I told you I would never upgrade to Windows Vista

My Ubuntu desktop

It took quite a long time but I finally got fed up with Windows XP when weird services started showing up plus it would take 1min to suspend. I could have reinstalled XP, upgraded to Vista or moved to Ubuntu 7.04. Although its not exactly the best time to do so, I moved to Ubuntu GNU/Linux and I'm slowly porting my settings and data over from the Windows drive. So far, Firefox, Thunderbird, Keepass, Hamachi are all up and running. I'll get the tricker stuff going tomorrow.

I'm finding ubuntuguide.org and TuxMobil useful by the way.

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Finally got the Wiimote working with my laptop

Wiimote and Dell laptop

After weeks of messing around with many different configurations, tonight (1am) I got it working, thanks to this great forum.

I'm using a Wavelinker bluetooth USB dongle with the IVT Corporation BlueSoleil drivers on my Dell XPS M1210. I have to turn off my internal Bluetooth because it seem to not work with BlueSoleil drivers. The thing which seemed to make all the difference was this ordering.

  1. Open GlovePie
  2. Open BlueSoleil
  3. Press 1+2. Wait for “* Connected” to pop up in the lower righthand corner of your screen.
  4. Run your script.

I found that GlovePie with no Bluetooth Fix or Auto Bluetooth Connect worked for me. GlovePie when opened would launch BlueSoleil for me and within a few seconds I was up and running. I used the script Wiimote identifier to work out if the Wiimote was connected or not. Once it was connected I can then run a more exotic script like the Mouse Control Script.

I've uploading a video I shot, so others can learn how to do the same.

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A new year and a new laptop

Dell XPS 1210 laptop

I was tempted to do some mac fanboy mac fanboy unboxing ceremany for my new Dell XPS 1210 but decided that would be just – too sad! So it came as I finally spec'ed out with
Dell, and actually ahead of the 7 business day delivery. Being delivered on a Friday means I'm obviously all night copying files from my old laptop to the new one. I'm almost pretty much done now except Firefox which doesn't seem to work correctly when I copy it over from the old machine. Thunderbird and even Sunbird worked but not Firefox, odd eh? (yes I did try Mozbackup)

The new Laptop is beautiful and seriously looks like my Toshiba from the front (promise to take pictures once I sort out Firefox). I have started putting things on it which I wouldnt dare on my older machine. Touchstone, Microsoft virtual desktops, VM Ware and even Second life. The Dell just seems to run everything smoothly without a hitch. On the downside I spent 2 hours removing all the Dell crap before doing anything constructive. The battery life seems to last 6 hours with wireless, bluetooth and with use.
It does stick out the back but honestly I couldn't careless. When I'm sitting on the train or airplane with my extended battery and your searching for power after 3 hours, I'll be sure to remind you about the battery sticking out. Other things I love about the Dell right out of the box. The shinny widescreen screen is stunning, I've enabled Cleartype which needs some tweaking. The built in Wireless finder is a great idea for wifi searching.The keyboard takes some getting use to mainly because of the Toshiba I've
been using since when-ever.

Next day

So I finally got Firefox across using another utility called BackupFox which also does Thunderbird. I'm pretty much done with setting up my laptop now. I even installed Ubuntu Linux via VMWare. I don't know about Microsoft's Virtual machine client but VMWare runs Linux bloody fast on this laptop. So fast I might not even bother installing it on the disc at all. I guess this is what some of those Mac users were talking about with parallels over bootcamp. I'm also using Microsoft's Virtual Desktops extension which acts like Linux workspaces, so I easily go between Linux and Windows with a quick 2 finger tap. Although I have to say that the virtual desktops is a little buggy with badly written applications. This does however beg the question about what I should do with the Toshiba? Now the Dell runs Linux as smoothly as it does.

dell and toshiba next to each other

I've put up a load of shots of the new laptop on Flickr using the tag dell. Including this one which puts my old toshiba next to the new dell. Weird how they look so a like from the back.

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Anyone want to buy a Toshiba Portege 3500?

Toshiba Portege 3500

Today I received my Dell order(s) (one with bluetooth, one without – go figure). This at least confirms I will be getting my new Dell XPS 1210 Laptop sometime on the 8th Jan. So that means my current laptop the Toshiba Portege 3500 is up for sale.

There's nothing wrong with it except for the two things. The CPU fan sometimes rubs against the sides of the case if you shake it around too much and the touchscreen has a area where it no longer works as expected. Otherwise its all good. Pentium 3 1.33ghz with 768meg of memory and a 2.5 inch 40gig Hard drive which has and had no problems (spinrite says its fine). 802.11b Wireless, Bluetooth 1.1 and Card readers for SD, CF and PCMCIA. The tablet pen still works fine and I have all the media which came with the
laptop. Its general condition is ok, its has wear marks of almost 4 years of everyday use. The new battery lasts about 2.5 hours with wireless and bluetooth turned off. I also have the first one which lasts no more that 5mins on full charge if you want to redo the cells inside of it.

Ideally I would like to see closer to £300 for it but I'll consider all decent offers.

If no one else wants it I'm deeply considering installing Ubuntu Linux on it and using it for browsing the web and to act like a ambient device for me and Sarah. If I underclock it down to about 733mhz I shouldn't need the fan anymore and it could make a great electronic picture frame, group calendar display and clock. Maybe use a widget engine or rss screensaver. I've also found a really good guide on how to take apart the Toshiba laptop which could help if I want to really go the whole process of converting my laptop

The other thing I could do is use my laptop is use it as a media centre by sticking a fresh version of windows media centre on it and adding a VGA to Svideo adapter on it. Its only a 1.33ghz processor but it can playback 720p video under the correct conditions, unlike my xbox.

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Jim Louderback reviews the best small laptops on the market

This was taken from the dl.tv episode 124. Whats very interesting is the 4 laptops reviewed are exactly the same as what was on my final list and they also recommend the Dell XPS 1210, even over the Mac Book.

Oh I forgot to mention my wife also bought a new laptop. A HP DV2000 from Comet which she loves at the moment.

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