I am a big fan of Xandros on the Eee PC, but I’ve always said it has its limitations, especially when it doesn’t give me access to my favorite Windows programs. But when my editor told me earlier this week about Wine HQ, I nearly freaked. Wine HQ enables a compatibility layer that allows Windows programs to run on a Linux OS. Wine isn’t the easiest to configure, but I figured it out with the help of the ever-informed Eee PC forum members. Check out my step-by-step instructions here. I decided to give iTunes a whirl since I just can’t live without it during the work day. Installing the program was easy once Wine was up and running. I simply double-clicked the iTunes.exe on my desktop and Wine launched automatically to install iTunes. Pretty cool. Well, that is until I realized iTunes doesn’t run on Linux like it does on a PC or Mac. When I launched the installed program, parts of the screen turned black. When the iTunes window opened, I was able to drag it over the black parts to uncover the rest of the screen. Fun? Not so much. Using Wine Review’s tips I was able to troubleshoot the black-screen problem by downloading the gdiplus.dll file from here and then dragging it into the ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32 folder on the system. Then I was able to run QuickTime and go into the player preferences under Advanced > Video and set the player to use (GDI only). I also launched WineCfg through the Terminal and on the graphics tab unchecked the Allow the Window Manager to Control the Windows. Both of these tips helped clear up the black-screen issue. So how do the iTunes features work?
In the end, I was happy to have iTunes running on the Eee PC 900, but is it worth it? Not really, unless you have DRM-protected music that plays only in iTunes. DRM aside, I would much prefer listening to my tunes in the preloaded music manager that hogs less RAM and doesn’t skip a beat while I’m surfing the Web. As for watching downloaded videos, I am still searching for a solution.