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Thread: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    England
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    Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy

    Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Anyone have experience with this laptop?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...=A97SL4X5I9WBB

  2. #2
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop


  3. #3
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    I bought one of these second hand from Amazon for £200 on Friday. Here are my first impressions:

    1. It looks great - minimalist styling, with no annoying flashing lights etc.

    2. It has a low profile and feels light. I could happily carry this around all day

    3. It's not flimsy, but it's not like a MacBook air. I'm going to buy a protective case for it. For walking around my home (watching TV, cooking, browsing before bed etc.), it's perfect.

    4. The screen is a good size and clear. Obviously, a higher resolution would be nice, but at this price, the only fair comparison is a netbook... And it's better than that. Also, it doesn't suffer glare, because it has a matt texture.

    5. The two biggest drawbacks are the battery life and the processing power. I charged it from 'new' for > 24hrs; and running windows it lasted 2hrs 20mins; running Ubuntu it has lasted slightly longer c. 2hrs 30mins.

    6. The processor is just slightly slower than I would like, starting firefox takes 5 or so seconds. It might have been chosen because the battery isn't great, but a dual-core (e.g. the Tegra 2 in the Transformer) would have been a better choice I think.

    7. I've installed Ubuntu 11.04 as a dual boot with a shared partition, and it works out of the box so far - wireless, keyboard, mouse, etc. I still haven't tried the webcam in Ubuntu.

    8. The hard drive is bigger than stated at 400GB. Personally, I would have preferred a much smaller SSD hard drive; and relied on my NAS for the serious storage.

    Overall, I'm very, very pleased with this laptop - it's a wake-up call for the major manufacturers, who seem to have missed this market for a cheap laptop that will do the non-gamer, simple everyday things well. Whenever I need serious power at home, I just remote desktop my tower, but for everything else (email, iplayer, word processing, web development) I just use this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    London
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    3
    Distro
    Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Unhappy Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Just to warn people of a serious headaches I'm having with this system.

    Trivial stuff first: If you're using it out of the box, the sudo password is meenee. As is the default user.

    If you want to boot from a USB drive, you need to press F11 (that's Fn key + F9) to get a BIOS boot menu, otherwise you can't boot from the USB.

    Now here's the scary bit: it came installed with Ubuntu 10.10, but this is now Dec 2011. So I wanted to move to Ubuntu 11.10. Not having any data on it yet, I thought the easiest thing to do would be to wipe the drive and start over with a new system. So I put the new Ubuntu 11.10 on a USB and made it bootable. Then I booted, and selected the erase and install option.

    I've never had problems doing this on other machines. But it failed very quickly with the following error:

    The ext4 file system creation in partion 1 of SCSI(0,0,0)(sda) failed.

    I've tried to manually create an Ext4 (and failing that an Ext3) partition using gparted running from the USB key, but that fails too.

    So I have an attractive new laptop with a disk that won't take a file system. Of course the old 10.10 system it came with is hosed. So if anyone has any ideas around this, I'd love to hear them.

  5. #5
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by richselby View Post
    Just to warn people of a serious headaches I'm having with this system.

    Trivial stuff first: If you're using it out of the box, the sudo password is meenee. As is the default user.

    If you want to boot from a USB drive, you need to press F11 (that's Fn key + F9) to get a BIOS boot menu, otherwise you can't boot from the USB.
    OK, that would seem pretty normal to me. Lots of machines use a function key to get a boot media choice.
    Now here's the scary bit: it came installed with Ubuntu 10.10, but this is now Dec 2011. So I wanted to move to Ubuntu 11.10. Not having any data on it yet, I thought the easiest thing to do would be to wipe the drive and start over with a new system. So I put the new Ubuntu 11.10 on a USB and made it bootable. Then I booted, and selected the erase and install option.

    I've never had problems doing this on other machines. But it failed very quickly with the following error:

    The ext4 file system creation in partion 1 of SCSI(0,0,0)(sda) failed.

    I've tried to manually create an Ext4 (and failing that an Ext3) partition using gparted running from the USB key, but that fails too.

    So I have an attractive new laptop with a disk that won't take a file system. Of course the old 10.10 system it came with is hosed. So if anyone has any ideas around this, I'd love to hear them.
    I completely reinstalled 10.10 soon after I received mine, and I had no problems. I have very recently also installed Ubuntu 11.10 to dual boot with the 10.10, again no problems.

    Have you checked the hard drive? If you can boot into a alive session then with the Ubuntu CD you can at least use disc utility to check the hard drive? There are other tools of course.

