Install the O/S Xubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon)

I started with a Dell Latitude Cpi, which was hanging around.  This is quite a nice little laptop with the following specs;

  • Pentium II 300Mhz
  • 256MB Ram
  • 1024x768 LCD Display (@24bits, see later)
  • 6GB HDD

This should be plenty for a digital photo frame.  For O/S I chose Xubuntu for several reasons

  • Whilst other projects had used Windows, I knew that Windows would run slowly on this laptop, and would be had to configure headlessly    
  • Other projects had used Damn Small Linux, which I looked at, but wasn't quite up to my desires   
  • I was already using Kubuntu on my normal laptop (Compaq Armada M300), so the smaller brother Xubuntu seemed ideal.

So I downloaded and burned a n Alternative Install CD for Xubuntu 7.10 (because my laptop didn't really have the memory for a Live CD installation, I went text only  Old School !).  This installed fine with a few minor issues;The graphics adaptor in the Latitude is a NeoMagic MagicGraph.. This was recognised by Xubuntu, but configured the display as 800x600 @ 24 bits, it took me a while to work out, but by changing the colour depth to 16bit in my xorg.conf I got the display to 1024x768. 

Whilst I was at it, I did a few other things to the base O/S;

I installed ndiswrapper (actually I compiled it from source, because something happened when I compiled LIRC from source that stopped the ndiswrapper from the repositery from working ) and configured it with a Netgear WG511 PCMCIA wireless card

I installed Wicd to handle WPA security for my home network

I disabled everything I wouldnt need, like printing

I installed Samba, and configured it to share out the Share partition which would hold my pictures. That way anyone in the family can add pictures to the frame
I configured laptop-mode so the hard drive only spins up every ten minutes or so
I set the drives with the noatime option in /etc/fstab to reduce hard disk writes as much as possible.

I set the desktop to no image, black colour. I removed the taskbar and made the menubar smaller and autohide