Toshiba R100

toshiba.r100.jpgOver a month ago I was on the hunt for a laptop. In my quest for a small laptop I actually looked at the Fujitsu-Seimens model and the Sony Vaio, and hell I even looked into getting myself an ibook or whatever it is they call themselves nowadays (the cheaper kind not the medal ones). Alas none of them really floated my boat, because they were either too thick, or too heavy. I wanted something far more portable than any of those models could provide me with.

In the end I settled on a Toshiba R100. I got this particular model for a couple of reasons. The first was because I’d actually seen the model in question as all the directors in the company got these things as standard issue earlier this year. The beauty of these particular laptops are that due to the fact that they don’t have a CD player makes them incredible light and super small.

As you can imagine, the standards Windows install lasted a total of like 5 hours on my machine as I quickly found a way to install dapper drake straight away. Once I’d done that I decided that it would be a good idea to try installing beryl on there, bad idea. For all those thinking that you can get all the funky 3D effects on this machine, you can’t. The computer has a Trident graphics card, and as such this extra layer it would seem is not possible. You could try but what happened with me is that it basically screwed up Sudo for me and things were not installing and a whole slew of other rubbish came of it. So word to the wise just avoid it on this machine.

I’m writing my findings down here in the hopes of a couple of things. I can’t be the only person to have Ubuntu installed on this machine, or even the only one that wants to have Ubuntu installed on this machine, so I’ll going to chronicle my findings here and fill it up as a resource for other helpless souls that are tearing their hair out as well, and hopefully I might get some answers to some of the bugs that can be found on this machine.

Installing Dapper Drake

This was actually the easiest thing in the world. Download an exe file, run it and it’ll reboot and start the installation process automatically from the net. It’ll download all the packages and install the thing right there and then, taking roughly about 1 hour in total (depending of course on your internet installation). The great thing is that everything worked out of the box. No problems whatsoever. I’m not sure if my keyboard was having a little bit of trouble there as I currently do in Edgy.

Installing Edgy Eft

Unfortunately things don’t go according to plan with this particular install. The reason as I’ve come to understand is really down to the shoddy and buggy Xorg. It’s a definitely step backwards as far as I’m concerned. If this was my only machine, I’d be fucked. Luckily the great guys over on the irc channel #ubuntuforums were a great help and got me up and running.

The problem is that Vesa doesn’t work, and the trident driver is just not good enough. There’s a bit of a bug involved here that I don’t know what the deal is. When you log in you’ll only see a quarter of the desktop. You’ve got to CTRL-ALT-F1 to restart xorg quickly, log back in and it’s all working nicely. Fekking annoying bug if you ask me. So I reported the bug on Launchpad, and someone got back to me less than 24hours later. Still hoping for a resolution to this, but it’s great to have someone get back to me directly and so quickly to try and solve my issue.

The next problem I had was in the keyboard (in fact I still have this problem, which is a real pain in the ass to be honest. Basically, when I log in, the keyboard letters are recognised, however the rest of the keyboard, and I’m talking about the symbols buttons, come up with some utter giberish. Selecting another generic keyboard solves the problem. If anyone has got a solution to this stupid bug I’d really be grateful (once again I’ve logged a report in as well about this).

So is Edgy worth it. It’s a more polished graphically at least distribution to Dapper. The login screen isn’t as scary as Dapper. The icons have been polished and look a lot more professional to be honest. Things like he new help icon and the new login screen are all great little additions that basically make the package look more professional. The new chocolate background is also pretty cool. I am glad that they didn’t go for the community created screenshots that we previewed. I’m with Mark Shuttleworth on this particular subject. It just wasn’t right.

One thing I have noticed (and maybe that’s because the harddisc is smaller and less complicated than on my desktop machine,) but Nautalis is actually faster on this install. It’s changed ever so slightly with the latest addition of gnome.


As I’m using this machine for a completely different set of reasons and because I’ve got less power than my desktop machine I’ve gone on a bit of a hunt for a different set of applications.

I thought I’d try another windows manager instead of gnome. XFCE was the obvious one. I’ve got to say that while it does seem lighter, it’s definitely not as polished as gnome. There are certain things in it that really do need some work. Some pretty fundamental things. I’ll definitely have a look at it in a few months/years to come, but for the moment I think it’s got a way before it’s as solid as gnome.

One of the great additions however is Thunar, which I think is a fantastic little application, very light and gets me to where I want to be straight away. I’m using a completely different icon to be honest, mainly because I love the screen with the stars, after all I am attracted to the stars.

Another great little find is Abiword. It’s got a pretty rubbish splash screen, but it is supremely lightweight Word replacement. It looks exactly like word, only slightly more slimmed down. For the type of documentation I require however it’s absolutely brilliant. So much so that I’m thinking about making it my default word processing tool of choice on my desktop machine as well. Hopefully the same developers can have a look at making an Excel alternative as well using the same ideologies, it just works really well and has got a very clean user interface.


Not sure how to get this enabled or to test it’s all working to be honest. I’ve not had the chance really as we don’t have a wireless network at home (although we are definitely starting to think about this much more seriously). If anyone’s got any good tutorials or applications that can allow me to roam and see what’s around in my area or so that when I’m in a Starfucks I actually have that option available to me that would be most excellent.


  1. ooohh…look at you big baller!!

    1 Fadi Aboualfa
    Quote | 19/12/2006
  2. You’re not the only problem to have suffered the Edgy Eft upgrade: take a look at and

    I’ve been trying to debug the vesa issue and it’s not yet clear to me that it is actually a problem with Xorg itself, but maybe an issue with a library that it uses.

    2 David Sterratt
    Quote | 3/1/2007
  3. David have you noticed how it actually works if you’ve connected to mains? It only has that problem when you go to battery supply instead. Also is there a decent application to configure the keyboard, as I’ve been having some problems with that as well. It’s definitely been really annoying having to deal with these things and kinda reduced my overall enjoyment of using my computer to be honest with you.

    3 Khaled
    Quote | 3/1/2007

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