Why won't my Asus 900 download?
June 20, 2010 5:52 PM   Subscribe

Why won't my Asus 900 download anything? Or, what should I be doing differently?

It's one of the Eee 900s (PC software according to the system info) and I tried to a) download a more current version of Open Office and Firefox and, another time, b) download some photos from my camera. Nothing. I am not overly computer savvy but I've always been able to download photographs/update programs before on a PC. Any ideas?

(If I am overlooking something blatantly obvious, I ask you to be kind.)
posted by Prairie to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Uh... what operating system are you on? That's kind of the most important thing we need to start off. Might be able to help, but I don't know whether you're on XP or Linux (and I don't really know what "software version" means).
posted by koeselitz at 6:01 PM on June 20, 2010

Well, let's start with the really obvious... Are you sure you have enough drive space left? Are you trying to save these files to a place where you have system permissions to save them?
posted by Avelwood at 6:09 PM on June 20, 2010

Can you explain to us the steps you took to try to download these things, and what exactly happened when the process failed? Did you get an error message?
posted by embrangled at 6:35 PM on June 20, 2010

Response by poster: koeselitz: This has Linux. Avelwood: This is a crazy interface that doesn't look like anything I've ever seen--six tabs marked: Internet/Work/Learn/Play/Settings/Favorites. Under Settings I looked at Disk Utilities and it said I have 81 percent disk space left or somesuch.

Also, have have been successfully saving Open office/word-like documents to "File Manager".

embrangled: I will re-create and get back to you.
posted by Prairie at 6:54 PM on June 20, 2010

This is a crazy interface that doesn't look like anything I've ever seen--six tabs marked: Internet/Work/Learn/Play/Settings/Favorites.

A Xandros offshoot for the EEE PC. You may find this of interest if you don't like the interface. (Note it's warning about not being able save to the desktop. Apparently it comes with some weird disk space setup and wipes the desktop every reboot, so this may be part of what you're running into.)
posted by Avelwood at 7:36 PM on June 20, 2010

Some 900A's only have a slow 4 GB SSD in them, so it is a common problem to not have enough room for anything else - in fact, they don't have enough room for Xandros's automatic updates.

I bought a faster 16GB SSD to replace the stock one, and the machine is much faster with more room. I have XP in a 10 GB partition, and Pupeee in a 5 GB partition. I have a fast 8GB SDHC card for data storage. This works pretty well.

If you don't want to spend any money, you could run Pupeee on the 4 GB card with plenty of free space. If it isn't obvious, Pupeee is an EEE-specific build of Puppy Linux. I've heard the Ubuntu netbook remix works well, but have never tried it.
posted by rfs at 8:16 PM on June 20, 2010

Best answer: Well, this may be a little ancillary to the question, but...

Have you run Linux much before? It sounds like you're going about installing programs in the Windows way; you should be doing this the Linux way. I'm assuming that when you say you "tried to download" OpenOffice and Firefox, you mean you went to their websites and tried to get the install files.

That's not really how you do it on Linux. Linux usually uses a much better (and more secure) way of doing this called repositories. Repositories are collections of software carefully maintained by central distributors; they're safer and more secure, because you can connect to them directly, and because they're given to you by the people who actually made the operating system. In some ways, it can actually be easier to work with repositories, too, because you just have to run one program to install just about anything you want to.

The EEE includes what's probably the best GUI repository management program out there – a program called Synaptic. So, for example, to upgrade all of your programs to the latest versions (including Firefox and OpenOffice), follow these steps:

1. Press Control-Alt-T to bring up the Terminal (a black box where you can type commands) and wait for it to come up.

2. Type sudo synaptic to run the Synaptic program with administrator privileges.

3. When Synaptic comes up, click the "Mark All Upgrades" button.

4. Click the "Apply" button.

This will upgrade all software on your system. In addition, if you want to install something new, all you have to do is find it (usually via the "Search" button), mark it, and then click "Apply."

[Apologies if you already know all this, or if this is basic stuff to you already; I can't tell from the question. I just thought I'd help a little bit, since I don't know exactly what the main problem is.]
posted by koeselitz at 8:30 PM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also, it sounds like you're in Simple mode. If I were you, I'd probably want to have Advanced Desktop mode enabled.
posted by koeselitz at 8:37 PM on June 20, 2010

Response by poster: Well, that changes thngs slightly. I am new to Linux. Having followed your instructions, a box comes up and warns me the "software can't be authenticated" and a malicious individual could take control of my system. koeselitz, you don't look malicious...
posted by Prairie at 8:41 AM on June 21, 2010

Hee. Well, that's interesting. Now we have something to work with, anyway.

When does the box come up - when you do sudo synaptic, or when you try to "Apply" the upgrades?

Anyway, I'll see what I can dig up on switching the Asus to normal desktop mode. If anybody here has an EEE and knows how to do that, it'd be handy – but I think I saw instructions in Avelwood's link. I'll check.
posted by koeselitz at 8:48 AM on June 21, 2010

Response by poster: Koeselitz: I get the warning when I go to mark the upgrades.
Avelwood: Much obliged for the link.
And thanks to all of you who chimed in.
posted by Prairie at 2:50 PM on June 21, 2010

Response by poster: No matter how I go to update /change desktop, I get the same message that the software can't be authenticated--and do I really want to install it? Googling this phrase seems to garner the consensus that that's OK because that''s how Linux is, no different from a site you go to that's certificate is expired. If I am taking up too much bandwidth with my inane queries, I am happy to continue via MeMail with those of you who are willing.
posted by Prairie at 5:41 PM on June 21, 2010

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