Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Eee, Ubuntu, and Songbird

After years reading about super-cheap Netbooks, I finally picked one up for a friend, though ASUS' Eee PC 1201t skates pretty close to the line separating Netbooks from Notebooks with its 1.6ghz AMD CPU, 12" LED LCD screen and 250G drive.  All for $380!

Don't try to get an OS on the beast, though.  That'll be tough.  After determining that MeeGo doesn't support the Eee's Radeon GPU and finding EasyPeasy kinda clunky, I decided to put Ubuntu 10.04 on it. Unfortunately, Canonical has mostly dropped support for USB installers, and this little machine has no DVD drive, leaving me to pull off bits of cheap Taiwanese plastic until I hit hard-disk.

Now that Ubuntu's loaded, however, I couldn't be happier.  All the hardware -- Wifi card, webcam, everything -- was supported without any tinkering, and Ubuntu looks great.

I do miss iTunes, though.  Songbird (installed via Skyzim's deb) is a gorgeous replacement, so long as you don't want to listen to any w4a files from the iTunes store -- which I do. This thread explains the fix, though it's tough for the command-line-phobic. After installing the various gstreamer libraries, you'll want to open your favorite editor and add one line to /usr/bin/songbird:


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