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Veetle.com is a great place to broadcast and stream HD content. Unfortunately Veetle plugins do not directly work on 64-bit Linux. To install Veetle plugins on Ubuntu 12.04 64-bits follow these steps :

  1. Open terminal and paste this command sudo apt-get install ia32-libs-multiarch and press ENTER.
  2. Then use this command sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
  3. Then download this script. In terminal navigate to the folder where you have downloaded the script and use this command  sh veetle-0.9.17plus-linux-install.sh

That’s all ! You should be able to watch Veetle videos on Mozilla Firefox in HD using Ubuntu 12.04 64-bits.

Note : If for some reason above script doesn’t work for you then use this tar and follow steps in INSTALL file.

WARNING! This is an old post and I wrote it when Ubuntu didn’t support UEFI modes very well. Please follow the steps in this post only after you exhausted all other solutions online. MAKE BACKUPS of everything, including your Windows partition. You will lose all your data !

Most newer laptops these days have UEFI enabled by default. Even though UEFI is an improvement over traditional BIOS booting methods it is still a very recent technology and has it’s own quirks and bugs. Support for UEFI on Linux is at an early stage. Installing Linux on a such a system along with Windows might not work out smoothly for everybody. This guide assumes that using UEFI and GPT is not very important to you and your only concern is to dual boot both Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows on your newly bought system. It also assumes that you are ready to delete all your partitions. Hence creating a complete backup of your data is absolutely important before proceeding. I tried these steps on an Asus laptop but it should work on most laptops with an option to disable UEFI in their BIOS settings.

  1. Go into BIOS and disable UEFI. Save settings and restart and go into BIOS again
  2. If somewhere there is a setting to delete boot options then delete all the boot options.  Else skip this step. Even though I am pretty sure that you cannot delete CD/DVD from boot option but if you can then don’t do it. Save all settings and restart and go into BIOS again.
  3. Put your windows DVD in the optical drive.
  4. Somewhere (mostly on the last tab of your BIOS if it’s an Asus laptop) you will find an option for boot override. Select your DVD drive and press enter. Remember that this boot over ride option should NOT contain UEFI in it’s name.
  5. You will now boot from windows DVD non-UEFI mode.
  6. During windows installation select “custom install” and then delete all existing partitions on your harddisk. Create partition for windows. When creating this partition windows will automatically make another small partition of about 100MB size as system reserved. Leave the rest of the unallocated space for now. We will take care of that space while installing Ubuntu.
  7. Once windows installation is done put your Ubuntu CD in the drive and boot from it again
  8. During installation of Ubuntu select the option “do something else” and create a primary partition for Ubuntu.
  9. Now after creating partition for Ubuntu click on the rest of the unallocated space and click on create new partition again. But this time slected extended partition
  10. Once you create extended partition you should be able to see all your unallocated space in a sub menu under this newly created extended partition. In this unallocated space you make rest of your partitions like linux-swap (necessary for linux to work efficiently and for hibernate to work correctly) and other partitions for your data.
  11. Make sure that the bootloader device is sda without any partition number after it.
  12. Proceed with installation. If everything goes well you should be able to dual boot to both Ubuntu and Windows.

Note : If using UEFI is important to you then this guide might help - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFIBooting

After using Ubuntu for many years I finally decided to buy a laptop made especially for Ubuntu. My previous laptop was a Lenovo Y550 , which is not working anymore. I will keep updating this article from time to time. My personal experience with System76: I am really impressed with their website, the feature to directly contact support from your account and the fact that conversation threads are saved in your account, their customer and sales support, timely responses and speed of operation. You can check out the laptop on System76′s website here GazP7

