Saturday, November 1, 2008

Choosing A Sub-notebook

My sister has been whining that the Lenovo laptop I got her is too big for her to carry around in college. Since she wanted something just to type word documents, do presentations and chat with, I showed her the Asus Eee PC models, and she loved them.

The available models were 7", 8.9" and 10" and luckily they sell these in Kuwait - Hawalli area - Ibn Khaldoun street. I took her so that she can see and relate to the sizes. The 10" was "big" so the debate was whether it's 7" or 8.9".

The difference between the 7" & 8.9" is the screen size and the disk capacity, but the dimensions of both are the same!

Linux or Windows?
Now, for a sub-notebook, you have very limited resources: 512MB-1GB of RAM, 8-30GB of disk space. And the choice of the Operating System makes a VERY big difference.

If you choose to go with the Windows model, you get Windows only, without Office and without an Anti-virus (which is a must). Office 2007 would kill the poor machine, and an anti-virus would make it unbearably slow.

So it's obvious that Linux is the proper choice for such small devices, and guess what? It does come with a set of applications pre-installed, including from which you can save as MS Word 2003 format, or export to PDF.

This doesn't apply to Asus only. For any device with limited resources (sub-notebook, PDA, tablet, Smartphone, Embedded devices) I hardly see how Windows would ever be a feasible solution.

Javascript Menu Fall Behind Flash: Fixed!

I used to face a problem before when browsing websites with flash animations under a menu, when the mouse goes over a menu item, the sub-menu drops behind the flash animation, and I can't click anything.

I thought it was caused by poor design of the website, where they could've used the Z-Index property in Cascading Style Sheets.

According to this page, z-index wouldn't even solve it, and the problem was actually caused by Flash Player 9 on Linux (only).

I grabbed a copy of Flash Player 10 and installed it, and now everything works as it should!

I run Kubuntu 8.04 and installed the package manually. Download the ".deb" package then run this command:
sudo dpkg --install install_flash_player_10_linux.deb

After the installation is over, restart firefox and the new flash player will be loaded.