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Asus Eee PC 701 Review - Additional Software

Additional Software

Full Desktop Mode

More experienced Linux users may want to access a more familiar interface than the Easy mode. Fortunately, the full desktop mode can be brought into play, by typing the following commands at a console:

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install ksmserver kicker

After the ksmserver and kicker packages have been installed, the full desktop mode is started following a reboot.


(view large image)

The screenshot above shows the full desktop mode in action.

Other Software

There are a number of significant graphical applications that are installed on the Eee PC which aren't, for whatever reason, given an icon in the Easy Mode. Here are a few of these:

akregator

- a fast, lightweight, and intuitive feed reader program

gmplayer

- a front-end to mplayer (movie player)

kate

- a multi-view editor

KDE Control Center

- a centralized way to configure KDE settings

kfind

- find files and directories on your workstations

kghostview

- KDE's PostScript viewer

knode

- an easy-to-use, convenient newsreader

There are also numerous console based applications that can be run from a console window. Examples include: nano (text editor), aptitude (interface to the package manager), wget (a non-interactive network downloader), Midnight Commander (file manager), mpg321 (an mp3 player), and mplayer.

For a full list of all the packages installed on the Eee PC, check out the Appendix. There you will find a detailed description for each package.


Installing Additional Software

After adding a few repositories to /etc/apt/sources.list it is possible to install lots of other Linux applications using dpkg, a Debian package manager, or apt-get. In this way, I installed zsnes (a Super Nintendo emulator), gkrellm (software that monitors the system), OpenSSH (to let me securely remotely log in to the Eee PC), the latest Skype beta, and a number of other applications.

I wanted to try out zsnes to establish whether my Cordless Rumblepad wireless game controller worked. The game controller was detected automatically by the Eee PC, and performed flawlessly playing some public domain games.

The latest Skype beta also particularly interested me, as it offers free video calls. The installation itself was trivial, but the program would not detect the Eee PC's webcam. To get video working, I needed to run the command "sudo echo 1 > /proc/acpi/asus/camera" prior to starting Skype. After that, video calls worked!

I also succesfully manually installed the latest Java Runtime Environment, Jin (a Java internet chess client), Opera, and Nvu (a web authoring system) without any bother.

Conclusion

Read ahead

1. Introduction
2. Components - Part 1
3. Components - Part 2
4. General Operation
5. Software Introduction
6. Internet Tab
7. Work Tab
8. Learn Tab
9. Play Tab
10. Settings & Favorites Tabs
11. Additional Software
12. Final thoughts
13. Additional Screenshots
14. Appendix


Last Updated Sunday, January 13 2008 @ 11:20 AM EST


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