Thursday, 11 September 2008

A Journey with my Eee PC

As many of you will already know I recently took delivery of my fabulous new Eee PC Linux 901 in black, perhaps I should have done an un-boxing video for that!! Anyway, firstly I should just say how much I am truly loving this little gem of a computer, the portability is fantastic, I am rarely without it and it is so shiny and sexy, you should just see the looks I get when blogging on the bus on my way to work!!

This is my first Linux machine, chosen because of the obvious advantages it has over the equivalent Windows machine. FYI the deal clincher for me was the significantly larger memory. However, as time goes by I am slowly coming to terms with the differences, both the advantages and possible downsides of the Linux platform, specifically when placed in direct comparison with my home machine (Sony Vaio, Windows XP) and my work machine (G5 Mac, OS X).

To be honest, I'm fairly none-technical as geeks go, I have to rely very heavily on the help of my more hands-on and much more technical geek friends, who kindly provide me with much needed ongoing tech-support. (You know who you are, very many thanks!) So, I thought it might be worth sharing some of my thoughts on any particularly bother-some issues I encounter, as I learn to depend more and more on this lovely little machine.

I would like my blog posts to become more of a two way conversation with my readers, so where I come across a particular problem I need to resolve I will flag it here and if you have any thoughts or advice you can post it back to the blog. For my part, if I find a solution to the problem encountered I will also be sure to post that here too – Sound OK?

Problem 1 – I Can't Spell and Neither Can My Eee!

My Eee came pre-installed with StarOffice 8, the application seems to be up to the job I need it to do, although I admit I am probably not using some of the fancier functionality.

However, very irritatingly the spell check functionality, despite appearances, including a button and a popup window, just wouldn't work. After several painful weeks of trying to manage without spell check and transferring files to other machines to check the spelling, I decided enough was enough and set about trying to resolve the problem once and for all!

Once I started googling the problem I discovered that many, many people were also encountering the same or similar issues, one site in particular had a large number of complaints and suggestions;, but wait a moment...

... some of the suggestions for resolving the spellchecker problems were terrifying, and included re-installing the operating system, or un-installing the StarOffice software suite and then downloading and installing the OpenOffice suite, changing settings in the BIOS, whatever that might be, and the lists of suggestions just went on and on.

Knowing that my tech skills were not up to many, or even any of these solutions I sensibly decided against even trying, but eventually I found the following simple solution:

To Enable SpellChecker on StarOffice 8:
1. Get "DicOOo wizard" from

2. Enable macros in Tools -> Options -> StarOffice Security -> Macro Security...
3. Open .sxw file and download SpellCheckers (and Hyphenators and Thesauruses).
4. Restart StarOffice.
5. RESULT!!!

I hope it works well for you too :-)

The original post with this solution can be found here: – Many Thanks!


Sharon said...

I’m liking your little Eee. I too have traded my laptop in for a smaller model, although my change was more inflicted upon me. It seems my firm is trying to make paper redundant and now I have a swivel screen which I can scribble on. Its ok but no matter how many times I calibrate the pen it’s still makes my handwriting look like a 5 years olds and takes so much longer that pen and paper. It does have an upside however. I can twist the screen and lay it flat. This enables me to surf the net without any suspicion that I’m not actually working. I’m afraid that, as far as techie issues go, this is about as far as my capabilities take me.

Georgia Brown said...

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for your comment; it is great to hear from people that people are reading and getting something out of your blog posts.

Your new machine with a swivel screen sounds like fun; tell us what it is? I haven't used a tablet PC before, but I am not surprised to hear about the problems with handwriting calibration and recognition. I suppose it’s kind of a man versus machine situation and I am very glad to hear that (wo)man is still at least slightly more intelligent, flexible and capable than the machine :-)


Sharon said...

Its a Thinkpad X61

I have now got used to the pen and my handwriting has improved. I still have to print out hard copy accounts as navigating around the journal files (.jnt) is much slower than refering to a paper copy. It seems my firm has therefore not lived up to its green credentials but I'm happy with the upgrade! ;-)