A new Linux Operating system for my Asus x101

I have been thinking about trying out a different Linux distro for my Asus x101 netbook. My main concern is getting a bit faster performance and still get good use from the small 10.1” screen. For this very unscientific test I did Live CD run of the following Operating system and checked how much ram the OS used after start up and then again with Firefox running. Here are the results.

Ubuntu 11.10
Ram usage after start up: 245.4mb or 12.2%
Ram with Firefox running: 259.9 mb or 12.9%
I had to go do something and when I came back after about 5 minutes the RAM usage was up to 426,2mb or 21.3%

The space on my 10.1" laptop gets good use.

Pear OS 4
Ram usage after startup198,6mb Ram or 9.9%
Ram with Firefox running 237.8mb or 11.9%

Almost as good as Ubuntu 11.10.

Pear OS 4 Netbook
Ram usage after startup: 208.7mb or 10.4%
didn’t try it with Firefox since Firefox doesn’t come with it so you won’t see any screenshot here since it would probably look just like the one above.

Xubuntu
Ram usage after start up 10% (can’t see mb)
Ram with Firefox running 16%

Loosing a bit more information.

Linux Mint 12 DVD
Ram usage after start up: 352.1 mb 17.6%
Ram with Firefox running: 417.7mb or 20.9%
It appears I may have destroy  the Linux Mint screenshot but it wasen’t as good as Ubuntu in regards to how well it uses the small screen, basically it looked like Xubuntu. (will add it when I find it again).

So my next Linux distro to try is: Pear OS 4. Stay tuned for a review.

All tests made with the Asus x101 with 2gb of ram and Atom 1.33.

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I love Linux

The other day I was adding a wireless dongle to my in laws laptop which has a non working internal wireless LAN. The wireless dongle turned on and could see all the networks around it but couldn’t connect. I thought “aaa Scheiße, now they will stop loving Ubuntu and want to go back to Windblows”. So I restarted the laptop in Windows Vista and found that the dongle didn’t work at all there. so I switch back to Ubuntu and did a quick search. Found out about the bug with this dongle, downloaded the Linux drivers, followed the instructions I found by some guy who had the same problem, a few terminal codes here and few terminal codes there and boom. Everything works.

And I thought to my self.

Scheiße how much I love Linux.

I am sure I could have found the solution in windows just as easily but when I thought about the Linux community and the shared sense of everybody helping everybody for the better of free computer software world just gave me a fuzzy warm feeling in my heart.

 

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Working on my web site and a burning sensation

Sigma SD9

I have been working on my other web page, www.birgir.org, were I will place my Open Source Print Edition for sale. The site is rather basic and my English site needs work. While working on it I was looking at the photo on my English front page and admiring the Sigma SD9 deep color palate. I always get the Velvia feeling from it. I think the one camera I would like to own again is the Sigma SD9.

I have also been working on my Gimp vs. Photoshop essay and soon it will be published, just processing a few photos and stuff to make things look good. You should follow my blog if you want to get notified when it is published.

I tried the other day to start a small computer side project and made contact with sellers on Alibaba to buy laptops and install Ubuntu and then sell them in Iceland. We (me and my friend) bought two laptops to test the seller and items he was selling and I just received the laptops. After contacting the custom office in Iceland I found out the packed contained only two 512Mb usb stick. After that I had a strange burning sensation in my ass and it lasted the entire week.

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Sigma SD1 Merril

Today Sigma announced three “new” cameras. The Sigma SD1 Merril with a lower price tag and the new Sigma DP1 and DP2 Merril with the same 46MP sensor as the SD1. The price tag for SD1 is now 2.299$ attributed to work done to reduce production cost. At least the price is now in my “I can dream of maybe buying” range instead of my “O my god what were they thinking? I will never be able to buy it”.  But is it a realistic concept to buy the Sigma SD1?  As far as my work goes the Sigma SD15 is enough for my current professional work as a wedding and construction photographer and the SD15 is also good for landscape work as long as you don’t do a lot of cropping. the price tag for the SD1 is now “more” reasonable but considering it’s spec it isn’t really competitive compared to many Nikon cameras for example.

So do I need the SD1?
No not really.

Will the SD1 help me get more professional work?
Don’t think so.

Do I want it?
Yes.

Unless your work is Fine art printing and need to be able to enlarge in REALLY large prints the SD15 is more then enough. I am however more interested in seeing more information about the Sigma DP1/2 Merril since they would meet my landscape photography needs. No need for SD1 then, SD15 for wedding and production photography and the DP2/1 Merril for landscape. Now it is just time to start saving.

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Linux Photography

Well I am sure that many of you have been waiting for me to publish the photography Linux switch from windows. Today I was thinking a lot about that process and everything but I remember thinking about doing a Open Source Photo print Editions for sale. What I have in mind is creating fine art prints and sell them from my web page, www.birgir.org, and only use open source programs. Unfortunately I can’t use open source raw converters since they do justice to the Sigma SD14 raw files. So they will be processed with the Sigma Photo pro Converter that comes with the Sigma cameras. From there we are only talking about Gimp but for printing I might send the photos to be printed at a Fuji lab to get the paper endurance. These prints will be marked as Open Source prints and all profit will be donated to Open Source programs to secure the future development. This way people can buy fine art prints from me and support open source programs. I suppose I would donated the profit to Gimp, Scribus, Raw studio and maybe a few other. Maybe you have some idea? If so put it in a comment or send me an e-mail.