Laptop configuration : 
  • Base System $899.00
  • 15.6″ 1080p Full High Definition LED Backlit Display featuring 95% NTSC Color Gamut in Matte Finished Surface ( 1920 x 1080 ) $79.00
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor ( 2.30GHz 6MB L3 Cache – 4 Cores plus Hyperthreading )
  • 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz – 1 X 4 GB
  • 500 GB 7200 RPM SATA II
  • 8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 – 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN + Bluetooth Combo Module $20.00
Total Cost : $998.00
Hardware :
  • Body – The body of the laptop is made of plastic. Though it doesn’t feel very plasticy. It has a textured metallic look to it. But I won’t say that this is the best plastic body I have seen. The side edges are a bit sharp. Though they give nice aesthetic appeal they can be a bit painful if you end up grabbing your laptop with one hand. The four small legs at the corners of the base could have been a bit smoother around the edges as well.
  • Screen - The display quality is excellent. Image and text look great. Ubuntu never looked so beautiful on my previous laptop. It seems like the hinges are not very sturdy. When the screen is very gently tapped from a top corner it shakes rather than staying firm. This will be more clear after using the laptop for couple of days.
  • Optical drive – It would have been better if it were a slot drive since the tray feels a bit flimsy when taken out. If you are buying the optical drive as an accessory then for $55 you would expect a better quality. More on accessories, optical drive and caddy case pricing at the end.
  • Keyboard – It’s a chicklet style keyboard and feels pretty good while typing. Though the keys could have been softer. Volume, brightness, hardware switches are multiplexed with function keys. It would have been great to have dedicated volume keys but that’s just my personal preference.
  • TouchpadMajor problem here ! The entire touchpad and area on it’s left gets quite warm. After a certain period of time it becomes bit uncomfortable for the left palm. The right side of the touch pad remains at normal room temperature. This might make me return the laptop. This is a multi-touch touch pad with two finger scroll enabled by default.
  • Cooling - As mentioned before the touchpad area gets quite warm. The base of the laptop on the left side close to the cooling vent also becomes warm. Though I have seen many laptops getting warm in that area but with this laptop sufficient base area gets warm in that region. Cooling is where this laptop really needs a lot of re-design. UPDATE : According to a comment by Tom (see comments below) his laptop gets very mildly warm in the same area and he believes that the heating is certainly not enough to dissuade a potential buyer. So it can be just a problem with my system or perhaps I am very critical about this issue because very often I actually keep my laptop in my lap for extended periods of time. 
  • Speakers – The sound quality is good but the volume is bit low. I went into sound settings and increased the volume above 100% and it was all good.
  • Webcam – It’s a 1.3 MP webcam. The quality is good for video chat or for recording a quick video.
  • Microphone – Microphone is on the left of the touch pad under the keyboard. The voice clarity is good but if you try to type while voice chatting there is a chance that you might end up covering it with your left palm. My friend told me that each time when I typed, she felt as if I am talking from some distance. Though according to her it wasn’t a major problem since my voice was still clear to her.
Software :
  • Ubuntu – Since this laptop is made for Ubuntu it comes pre-installed with Ubuntu. On first start it asks you to select language , timezone and to create an user and set a password. It then installs Ubuntu on your system. This is slightly modified installer where you are not asked to modify your partitions or other such advanced settings. After installation on first boot Ubuntu installed some kernel updates and then Unity became unresponsive. On next restart the wifi couldn’t establish a connection even after multiple attempts. On third restart the system gave a graphic error and asked me if I want to start in low graphic mode or want to reconfigure graphic settings. When I chose reconfigure it didn’t do anything and kept coming back to same window. When I pressed cancel it sent me to the terminal. On fourth restart everything worked fine ! These are problems associated with Ubuntu and not with system76.
  • Windows – Using Ubuntu live CD I re-partitioned the hard disk. Drivers for windows are available on System76′s support page. Windows cannot configure wifi or ethernet by itself so make sure you download those drivers before installing windows.

Accessories, upgrade options and pricing : I am not very satisfied with System76′s pricing for their accessories and upgrade option. In accessories section they have listed Optical CD/DVD drive for $55 and caddy case for second storage for $49. On laptop’s configuration page they have an option to upgrade the base system with a 60GB SSD + caddy case for $140. Now the important point to notice here is that the base system which is for $899 already includes an optical CD/DVD drive which is for $55. The same 60GB Intel SSD is available for $90-100 online. So it’s pretty clear that when upgrading to SSD+caddy case System76 should deduct the price for optical CD/DVD drive from the final total. But they don’t do that. So effectively if you are customizing your system76 laptop and upgrading to SSD+caddycase you are being charged for the optical CD/DVD drive as well but not going to receive it. It makes sense to not upgrade the optical drive and buy the caddy-case separately and then buy an SSD from some other place. I asked system76 and they have confirmed that installing caddy-case yourself won’t void your warranty. Though they didn’t comment much about this pricing problem and said they cannot offer it that way.

The Good : Ubuntu works out of the box [ after couple of restarts as in my case ;) ] Excellent display quality. Intel 3rd Gen processor along with HD Graphics 4000 makes using Ubuntu a breeze. Brilliant display !

The Bad : On upgrading to SSD+caddycase the user ends up paying for the optical drive as well. Buying the caddy case from the accessories section is a better idea.

The Ugly : There are serious problem with cooling in this laptop. The touchpad, area on the left of touch pad and base area near the vent become warm enough and it get’s bit uncomfortable after some time.

I am working on my thesis these days and most of my calculations involve radix conversion between quaternary , binary and decimal. There are many free converters available online but I prefer the computational engine called Wolfram Alpha . I just found out that you can make widgets out of your queries on this website. I made a widget for radix converter just to check it out. It’s pretty neat and handy.

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