no idea, but I am suspicious that other bash scripts I’ve tried to run fail at certain points. Does the Zonbu not support a complete bash script command set and hence it cannot run the required install script?

    Anyway, the script ended in a generic error message. I have no idea if it worked or not but the Zonbu folks thought it had according to the log I sent. I tried out the card and it did not work in my Zonbu. The card showed a capacity of 7MB using Windows and the card reader I have, was it faulty before or after the Zonbu attempt? I seem to recall Kubuntu showing the card at full strength of 16GB.

    I put the 4GB CF card back in, I get the Zonbu logo and that’s in. I’m dead in the water.

    I don’t know how people got other OS to run on this thing, I can’t even manage to get their own OS on different media to work.

  2. wjl says:

    Tudza – we had reports around here (Germany) with faked USB sticks (4GB and up), which have less than 1GB of working memory – maybe the CF cards now have a similar problem? Was it from a good vendor?

    Mr. Zonbu: let us see a high-res picture, please. Would be nice to see the quality of the webcam, and not only read about it. TIA…

  3. joz says:

    hi mr. zonbu,

    can you kindly show me the asus link to upgrade to skype 2.0 and each step taken to install the software please.

    pardon my ignorance but i have zero knowledge of linux and have no clue how to do what you’ve mentioned above.

    much appreciate your time and efforts, thank you.

  4. mrzonbu says:

    Joz,

    I’m out of the country right now and don’t have my EEE with me, but you should be able to go to the Settings tab and there is an application/update function there. If you run it it should scan for available updates and then present a Skype option.

    If that doesn’t work, please let me know.

  5. chris says:

    Hi,

    thanks great advise for installing the update….
    really great!!!

    thx chris

  6. Bradon Joulie says:

    I too am having trouble install update on my eee pc. I tried going to the settings tab>add/remove software. but anytime i try to update anything (not just skype) i get a message that reads:

    Unmet dependencies. Try ‘apt-get -f install’ with no packages (or specify a solution).

    i’m new to linux and not sure what this means or how to fix it. Can anyone help

    thanx Brandon

  7. Susanne says:

    Hi,
    I updated Skype on the EEE which works fine. Iread that you use it in fullscreen I have tried to do that too. I would appreciate knowing how to do this. Thank you i advance.

    Susanne

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