Eee essentials

This is another archival repost, originally written on the old blog in Nov 2008.

I’m on the train! Yay for the Eee PC!

In between distractions from the frosty countryside and industrial heritage of Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland, let me share the essentials of setting up your new Eee, should be lucky enough to own one.

  1. Enable advanced desktop. It’s not really advanced, it’s a normal desktop!
  2. Add software repositories to Synaptic; mark libgtk and firefox for upgrade.
  3. Change the taskbar to auto-hide/popup mode. Due to some sort of incompetence, one appears to only be able to enable this if you plug in an external monitor and use the highest resolution so that you can actually save the taskbar settings. Presumably one could also do this by manually editing a settings file somewhere.
  4. The essential FireFox add-ons:
    1. Classic compact skin — makes the toolbars and tabs narrower (I turned the status bar off altogether, though).
    2. Stop or reload — merge the stop and reload buttons (this behaviour should really be built in, as it is with Opera).
    3. One of the Compact menu add-ons: replace the menu bar with a single toolbar button (I have “Tiny Menu”).
    4. Stylish, of course. I made a Compact Google Reader UserScript for those who like to be able to read xkcd and dinosaur comics without having to horizontal scroll.

If one then switches FireFox to frameless (right click on the application’s title bar, it’s in advanced), one has a very nice area to work with. People laughed when I said I would be working from home on an Eee, but this is a very comfortable work area.

So, in summary, a most pleasant journey as I speed north, on time, on the InterCity 225, with a cute little Eee, free internet, and outside my window the Angel of the North looks down on a partially cleared block of derelict back-to-backs. It’s almost enough to give one a sixties sense of optimism in progress. Indeed, with an Eee to keep me entertained, I don’t know why I should ever need to do anything so old fashioned as, say, read a book, ever again.

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