Mini-Note’s Vista Replaced with Xubuntu; I Have A Headache

My eyes burn and are stuck in a squinting position. And my head, it hurts. This is what happens when you spend four full days working on the HP Mini-Note. For those that have been following my escapades with the HP Mini-Note, Vista has been plaguing me. Vista proved decent for multitasking, Web browsing, and word processing, but even after several tweaks, it was just not able to handle Skype calls and other, more intensive tasks. Hoping to prove my on-the-fence-about-Linux boss wrong (because who doesn’t love when that happens), I set out to show that Linux can go mainstream by putting Xubuntu on the HP Mini-Note. Hearing that Open SUSE (which is a configured option offered by HP) was a more complicated flavor for the Linux-inexperienced, I set out to load Xubuntu on the Mini-Note this morning. I had no problem with the install. I burned Xubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) as an ISO file to a DVD and then hooked up an external DVD drive to the Mini-Note. I had to install the OS in a low-graphics mode, but after that it went smoothly. I had no problem configuring the settings and was greeted by a intuitive desktop screen. I really do like the look and feel of the menus and the task bars. But the hold-ups began as I searched for a wireless network to connect to. Apparently Xubuntu didn’t recognize the Broadcom wireless card in the Mini-Note. Thanks to lots of generous forum members, I was able to get some good leads on how to install the drivers; however, three hours later I was still tethered to an Ethernet cord and no closer to figuring out how to get the drivers. I then moved on to install Skype to see how video call performance would shape up. Not so easy. I tried a number of file installations, including the deb files offered by Skype and other sites, and inputted a lot of code into the Terminal. Does anyone know of any solid instructions for running Skype on Xubuntu 8.04? Needless to say my experience today has me running to the Microsoft XP camp! P.S. The Mini-Note should come with a USB travel mouse and a back brace to prevent hunching and general curvature of the spine.

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  1. Pete Dawson Says:

    Vista is too big, Linux is too small. What we need is XP Lite!

  2. Mike Cane Says:

    >>>P.S. The Mini-Note should come with a USB travel mouse and a back brace to prevent hunching and general curvature of the spine.

    Oy! I forget, what machine were you using before this that improved your posture?

    You guys gonna get the Little Red Riding Hood Lenovo u110 in?! Lust-o-licious it is. But that price!!

  3. wander Says:

    Just so you know, the Broadcom cards are not that great on linux. Poor support from the Broadcom camp really. If you want to give it another swing, you could grab a cheap PCMCIA card (if you’ve got a slot for it) and try it out. Much easier than trying to pull teeth with the Broadcom.

    On the Skype front, try this link: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Skype

    You can add the Skype repository and install it through the Synaptic Package Manager. Hope this helps!

  4. IMH Says:

    Xubuntu’s default wireless software is unintuitive. I run Wicd instead, and it works like a dream, better than the defaults on either 7.10 or 8.04.

  5. Andre Says:

    For some reason, linux people still try to use ndiswrapper to use windows drivers or the old b43xxx utility for the broadcom. Try installing the new b43 from an ubuntu repository (use synaptics for that), just let it run and extract your firmware, and it works! at least mine did. One little bug though: on Network Manager, no matter wheter you save your network password, Xubuntu only connects after you type it again and it tries to reconnect again. So whenever you boot it, you have to go there…
    Good luck!

  6. Eric Says:

    I have had trouble with Skype and Xubuntu on an old laptop. I suspect it is the slow old CPU and the new version of Skype which requires a faster chip. I am now trying to find an older version of Skype that may not require such a version.

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