HP Mini – Time for an Update Pt1
Although I am on my computer daily, and I have lots of hi-tech bells and whistles, I didn’t have a wireless router. All my systems are hard wired. Not only for security, but since I didn’t have a need for one since up until two months ago I didn’t have a portable computer.
Of course my new netbook changed that a bit. It worked well while I was on the road. But, when I was at home my desktop seemed like a better solution. Then the weather got REAL NICE. Working out on the porch or by my new fish pond seemed more civilized.
Down to Staples and a few hours later I was unpacking my D-Link DIR-615 router. It was on sale for $60.00Cdn. For $40.00 more they would configure it for me. (That is over $80.00 and hour – definitely have to review our consulting fees.)
Setting up the router started out easily enough – it is basically plug and play. The setup is done through a browser interface and for most users the defaults will work just fine.
Connecting the HP Mini running Linux MEI proved to be more challenging. Infact, I could only do it with the security disabled – not exactly how I want to run the system. From the few clues I could get from the system – it seemed like a software problem.
Time for a change.
I have never liked the HP MEI system. To be fair, it was designed for Windows users, not a Linux geek. For basic work it was OK. But, many of the things I want were either not there or so well hidden you needed a road map to find them. I had heard there was a replacement system available from Ubuntu.
I like Ubuntu and run it on my desktop — time to do some research.
The Ubuntu system is call Ubuntu Network Remix or UNR. It can be downloaded here. You can install the system on a flash drive (I used a 2G – but a 1G drive will do.) Then boot your Mini from the flash drive.
Don’t try and copy the file directly to your flash drive. It won’t work. There are a lot of pages with instructions on installing the software on the flash drive – I found these to be the best. Be warned – installing the software will completely write over anything that is on the flash drive.
Once you have the software everything proceeds rather smoothly.
Insert the flash drive into one of the USB ports and start the computer, pressing F9 at the prompt. Select boot from flash drive from the menu. You will get a second menu that lets you either run from the flash drive or install the new operating system. I selected to run it from the flash drive.
The OS boots directly to a well laid out GNOME desktop.
In part 2 – I will look at some of the features and replacing the HP MEI operating system.
BTW – the screen capture software is just one of the features of UNR.
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