Tech tangent: Python on Linux — here we go!

Not even sure I should call this one a tangent, since I’ve been doing a lot more tech reading than drawing and designing lately. I thought I could turn my art into a side gig, eventually growing into a licensing income stream, but that hasn’t been working out. So maybe my other hobby, techie reading, will play out eventually…

With such an interest in tech in general, I decided to try learning Python again (I learned a few basic operations a few years back but not much beyond “hello world”.) Let’s see how long it will hold my interest this time!

Udemy had a $9.99 sale this week, so I bought the course “Complete Python Boot Camp: Go From Zero to Hero in Python”.

I decided, as I am wont to do, to go all in: try to complete the course on Linux instead of Windows. Getting stuck at jump, (“Course materials installation guide,”) prompted this blog post! The course uses Jupyter notebooks, and they recommend that newbies use something called Anaconda to install both Python and Jupyter. So I had to visit on my laptop. After downloading the file , I of course tried to double-click it, and got this:

screenshot .sh file

The text editor is tryna open it! So a web search brought me to StackExchange, where I learned that you have to manually run the .sh file from inside the correct directory in Terminal. Success!

screenshot terminal

So I entered ‘jupyter notebook’ into a new terminal window, it was very anticlimactic to just see a new browser tab opened with …a list of my local folders. But glad it’s finally done!!

It’s pretty easy to write commands in Python and then immediately run them by pressing Shift-Enter. And saving is easy as well. On to the next course module, I hope it doesn’t take as long as the installation took!

Tech Tangent: Dual booting Linux on an old HP Mini 2140 netbook

Now for another one of those enjoyable digital tangents I go off on every now and then. I was asked to install Linux on a bunch of old HP 2140 netbooks to add a bit more life to them. Because it’s the distribution I’m most familiar with, I tried installing Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS 32 bit, but it was still very glitchy, and I had problems installing the wireless drivers even though I had researched and downloaded them in advance. Next I tried Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa 32 bit, Mate version. (Thanks to some vigilant YouTube commenters, I found out that Mate is pronounced MAH-tay, as in yerba mate.)

Mint installer is actually easier and faster than Ubuntu, and zero problems installing the Broadcom 802.11 drivers (thanks to this site).  I downloaded the drivers here:

I used a USB stick to install, since the HP netbook doesn’t have a CD drive. I made my own using a small application called YUMI from . But you can also order a pre-installed USB stick from a company called . Mint prefers you connect to the internet while installing, but this is not necessary — just install the Broadcom drivers after installing and restarting once.