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Category Archives: Hardware

At the new Simply Computing at Willowbrook Mall they have some used iBook G4s; like mine, except for a faster processor. Last I saw they were asking around $500 for them.

This is just another sign that I do not get the whole Mac/Apple mentality. When I saw that I said “you could get a cheap Dell with a better chip, bigger harddrive, and a faster processor for only about a hundred buck more…” and Paul replied “but it wouldn’t be a Mac.”

I like Macs. I like how they look, and once I remember how to use their software I like it as well. But not enough to pay that much more for a computer or laptop.

I’m not really a fangirl of any computer manufacturer or operating system. Sure, I have problems with Microsoft and Windows, and I think more people should be open to the idea of trying out open source software. But I’m not going to get in a knock-down, drag out argument about it.

(In my head I might think unkind thoughts, but that’s a character flaw I will never fix!)

Anyways, the point of this post: $500 for a 5 year old, underpowered iBook is insane.


…but I have wfi, even though I’ve gone week without it. I thought that the AirPort Extreme card needed to have some firmware added, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to work.

Tonight I went back through the support documentation, which says:

With YDL v.6.1, getting online is effortless with little to no pre-configuration steps when you use the Wicd Network Manager to automatically detect wireless networks.

  1. Launch the Wicd Network Manager:

    YDL Menu ==> Applications ==> Internet ==> Wicd Network Manager

  2. To set a preferred network, select the Automatically connect to this network checkbox.
  3. Simply click the Connect button and you are connected.

Note that Apple devices require the addition of firmware beforehand. See the HOWTOs for specific assistance with configuration.

As of YDL v5.0 and forward, Apple’s AirPort Extreme is supported.

It was that last line that I missed. Everything above it made me think I had to download firmware (as I did for Xubuntu).Oh well, c’est la vie; and I can surf from the comfort of the couch again.

Dear Apple Customer,

Thank you for ordering a replacement battery. Your request (Order number #######) is currently being processed.

It will take approximately 7 to 9 business days for your replacement battery to arrive. Please note that shipping time may vary due to availability of your battery model.

Battery Exchange Program details and an FAQ may be found at:

We appreciate your cooperation with this exchange program.


The battery on the iBook is a shot. But it looks like I may be able to get a replacement for free from Apple! There is a battery exchange for certain battery serial numbers. Since my laptop hasn’t overheated in the four years we’ve had it, I’m guessing it’s okay, but saving $100USD on a new one would be pretty awesome.

The air is feeling pretty autumnal out there. Finally.

I think I’m done researching UMPCs. I don’t think that they’re what I need. Originally I thought it would be great to have a small computer to take with me when I go out. The plan was to put Ubuntu or Mandriva on it and mess around with Linux. However I’m not sure where I’d take a laptop – certainly not to work where it’s likely to get damaged or broken; I don’t travel enough to warrant a “travel computer”; and when I do travel, taking a regular sized laptop isn’t an issue.

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Saw the Acer Aspire One (specs were identical to the one in the link) today in real-life and dropped it from my list of eligible UMPCs.

The keyboard was cramped was the bilingual version, not the North American version. The colour was nice (sapphire), but overall it looked kinda cheap.

I’ve been doing more reading about UMPCs. In actual fact, I think I’m a little obsessed. I’ve been awaiting the launch of the Dell-E, aka the “mini Inspiron”. It was supposed to launch yesterday, but now I hear it’s going to launch September 4th. For all the excitement around it – rumour is that is has a crappy slow SSD.

I’m leaning towards the EEE pc 1000H. I’m not keen on the SSD’s lifespan and heftier price. I wish the HDD version came with Xandros (it ships with XP) because Ubuntu doesn’t work all that great, even with all the kernel-hacking that’s being done. I’ve been reading about Mandriva, and from what I can understand it has the least amount of issues with the 1000. It works right out of the box for the EEE pc 700/701; the developers just didn’t realize that Asus was going to unleash a billion EEE pc models.

I have a lot of different interests that wax, wane, shift, and occasionally get replaced.

Right now I’m crazy about sub-notebooks. I wanted an eeePC 701, but decided to wait (well actually, was persuaded to wait by Paul) for the 900 or 901 series. And now, HP has launched its rival, the HP 2133 Mini-Note and next month the MSI Wind will be released. And other companies have releases unofficially scheduled for late summer.

Now I’m driving myself crazy comparing all of them. Argh.

Some thoughts about using Ubuntu as a non-Linux savvy, but comfortable Windows user since I’ve been using it for a week or so (I ran it off of the live disc before the installation on the weekend):

The only thing that didn’t work was my monitor settings. I have a Dell 2005FPW wide-screen LCD monitor. Ubuntu wouldn’t display a resolution above 1280×1024. It was ugly. And I had no way of fixing it myself.

Sure, there were forum posts and articles galore about it, but as an extremely novice user, editing anything by command line is intimidating. (I haven’t covered the command line or terminal in my projects from the book, yet. I think it’s the next chapter). Until a few days ago, I had no idea what a “sudo” command was. Some of you might remember that the only thing a terminal is good for is the “secret internet”.

This is something that would be incredibly frustrating if I didn’t have someone to help me. It even took Paul a number of times to get the right modeline to fix my problem. This is something that would have probably eventually driven me back to Windows.

These are the types of issues that Linux and Ubuntu need to overcome if more users like me are ever going to be convinced to switch.

For the record, the fix is for the Xorg.config file is here. Let me know how it worked for you.