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 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 post here:

-Mr. Zonbu


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.

-Mr. Zonbu

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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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


BBC iPlayer to include Flash derivative

December 15, 2007

BBC LogoFor all of you who are Top Gear fans (and really, who isn’t a Top Gear fan? Even my wife loves it), some good news from the BBC this week. is reporting that there will be a Flash based derivative of their previously Windows only (and very contentious) iPlayer platform:

As observant readers may recall, in August we chatted with Peter Brown of the Free Software Foundation about the BBC iPlayer, and DRM in general. The BBC iPlayer is the U.K. public broadcaster’s drawn-out and vastly expensive endeavour to bring the BBC’s wealth of content into the 21st century.

Until today, the entire project has been Windows-only, with Mac and Linux support missing despite having been much-debated – and required at some stage due to the BBC’s remit for platform independence. As expected, the BBC is starting a new beta phase today with the introduction of a ‘7-day catch-up’ online streaming service via Adobe Flash player to cater for all three platforms.

Wow, another tier one site moves to a flash based video platform.

Read the rest of this entry » New Flash player important, slow

December 11, 2007

There is a very interesting piece over at, regarding Flash and H.264. If I didn’t know better, I’d be tempted to think Steven J. Vaughan Nichols has been reading my blog.

Adobe clearly means to claim HDTV for its Flash line of products. At the same time, Adobe has also committed itself to support Linux on the same level as Windows and Mac OS. Slow performance and all, it appears to me that Adobe Flash Player is going to become for Linux multimedia, what OpenOffice is for office software and Firefox is for Web-browsing: the application of choice for Linux users everywhere.

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2008 to be the YouTube Election?

December 7, 2007

YouTubeLogoAnother sign flash video is seeping in to the mainstream (for those of you who didn’t like learning that YouPorn is in the top 35 of all Internet sites…):

From TG Daily:

One of the main things seen for the first time in the dawning of the 2008 election is the addition of a special “face the candidates” page on YouTube. Sixteen candidates, eight each on the Republican and Democratic side, each have their own official YouTube pages with anywhere from a couple dozen to hundreds of campaign videos. Users can also filter official videos by issues such as education, immigration, and health care.

More here:

-Mr. Zonbu

Spend $100K, make an environmental statement

December 5, 2007

Lexus LogoI just read an interesting piece over on Autoblog, one of my daily reads.

The article talks about how Lexus has already sold TRIPLE the number of $100K+ LS600h hybrids that it forecast for 2007. And that was just from July through the end of October. What is going on?

What is going on is Americans are trying to make an environmental statement, but doing it in a quintessentially American way: bigger, better, faster, stronger. Zonbu, take note…

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Adobe releases Flash with h.264 support, including Linux

December 5, 2007

Flash IconFrom the team over at

Adobe has launched a much anticipated update to its Flash video player. Adobe Flash Player includes support for the H.264 codec. The upshot is that web publishers can easily embed HD videos on their site.

By way of background, MPEG2 and MPEG4 are the video codecs that support digital TV in North America and Europe. The broadcast and cable TV industries are broadly deployed with MPEG2 today and are rapidly moving top MPEG4 h.264 for its much better bitrate efficiency and higher qualities.

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First Impressions: Real life with the Zonbu Laptop Review

December 5, 2007

Zonbu LaptopI’ve had the Zonbu laptop for a few days now so I wanted to share my initial impressions and do a review.

I will be doing an additional piece when the Asus 3e laptop and entry level Acer arrive.

In the mean time, let’s take a look at the latest addition to the Zonbu line-up…

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