But on another note I am going to write Sigma an open letter hoping they will make there Sigma Raw converter available for Linux. I mean how hard can it be creating a pipeline for Unix systems? They just have to decide to do it and that’s it. Making the Sigma Raw converter available for a Unique OS like linux is fitting for a unique camera like the Sigma foveon chip and, I hope, increase sale. Let’s hope

Lukhash

But just to end this I have been listening to Digital Memories by Lukhash and you can download all his album for free (and make a donation if you like what you hear). It is well worth cheacking out.

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Is LibreOffice a replacement for MS Office?

Yes it it is.

But you probably want the long answer?

After my interest in open source programs started in late 2010 I decided to try Open Office to see if could use it instead of MS Office I use at work. So for over a year I have been using LibreOffice (used Open Office for about 3 months and then switched to Libre to try it out) instead of MS office and at work I use word and spreadsheet programs allot.  Every time I found out some feature MS Office has I tried to find the same in Libre Office (and always found the same function in Libre) and basically used it as my main office application. During this time there has been one word document that didn’t open correctly. The formatting had changed a bit but the document had tables and stuff but the document had all text and nothing was missing. Excel is pretty import for my work as well but of all the Excel documents I have received, created myself, e-mailed to others who use MS Office, I have in total had two documents that had errors or needed to fix something. One document didn’t’ calculate correctly between sheets and the second was using allot of macro work and Libre showed some errors and froze when macro was enabled.

I personally do not like the banner MS Office uses, I probably would get used to it but I just felt I was always looking for the tools I needed so I was very glad after installing Libre Office (and Open Office) to see the “old” look and having everything at hand so to speak. The learning curve isn’t so steep with Libre Office, plenty of YouTube video’s demonstrating how to do things and a quick search on the web gave me all the assistant I needed.

So as far as I am concerned I can say that Libre Office can be used as a replacement for MS office. It isn’t perfect but if everybody started using it there wouldn’t be any problems and the very little problems I had have no effect on my work (except the heavy macro excel document which wasn’t in regards to my work). Future releases of Libre Office will constantly improve the program so I don’t think I will ever need anything else than Libre Office.

For those who use MS office at work and recive many open office documents from other there is a simple solution to the compatibility issue of MS office. Just download Libre Office.

 

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Asus X101 Netbook review

I know that many of you are wondering what happened to me. After such a glorious start with my new blog. It looked promising, an article about Linux photography and stuff. But what happened? Well live happened. I haven’t backed out from this blog and will post the detail article about Linux photography and how it worked for me and continue writing on a weekly basis (hopefully). But it seams that all my day to day stuff made it difficult for me to write the stuff I wanted. And on top of that my Asus 17 inch AMD laptop died on me, yes the one with Ubuntu installed and all. But it also had XP. Don’t worry it wasn’t Linux fault the computer died. The mother board fried for some reason. But it was to costly replacing the mother board and after waiting for 2 weeks getting that verdict from the repair store I set out to buy my self a new computer. For a change I decided to buy a desktop instead of a laptop. So I bought a AMD desktop with windows 7 home 64bit OS. But this article isn’t about just that. This article is about the new laptop I bought so I could continue using Linux which I missed a lot after getting windows 7 desktop. Basically I was looking for a laptop or netbook without an OS but that isn’t easy to come by. System76 looked promising but I just couldn’t resist the change to own a 199$ netbook with megoo OS.

So how is it?
Well the computer is small, duuhh. I have gotten used to the keyboard and the good thing about the keyboard is you can’t go really fast typing. That helps my writing a lot and reduce errors. The screen is fine and in all I like the look and feel of the computer. But what about Megoo? Well it is fast. Start up time is 16 sec and turn of time is 5 sec. Really nice. Chrome browser is fast and worked well but Open office 3.3 felt slow starting up but worked reasonably well. After upgrading the RAM to 2gb the computer feels as good as it can be. But megoo isn’t my thing. It is probably more then enough for many users who are mainly looking for a computer to use the internet and chat and stuff. But when you want to tweek the computer and install some stuff it just feels to limited as such and I wanted to use a big Linux distro and be more of a laptop but not just a limited netbook.

Which Linux to install?
My main problem was deciding which Ubuntu or Linux I should install. After looking at the matter and wondering if I should install Xubuntu or maby Lubuntu and hoping the start up time would be good because the thing I would miss the most about megoo is the start up time. 16 sec is nothing and 5 sec turnoff time is fantastic. No need to put this puppy to standby with those start up times. But I couldn’t find out how to install Ubuntu one on the megoo OS for exemple so I decided to start by installing Ubuntu 11.10 to start and see how it works. If it would be bad then I could always switch to xubuntu, lubuntu or Linux mint. But Ubuntu it is.

So how is Ubuntu
So far so good. Start up time is 29,5 sec. Not bad, would have like it to be faster. Libra office is quick to start up and nothing seams to be slow. It isn’t as fast as megoo but megoo doesn’t have all that Ubuntu has. For example skype which I installed, works well. Mic worked but haven’t tried the web came using skype. Double finger right click works and everything seams to work well. I would like to be able to set brightness and make it stick to it but when I start the computer it seams to reset brightness to 100%. I will post another MSG when I have tested battery time.

Closing
The Asus x101 is a light netbook which feels fast and reliable despite it’s low specs but the SSD probably helps a lot with how fast it feels. I will probably stick with Ubuntu 11.10 for a while and maybe try do a clean install of Xubunt to see how it works as a comparison but I might also try Linux mint which so many have been raving about. One thing I like about the Unity is it looks like it uses the limited screen size well and that is important for a computer this small.

Update 25. december 2011
I tested boot time more acuratly and it boots in 39 sec. Before I didn’t take in to account the Bios test screen. Also battery performance seams to be the same so far but haven’t tested it scientifically.

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