eeePC Internet Connection via Mobile Pho...

I came across various instructions for connecting an Ubuntu powered laptop to the internet through your mobile phone’s data connection. My first thought was ‘brilliant’, followed rapidly by ‘ooh this’ll be fiddly’. It requires a bit of manual coding, but using Rahid Hasan’s excellent how-to it just worked first time (that link looks broken now, its also copied here). I can now enable my bluetooth on my eeePC, turn off the wifi, and a get a reasonable connection speed via my Nokia E71 on three. Grand – no more hotspot...

Getting the NVidia linux driver working ...

The latest edition of Ubuntu (9.04) is generally excellent. There are continuing problems with graphics cards, however, that probably flow more from the proprietary (closed source) drivers provided than anything that Ubuntu folks can control. For me, its the NVidia driver that’s the baddy, failing to recognise any accurate information from my Acer widescreen monitor. This required manually writing a new xorg.conf file pretty much from scratch – here’s the solution for pairing NVidia 8500 GT with an Acer P193w NB The following sample xorg.conf file is set...

Adventures in Thin

NB This adventure has been postponed due to my lack of knowledge/skills to make it work Moving from a flat to a house so no longer will the same room function as lounge, dining room, study and guest room. Simply having a very long cable on a widescreen monitor meant that one PC used to serve both work and entertainment functions, but alas no more. So, how to have a satisfactory work-from-home PC and a media PC without spending too much moolah? One (theoretical) answer is to scrounge a basic ‘obsolete’ PC and use it as a thin client – meaning it is just a...

The Beeb and Gaza

There’s now a very public fuss about the BBC’s unfathomable decision not to air an appeal requested by the Disaster’s Emergency Committee because of reasons of  impartiality. So, I wrote the following: Dear sir/madam, RE: BBC decision not to air DEC Gaza appeal I was surprised and frustrated to learn that the BBC have refused the request by the Disasters Emergency Committee to air an appeal for funds to help those in desperate need in Gaza. The BBC response was that your concerns were about the delivery of aid to a volatile situation and about...

Ubuntu-eee on the eee PC 901

So a new year’s gift to myself for 2009: an Asus eee PC 901. After a quick play with the Xandros-based operating system that came pre-installed I decided to give the eee-specific Ubuntu distro a whirl. Despite the claim on their wiki that it would work ‘out of the box’ for the 901, there were a few issues with my installation (Ubuntu Hardy Heron v 8.04.1 on Asus model no. EEEPC-BK006) that I’ve resolved with the help of posts on the wiki and the eeepc users’s forum. So, largely because I might need to do it again, here’s my step-by-step...

Oil and Political Terror

It might not be the biggest surprise to learn that the presence of oil in a country has an effect on that country’s political character, but its rare to see the ‘resource curse’ described as clearly as in the graph below. Source: Bennie, Lynn, Patrick Bernhagen, and Neil J. Mitchell. 2007. “The Logic of Transnational Action: the Good Corporation and the Global Compact.” Political Studies 55(4):733-753. N.B. The political terror scale, originally developed by Freedom House, is based on data from Amnesty International and the US Department of State’s...