Thursday, July 03, 2008

Living with my HP dv2810us and Fedora 9

This little laptop is starting to become a favorite of mine. I'm very impressed with Fedora 9 too, almost to the point of trying to upgrade my HP dv8000 from Fedora 7. The only hold up is with the VTBook video card that allows me to have a total of 3 monitors on my desktop. Plus I need to keep a Firefox 2.0 version around while I'm developing a customer's web site. But once the project is complete, I'll definitely be upgrading to Fedora 9.

So today I took the laptop out for a little show and tell with a client. Before leaving the house I simply closed the screen and packed it up. When I got to Panera Bread (coffee shop) I opened it and let it resume operations. I went to the NetworkManager and found the Panera network. A few clicks later and I was surfing the web. Wow! what an improvement.

I had a little problem with Adobe's Flash. They haven't release an x86_64 version yet so you have to run nspluginwrapper and install the 32 bit version. Then flash works like a champ. Once again Google to the rescue. I found the solution to the problem in the Fedora release notes.

While googling today I stumbled on a post about Wine and Mapsource. So I decided to install Wine 1.0 via Yum and see what happens. Mapsource installed fine and I was able to easily install the update and unlock my maps. Now all I have to do is get it to "find" my Zumo and I'll be set. Push comes to shove I can simply save the route as a gpx file on the SD card of the Zumo. I mapped a Windows drive to the /media directory so I can see the Garmin when it's plugged in, the software just can't "find" it. That's certainly not the end of the world. Not having to boot into Windows almost feels like nirvana.

Since that worked so well I thought I'd try my luck and install the BMW RepRom DVD that I use when working on my beemer. It was worth a shot. Well things seem to work until you try to view the documentation pages. But while clicking on buttons I stumbled on a Wine warning window saying I needed to install a gecko browser which it promptly did. Interestingly some content can be viewed while other information can't. I suspect a path problem. But at least I'm close to making it work.

I can now use the built in memory card reader on the laptop. This is a very handy feature and means that's one less thing I have to carry with my laptop. At less than 6 pounds this laptop is a serious little power house with a screen I can live with.

The other night I was able to get uvcvideo installed and the webcam working with very little effort. So now I have a web cam that works. I guess I'll be exploring the world of video chatting in the coming months. It would be nice to see the misses while on longer trips.

On a slightly different note, since the bbq I've been using ScribeFire to write all my posts. I'm really starting to like it too. I find it a little easier to use than the blogger interface and I can save posts and come back to them later without ever having to post them. Sure I can do the same with the draft feature in blogger but it's just nice to have it local in my browser. On trips were I can't always get net connectivity this should allow me to record posts and then upload them when I get to a place with connectivity.

Well I think I'll go tinker with Wine and see if I can get my RepRom issues solved. First thing to try is to install Internet Explore 6. It'd be nice to carry the DVD info when I'm on long trips.

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