A weblog about engineering and home brewing

11 May 2012

A friend of mine recently asked me to install Linux on her laptop which I was happy to do. I installed Xubuntu alongside Windows7 as dual boot. After a few days of use, she complained that the Ordnance Survey “Getamap” webpage would not work. When I investigated, I found out that the website requires Silverlight to be installed in order to work.

When vieweing the OS website in Firefox or Chromium on Xubuntu, it asked to install Silverlight then set about installing Moonlight (the Linux alternative since Silverlight only seems to work on Windows). Sadly, Moonlight does not support the while Silverlight API therefore the website would still not work properly.

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6 May 2012

I am definitely not a Twitter Power User however I do like following tweets from a small number of interesting people. On Windows, I spent some time finding a Twitter client that I liked using and eventually came across Digsby which suited me. Unfortunately Digsby was aquired by a rival in the recent past and it seems that almost all development ceased. The fact that Digsby continues to be widely used despite no real support is a credit to the original developers. Anyway, having settled on a client for Windows, the search began again for a Linux alternative that was similar to Digsby.

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6 May 2012

Having settled on using Xubuntu, the next task was to customise it to my liking and see if I could migrate my old XP installation into VirtualBox so that I could continue to use Windows specific software that I need.

I installed Opera and transfered across my sessions, bookmarks and wand data. This was straight forward. Next I removed the default Thunderbird email client and installed Evolution mail (which to me is more like Microsoft Outlook). Next, I removed Abi word and installed Libre Office – all straight forward.

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5 May 2012

A new laptop

I’ve been using Windows XP Professional since about 2003, originally on a laptop with 512MB RAM and for the last few years on a laptop with 1GB RAM; recently upgraded to 2GB.  I have been reasonably happy with it to be fair and especially happy when Vista came along and I saw others complaining.  In the last year or two I’ve had more customers asking me to write programs that will run on Win7 and some of them specifically asking for 64bit versions so I’ve periodically had to gain access to a Win7 machine for software testing.  This year I decided to upgrade my laptop and go for an i5 processor with 8GB RAM. It was advertised as 4GB but an optional 4GB RAM upgrade was available for just £20 extra so I thought it would be silly not to go for it.

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