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2009/01/03

Birthday Gifts for K, Myself

K wanted and received the single most expensive gift again this year. This year it's an EeePC, which is a netbook. That's 1024x768 in a 9" diagonal screen. It's also 120GB for hard drive. It's the best machine in the house in a form factor smaller than Learning Perl.

I spent a part of the afternoon poking at it. It runs XP Home, which is her choice, not mine. I have installed, among other things
  • Firefox 3
  • OpenOffice
  • The Virtual Deskop PowerToy, because virtual desktops are nice verywhere but crucial on such a small screen
  • The Google Pack, including Google Talk, Google Desktop, Google Earth, Chrome, Picasa and a few more things
  • AVG Antivirus
I was also getting a problem with it being able to find the Windows Network. It could ping Maria, my XP box, but it couldn't ID it via SMB. Through Shub-Internet, I found this link which explains a little on the magic incantation to convince your machine to talk to the Windows Network.
 Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NetBT\Parameters]
"NodeType"=-
"DhcpNodeType"=-
I ran it on both machines, and now I have a full view of the network. Yay!

One tremendous benefit: It's kinda built for Skype. I don't have a phone for my desk, and in the sub-basement, we don't really get reception, so voice communications down there are cool.



I have also discovered the use of Remote Desktop. Well, no, I knew about it from working at Computers4Cars, but I never used it on my own machines. I found GnomeRDP, which is an implementation of the Remote Desktop client ... server ... the part that you sit at to run a machine that's far away. I'm writing this on my Windows box, but using the monitor, keyboard and screen of my Ubuntu box to type, which is best, as my laptop's keyboard is broken. I was using Synergy to multiplex my keyboard and mouse across two machines and two screens, but there is something to having your one machine in the window of another.

And, beyond the O'Reilly I gifted to myself, I did get something else that should be interesting to geeks. I got a DVD(plus/minus)R drive and a 500GHz hard drive for one of my machines. Big drives and burnable DVDs -> I live in the future. All IDE hardware -> I live in the past. But with a 500GB hard drive, I can do that little while longer. Yes, at some point I will kit out a new #1 machine and I'll put in multiple terabyte harddrives and I shall run FreeBSD or OpenSolaris so I will have all the benefits of ZFS. And I will gallop freely amongst the heards of unicorns. But in reality, I will upgrade my Robbie, my 2.26GHz Compaq, to be a relatively cool machine. The CDW Memory Finder says that I could get myself upto 2GB of memory for less than $100. I'll try to get that together by Spring Break.

I have some ideas for a program relating to Twitter, but I'll cover that later. It's 2am, people. Gotta sleep sometime.