It’s not that ‘ard (uino)

As I said earlier, I planned to hook my little-used netbook up to the Arduino.

One reason for this was that I felt I hadn’t progressed as far with playing with the kit as I had plannned; spending the day in front of a desk and computer for work, I hardly want to do the same in the evenings! Having the netbook working meant I could experiment with it on the sofa downstairs, while watching TV.

So I booted up the netbook (an Asus EEE 900) for the first time in months.

That’s when I realised why I hadn’t been using it. I had put it down to my aquisition of an Android phone (definitely a contributing factor), but I remembered how I was getting increasingly frustrated with the lengths I had to go to to get any new software on the EEE. The EEE was running a bespoke Xandros, which no longer seemed to be supported – the last version of Firefox available without fiddling was v2.x, and the best I had managed with fiddling was 3.3. The chances of putting my Arduino software on it was null.

So I decided to blitz it and install another Linux on it. In the end, I plumped for Easy Peasy (umbunto-eee) – still not the latest in tech, but certainly better than Xandros, and (reportedly) easy to put on.

It wasn’t too bad – I did it once, and realised I had installed it on the wrong drive (the EEE has two solid state drives – one is fast and one is not so fast). So I did it again, and am very happy with the results. Am now up to a decent version of Firefox, and the Arduino software went on easily.

Furthermore, it paid off. I’ve spent the past 3 evenings working through the Arduino examples, and I even experimented with one of my remote thermometer probes, and confirmed I could read them from the arduino – it’s a simple circuit even I can understand.

So far, so good.

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