Microsoft Vine

I’ve just had a chance to take a look at a new piece of Microsoft software called Vine.  The service aims to provide a useful mashup of existing services — Facebook, Twitter, SMS, email, and more — to allow users to send and receive critical information about natural disasters. While the main interface is a downloadable Windows app, you can also send and recieve alerts via email or on your mobile.

Continue reading

Samsung NC10 and Ubuntu 9.04

I recently tried to update my NC10 to Ubuntu 9.04, Jaunty Jackalope. I made sure my packages were up to date, then hit that welcoming ‘upgrade’ button on the package manager. Everything proceeded fine, until the installation was over, and all I had to do was restart. I restarted, but somehow the upgrade had destroyed my system. Gnome was broken, with every attempt to start it met with a blank screen. Any packages I tried to install returned a ‘broken packages’ error. Something, somewhere, had gone wrong.

I decided to reinstall. As I didn’t have a CD-ROM drive, I chose to use UNetbootin. It’s a very simple program to use — just download an ISO (in my case, the 9.04 Desktop ISO) and start the application. Choose the ISO file you want to use, make sure the USB drive you’ve plugged in is selected, then click OK. Wait for it to copy over the files and make the USB drive bootable. When it’s done, just unplug the drive, plug it into the computer you’re going to boot from, start the computer. Go into the BIOS and make sure your boot priority is set to be from USB first, then boot the computer. It’ll pick up the USB drive, and from there it’ll be be just like a live CD.

I installed 9.04, then booted the computer for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to find *everything* worked out of the box. Everything. The function keys worked, the sound worked, the wireless worked, the graphics worked. It was a decidedly lovely experience. Normally I’d go into the kind of fixes necessary to get things working, but I simply didn’t need to perform any. Ubuntu 9.04 then – ideal for Samsung NC10s!

Samsung NC10 Review

The NC10 is the smaller of the two netbooks Samsung has produced, with netbook standard specifications in most areas, but a few surprises in others. Overall, it’s a well designed and attractively priced netbook. Full review after the jump.

Continue reading