    It might be worth checking that your bootable usb checks itself as having correct content. Also maybe try another bootable media with a different method of creating it. In principle also it will be possible to use a live CD in an external usb CD/DVD drive if such a drive is available.

    You also have two usb slsots, do they both give the same results?

    For the record, I have had no problems with this machine at all. Apart from - if you could call it a 'problem' - when people marvel at it and ask 'Who makes it?' I answer
    'Meenee'
    their face gets suddenly pale, and they change the subject.... Sad state of our retail indoctrination I think. Lovely machine. I hope you can get it sorted. If I can help, I will.

    hth

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    London
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    Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Thanks for your interest, cantalan. I didn't expect anyone else to notice, except perhaps a potential buyer Googling around. And yes, this is meant as a warning saying beware of completely wiping and reinstalling on the Meenee. It might not go to plan. You are better off with sticking with the existing disk partition layout at least.

    I can boot into the live system from either USB drive no problem. The trouble is laying a filesystem down on the 320GB hard drive at all. Before fsck runs, it needs to have a filesystem to check. And the mkfs.ext4 command fails. As does mkfs.ext3 and even mkdosfs (FAT32) command.

    This evening when I tried to instal Ubuntu 11.10 I get a different error: Ubi-partman failed with exit code 10.

    I tried the Ubuntu Disk Utility (from the live OS), and the first self-test failed with a read error, although this might be a consequence of not having a filesystem down there.

    One more straw to clutch at: I recall when I first attempted to install Ubuntu 11.10, it flashed up what the pre-installed partitions were when it was asking whether I was sure I wanted to start over. They seemed pretty weird to me, including some non-allocated space and a small FAT32 partition, but I wasn't looking too closely.

    I wonder, could you have a look at the partitions set up on the disk and let me know what's there. I might be able to emulate it manually. Gparted should report what's there.

  7. #7
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by candtalan View Post
    More information: HDMI
    Ubuntu 11.10 installed, and also tried 12.04.01 live session.
    For the first time I tried to use the hdmi mini connector, with a mini to standard adaptor, and a hdmi cable, and used our widescreen hd ready TV a
    Panasonic TX-L32S10B
    and unfortunately the external display did not work. The external display was recognised 16:9 and an error message appeared relating to a resolution not being possible for 3D. I also logged in to 2D (ubuntu 11.10) with no success for external display.

    I was trying this for a friend, who would have needed an external display.

    Any other experiences out there please?

  8. #8
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by candtalan View Post
    More information: HDMI
    Ubuntu 11.10 installed, and also tried 12.04.01 live session.
    For the first time I tried to use the hdmi mini connector, with a mini to standard adaptor, and a hdmi cable, and used our widescreen hd ready TV a
    Panasonic TX-L32S10B
    and unfortunately the external display did not work. The external display was recognised 16:9 and an error message appeared relating to a resolution not being possible for 3D. I also logged in to 2D (ubuntu 11.10) with no success for external display.

    I was trying this for a friend, who would have needed an external display.

    Any other experiences out there please?
    Ah! Heads up!
    The output for external display is offered on a mini HDMI format socket, however, it looks to me as if it is in fact, still VGA (but wired through an alien connector). I had not realised that the facility *requires* a special cable adapter from Clausoft (aproximately 10 uk pounds). This adapter is cheap enough to suggest that a true conversion from hdmi to vga is not actually taking place, and the adapter looks to me like the connector ends are perfectly standard items, with no extra conversion chips inside.

    The special adapter cable is a short cable, mini HDMI connector to VGA connector.
    I have tried it, it works ok as normal vga, for example to my wide screen television set.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    4

    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    I have installed ubuntu 12.04 onto my daughters meenee, and it is working well. Had some issues with the 10.10 it came installed with, just niggly things like backspace key sticking and sound not working properly, but they seem to be fixed by the upgrade. Just had cover replaced as hinge got broken, they were very helpful. I am keen to hear if somebody has replaced the hard drive with an SSD though, I imagine it would help battery life, general speed etc. as long as it works...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Re: Clausoft Meenee Ubuntu laptop

    Hello, fellow meenee users.
    I got one of these a few weeks ago for £175 off eBay!
    In general, I love it. Nothing about it is 'premium', but it's like a thousand pounds cheaper than a Macbook.
    However, its trackpad is extremely irritating and so sensitive/erratic it makes typing tedious. I'm wondering if using an external mouse - meenee sell a Bluetooth mouse for a tenner - will automatically disable the trackpad and make my life easier?


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