Save Space on Jolicloud

I’ve been happily running Jolicloud Alpha 2c on my Asus Eee PC 701 for the last couple of months. Along with the Google Chrome Dev Preview browser for Linux, this is without question the best lightweight OS for my netbook’s tiny 4Gb SSD drive.

However, I was dismayed to see my remaining free space steadily dropping from about 1.3 gigs free just after installation, to less than 250 Mb free this morning. I searched online for some tips to retrieve my unused space, but could only find this terminal command to delete cached installation files:

“sudo apt-get clean”

After poking around a little more, I discovered a utility in the Accessories folder called “Disk Usage Analyzer” that was really helpful in figuring out which directories inside my home folder were taking up the most space:

This handy utility helped me realize that a bunch of Prism cache files inside my home folder were taking up nearly a gig’s worth of space on my 4Gb SSD (Prism is a minimal web browser used by Jolicloud to create local executables of web-based services). Armed with that information, I was able to delete the cache files. Now my free space is back up to over a gig.

Life With Eee PC, Day 20: Integration

I’ve had my Eee PC for nearly three weeks. In that time I’ve used it to write many emails on GMail (tried Evolution Mail but it’s just too expansive to fit on the tiny screen), written some online course answers using AbiWord, scanned my wife’s transcript using the XSane Image Scanner, socialized via Twitterfox and gtwitter — in short, it’s become a useful tool rather than a novelty gadget. All this is apart from its daily use as my personal media player (PMP).

My replacement 8GB SDHC card finally arrived courtesy of Newegg, so now I’m rocking an extra 12 gigs of storage (SDHC card + 4GB flash drive) over and above the 4GB internal SSD. I had initially thought that I would use the SDHC card as a test bed to dual-boot the Eee PC, but I’m finding that I’m really happy with EeeXubuntu, and I don’t feel the need to switch to any other OS at the moment. EeeXubuntu is fast, stable, usable, and with access to the entire Ubuntu repositories, highly expandable (something the default Xandros OS is not).

These folks are trying to get Mac OS X Tiger running on the Eee PC.  So far the main problem seems to be that the OS 10.4.9 kernel thinks that one second is 2.6 seconds long on the Eee PC. Several people on the site are offering cash rewards for solutions to getting OS X running smoothly on the Eee PC. Personally, even though I love the Mac OS, I don’t think it’s a good fit for the Eee PC; I think it would need to be heavily modified before it could be useful on the tiny wonder. I’ll be watching their progress, though.

Eee PC as Personal Media Player

One thing I really like about using my Eee PC as a Personal Media Player (PMP) as opposed to what I’d erstwhile been using, my 5th-gen iPod with video, is that I no longer have to use iSquint (a tremendous piece of software, don’t get me wrong) to convert each and every one of my DivX files to mpeg-4 or h.264, the only video formats that the 5G iPod understands.

With VLC installed on my Eee PC, I can view pretty much any video format ever devised.

Having no limitations on what video formats will work on my PMP?

I could get used to this.

Life With My Eee PC, Day Four: Stabilization

Day Four was all about expanding current capabilities, becoming more familiar, and tweaking EeeXubuntu for better operation and compatibiity.

Expanding capabilities: because I followed these instructions to enable Direct Rendering, I was able to download and install Google Earth, which runs amazingly well on this tiny laptop. Also today, my application for membership into the hulu private beta was approved, and during my lunch break I verified that I can watch hulu shows under EeeXubuntu.

Becoming more familiar came as a natural by-product of all the tweaking I’ve been doing, courtesy of this page. Major tweaks I’ve done include installing the LittleFox add-on for Firefox to maximize available browser real estate — on a 7-inch screen, every little bit counts! I’ve also tweaked the system to greatly minimize writes to the internal SSD.

For a longtime Mac user like me, the Eee PC isn’t just a different choice of computer, it’s a radical change in my entire life (since so much of my life revolves around computers). It means exploring and using new tools. It’s quite an adventure into the unknown.

Installing EeeXubuntu on Asus Eee PC

I’m currently in the process of installing EeeXubuntu on my Asus Eee PC, and I got stuck very early in the process because the “Forward,” “Back,” and “Cancel” buttons at the bottom of each installation screen were located below the viewable edge of the display (thanks to the Eee PC’s strange 800×480 display). I had been limping along by blindly pressing Tab to move the selection to what I had to imagine was the “Forward” button to move my installation along, but this method stopped working right after the partitioner portion of the Xubuntu installation process — no matter how I tabbed, I could not select the button to move to the next screen. I thought I was dead in the water until I read this tip on the Ubuntu forums: hold down the Alt key to click and drag a window around the screen. This nifty little tip allowed me to proceed with my EeeXubuntu installation – the installer is currently copying system files to the 8Gb SDHC card inserted into my Asus Eee PC. Coolness!