My eeexperience with installing Mandriva 2008.1 on my EeePC

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on April 19, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

My first real experience with GNU/Linux happened when I bought myself an ASUS EEEPC. Part of the reason I got the thing was so I could learn more about GNU/Linux in a hands-on kind of way (my other computer is a Mac). Almost immediately, I installed the advanced desktop mode, and had what felt like a complete operating system. Yet, for some reason, I felt like I needed to replace Xandros. For my purposes, there wasn’t anything deficient with it. I liked that everything seemed to just work, I liked that it booted pretty quickly, and I liked the KDE desktop. But I think I wanted to challenge myself, just a little bit, and see how to actually install something myself.

I played around with the various live distros, like Pupeee and Slax, but it wasn’t enough. Finally, I decided that I should try Mandriva. Mandrake was one of the distributions I had heard of before I knew anything about UNIX-like operating systems or the fact that there is actually controversy over whether to say GNU/Linux or just Linux. Ubuntu seems way sexier, but it would also be more work, and I felt a little more secure installing a system that featured explicit support for the EEEPC hardware.

So, here’s what I did (following the steps of the wiki page):

1. Downloaded and burned a copy of the Mandriva 2008 Spring Free DVD.

2. After making sure that all my devices were enabled in the bios, booted the DVD from my external drive.

3. Opted to do a manual partition. I chose a single partition, which I had been advised from the eeeuser wiki page to make ReiserFS.

4. Chose which sets of packages and desktop environments I wanted to install. Everything I wanted to install would have required more disk space than I had (I have a 4gig eeepc), so I took some stuff off. I figured I could just install specific things, like Abiword, later.

5. Waited an eternity for the damn packages to install from the DVD. Played Mario Kart DS and read Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. The part that told me how much time was left was laughably inaccurate. Like, it would jump up and down a lot throughout the install, and then spent a good five minutes at the end telling me that there were ten seconds left.

6. Told the installer where to put the bootloader. Here’s where I nearly lost it. I tried first putting it where it advised me to, and got an error saying. Retried doing this repeatedly. Then I tried putting it in the other possible place, and got the same error message. 2-plus hours were down the drain. So, I brought the EEEPC up to my room (it being around 2am at this point), and tried it again. This time, I would sleep while it installed. Instead of making the ReiserFS partition (and who wants a file system designed by an alleged murderer, anyway?), I just used ext3. I slept as the files were installed, and woke up around 4. The bootloader installed no problem this time, which I choose to attribute to the file system, but I don’t really know why.

7. I connected to wired internet, and installed the madwifi packages. My wireless worked no problem.

8. I am now using Mandriva on my EEEPC. I haven’t done too much messing around with it yet, but I plan on installing the module that will allow my computer to run at its 900mhz speed, and adding some of the programs I would have liked to install but couldn’t. Right now, I have 1.5 gigs of free space.

I took a bunch of crappy pictures of the install process, which you can see at

Bell Canada

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on April 1, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

After telling 1 robot and 4 people my telephone number and that I want to cancel my phone service because I am moving, I am told it will be canceled.

“That includes the internet?” I ask.

“Oh, you want to cancel your internet too?”

Couldn’t this all be so much easier?

edit: then the internet cancellation lady told me that they should have done it all at once, but I still have to go on hold like 3 times.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace