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New Hardware Roundup

Date/Time Permalink: 04/28/10 03:09:48 pm
Category: Site News

You can't exactly call this an "unboxing" with such lousy quality photos, but I thought I'd introduce some of the new gadgets I've gotten recently which I'll be using in my continuing quest to make wizard level in Linux hackerdom.

Netgear router

First, I got sick and tired of dinking around with the toy routers your average DSL ISP supplies you with, and decided to get my own router like a grown-up. This Netgear Wireless-N 300 with DSL has four ethernet ports for the desktop machines around the house and wireless for the laptop.

And... brace yourself, are you sitting down? It actually had instructions for setting it up with Linux! Yes, I, idiot, bought hardware at a real store with real money and got it home to find out that it was Linux friendly! I was not shoved to the side and treated like a second-class leper for running Linux, but was welcomed to be my penguin geeky self with it! Like a person!

Spiderman does not come with the router. Spidey has been a running household joke for ages now; he's the patron mascot and protector of every Internet connection we've ever had. See, it's a connection to the web and he's Spiderman - get it? Spider, web! Haw haw haw I quack myself up!

Moving right along to the Gateway 450 laptop and Wacom Bamboo:

Gateway laptop and Wacom Bamboo

The laptop is a refurbished model from my favorite computer store in town, Dymin Systems (unpaid plug - I've been going there for years, and they know their stuff inside out, and where else am I going to go in Iowa? CompUSA went out of business and they'd already banned me after I scared the last of their salesdroids into therapy anyway). It's a bog-standard laptop box, neither too fancy nor too plain - it's for work, not play, so it's more than adequate for my needs. It took Ubuntu onto itself like an old friend. Wireless, OpenGL, sound, USB, touchpad, and everything worked out-of-the-box without a single tweak!

The point of the laptop is that I can work around the house now instead of staying chained to a desk all day. I can even explore the wilderness and set up shop on a log, writing my stories from the enchanted forest like a magic mushroom elf.

The Wacom Bamboo was actually bought earlier, but I haven't mentioned it before, so here it is. Look for it to pop up in graphics tutorials and follow-alongs soon. It's fun to play with, but unfortunately all my paid work gets in my way so I don't have time to fiddle with it much. I've also gotten it working more or less, thanks to the wacom drivers in the kernel, and the helpful guide. The only quirk I can't work out on both desktop and laptop is the pad buttons; I can't seem to get them to do anything, and I've followed the steps over and over. But I've used it in Gimp and Inkscape, and it's already a huge boost.

Anyway, that's a run-down on what's new at the igloo. I'm so much more productive now, I almost produce work in my sleep.

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