Spectralcat's Blog

August 9, 2009

The English Major’s Guide to Building a Quiet, and Powerful, GNU/Linux Desktop Computer: Part III

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — spectralcat @ 3:06 am

In this post, I assemble the computer parts that I purchased in the last post. (more…)

August 8, 2009

The English Major’s Guide to Building a Quiet, and Powerful, GNU/Linux Desktop Computer: Part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — spectralcat @ 2:17 am

The hardest part of building a computer is selecting the right parts (and getting a good deal on them). In the following post, I recommend some parts and provide links to the ones I recently installed in my girlfriend’s computer. Take your time and read the specs on the parts you select (especially the motherboard, CPU, and RAM) to make sure they will work together. Try to find credible reviews of each piece and do not believe manufacturers who claim that their parts are “quiet.” They lie. (more…)

The English Major’s Guide to Building a Quiet, and Powerful, GNU/Linux Desktop Computer: Part I

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — spectralcat @ 1:26 am

This guide can help you build an inexpensive, powerful, quiet, open-source (GNU/Linux) desktop computer. I recommend building an open-source friendly computer because the most valuable part of your computer is your personal data. When you use proprietary software you allow corporations that only want to make a quick buck off you to get access to your personal data. In the short run, this has some benefits (familiarity and compatibility with what your friends are using), but in the long run, using proprietary software is asking for trouble. Many businesses now make money not by helping you use data but by figuring out ways to limit your access to it. I’ve also tailored this guide towards using high efficiency computer parts; it’s easy to build a dirt cheap computer using inefficient parts, but when you’re done, you’ll have a blast furnace in the corner of your room. It’s difficult to build a dead silent computer, but you can build a nearly inaudible one if you buy the right parts and install them properly. (more…)

July 2, 2009

Part VII: Liberating the Asus 1000HE: Setting up Filesharing on a Unix-Based (Linux and Mac) Home Network Via SSH

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — spectralcat @ 1:31 am

Because the 1000He does not come with a dvd drive (this is good; it makes the netbook lighter!), it’s a good idea to configure it to connect the other computers on your network. This lets you access the dvd drive on a different desktop computer or laptop on your network; it also lets you easily copy files to and from the eeepc to the other computers on your network. (more…)

Part VI: Liberating the Asus 1000HE: Optional Compiz Customizations

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — spectralcat @ 12:18 am

Now I’m going to make a series of small scale configurations to the Desktop Manager (Compiz), the program that controls where windows are placed on the desktop and how they are moved around. I want to make the windows minimize to reveal the Desktop when I press F12, the way it is on a Mac. To do this, I do the following: System: Preferences: CompizConfig Manager: General Options: Key Bindings: Show Desktop. Set it F12. (more…)

July 1, 2009

Part V: Liberating the Asus 1000HE: Optional Eeebuntu Customizations

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — spectralcat @ 11:22 pm

Now I’m going to make some optional customizations to Eeebuntu. I find the default behavior of the touchpad to be very difficult to get used to. So I’m going to configure my touchpad using the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. I want to make two-finger tap for left-click and a three-finger tap for a middle-click. This way I will be less likely to open files by accident. (more…)

Part IV: Liberating the Asus 1000HE: Configuring Eeebuntu

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — spectralcat @ 10:36 pm

Most of the default settings in Eeebuntu will work just fine on the 1000HE.  A few of them, though, need to be specially tweaked.  Let’s get started making these adjustments.  First, boot into Eeebuntu and log in; the first time you log in the screen might now display the bar at the top of the screen improperly. If this happens, left click in the upper right hand corner, select log out and log back in; everything should now look fine. (more…)

Part III: Liberating the Asus 1000HE: Installing Linux as a Second Operating System

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — spectralcat @ 9:07 am

Now we need to figure out how we will re-partition the hard drive. (If this talk about “partitions” confuses you, think of a hard drive as being like a house. The “partitions” are the different rooms in the house, and, of course, each room is separated by a wall. We can build a new den in our house by putting a new wall in the corner of our living room; doing this, unfortunately, will make our living room smaller. Similarly, we can expand the size of our living room bigger by tearing down the wall that separates it from our dinning room. Each operating system on your computer needs to have at least one room of its own. Here, we’re going to make space for a Linux room by shrinking the size of our Windows rooms.) Asus oddly partitions the 1000HE’s hard drive into two large Windows partitions: C and D drive. The C drive is 72 gigs and contains all of your Windows programs; the D drive is the same size but is unused space. I’ve decided to delete the D drive partition; then I’m going to reduce the size of the C drive (the remaining major Windows partition). (more…)

Part II: Liberating the Asus 1000HE: Preparing for Linux

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — spectralcat @ 7:36 am

Setting up XP:

First I spent some time trying to turn Microsoft XP into a useable operating system. Since I was going to keep this shit, I wanted it to work. So after connecting Windows to the Internet, I immediately installed and configured the following programs: Firefox and the adblock plus and noscript extensions, AVG Virus Scanner (free), and Spybot S&D Spyware Remover(more…)

Part I: Liberating the Asus 1000HE: Overview

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — spectralcat @ 6:20 am

This is my account of configuring a new 1000HE EEEPC netbook as a Linux-Windows dual-boot.  I am assuming that my audience has little if any knowledge of Linux. To Dual-boot a computer is to install two separate operating systems on it at the same time. While this does not slow down the computer, it does require you to dedicate certain parts of your hard drive to each operating system. When I turn on the computer a menu pops up asking me which operating system I would like to use. I can switch between operating systems simply by restarting the computer.  (more…)

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