Author Topic: 3MX and the Little Linux Laptop - FAQ, Information, Links and other useful stuff  (Read 18425 times)

Artus Irbe

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The 3MX and Little Linux Laptop Guide, FAQ, Links, Information, and Other Useful Stuff.

Little Linux Laptop - AKA Elonex OneT (OneT+), CnMinibook, Alpha 400 ect.

What Is It?

Very simple. Its a very small netbook sporting
1. A 7 inch, 800 x 480 pixel screen
2. 128 Mb Ram
3. 400 MHz MIPS Processor
4. Linux Linos Distribution as default.

What does all that mean?

Its got a tiny screen, that makes viewing web pages hard, as well as typing documents. Text is small to allow more 'stuff' on the page at once. Its only got 128 Mb of RAM. So don't expect to run any huge power hungry games.
It has a 400 Mhz Processor, that has been under clocked to 335 Mhz to preserve battery life. So don't expect it to be really really quick and load in an instant.  And its MIPS. So any 'normal' programs that run on Linux won't work on here unless they have been compiled to.

Thats not good! What else can it not do?

Well. It cant run flash 9 for example. We did get it running. But it was to slow. No power hungry games (no crysis for example ;)) Forget about watching huge, High def films. No cam support.

So I have just wasted my money? :'(

NO! You haven't. Sure its no EEE, or Aspire One or Viao. But it does have its  Pros. Firstly, its almost, if not entirely virus free. Because it runs Linux, on an obscure processor. The chances of any MIPS virus's out there existing are so slim, its just not worth thinking about! You have also just brought a great little toy! It surfs (slowly) the internet, has MSN yahoo and other messenger apps. It runs a MS Word and Excel Compatible software suite, comes with a painting application, opens ZIP files and does all the basic functions in its own little way. Its not a netbook, or a laptop or a PC. Its more of a... Typing thingy with internet access.

Okay, but I want a more grown up feel to it. Im not a kid!

Then 3MX might well be for you!


What is 3MX?

3MX is a Distro of Linux that one man and one man alone built. That man, is Wicknix. He is an old school programmer who goes waaay back with Linux, and has made two other Mobile O/S's for an old HPC (Handheld PC). Basically, he is a Pro. He decided to make a new OS for his Alpha 400, and was going to share his baby with the world. So in January 2009, 3MX was conceived. He a while making it, learning the ins and outs of the computer and its capabilities and then released 3MX RC1. It had a few extra programs, was a tad faster, and was what we thought, undoable. Some one else tried to make a 3MX like thing called Xenium. Xenium however didn't get completed. And 3MX took the worth while bits, and made his own. Soon after came 3MX RC2. RC2 was like any trilogy. Great, with new bits and bobs, but... Not quite complete. Wick wanted more. So out came RC's 1.1 and 2.1. 1.1 fixed lots of the bugs that were in RC1, while 2.1 tried to fix the errors of 2. Wick however wanted more again. 3 came out and was meant to be his final version. It had Firefox 3, (:O) Dillo as well as a whole host of other features. But Wick wanted one last hurrah before he left to do some Open Embedded stuff for his own, from scratch OS. It was 3.1. Its the last build in 3MX. And many people quite like it.

So thats the history behind 3MX, but what are the RC's?
RC: Release Candidate. What version of 3MX. As of now, out of the three versions (1,2,3) all of them have got a second rework. However it is RC1.1 and RC3.1 that are considered the best. I personally prefer the depth of 3.1. Others may like 1.1's pace. Others like the stability of the Linos distro because that is what it came with. Its all a matter of opinion.

3MX RC1.1

3MX 1.1 Is a final rework of the original 3MX RC1. It addresses several issues that RC1 encoutered. Unlike later versions of 3MX that are considered 'stable' this version comes with Pidgin as the main IM client. RC1.1 comes with Bon Echo (FireFox 2).

The Pros of RC1.1 (and RC1)

RC1.1 is very fast and responsive. Loading up programs is quicker on this RC than it is on RC3.1, however at the expence of some applications. The main improvements of 1.1 and 1 over the default distro that ships with the LLL is the desktop. There are no tabs, or set applications. Infact, on RC1 (Discontinued) We had desktop icons, like a 'normal' Linux distro. However these are replaced in RC1.1 Final with a tray of icons, which can be edited in the jwmrc file.

The Cons of RC1.1 (and RC1)

There are a few cons with RC1.1 and RC1. The most obvious one, is that in "Menu|Utilities|System Monitor", System Monitor will disable use of the shift and FN keys. Same with GPE-Info [Confirm?]. So using these utilities is out of the question. Also, RC1 came with desktop icons, although these would quite often crash and used up RAM. However RC1 is no longer considered stable and as such, isn't an issue. RC1.1 swaps the Desktop icons for a desktop tray that comes with JWM.

Known Issues/Tips and Tricks for use with RC1.1

3MX RC1.1 Comes with a couple of known bugs.

Using system monitor knocks out the Shift and FN keys. The only way to get around this is to not use the System Monitor.

When you start some applications (Firefox for example) you may get no visible response. RC1.1 Ships with an system monitoring tray. Keep an eye on the CPU, if it spikes suddenly, the program is loading, and you should wait for a while it loads.

Unfortunatly i don't currently have RC1.1 on any laptop at my house so i can't tell you much more apart from what i have put. I need some help with the following:

Changes from RC1 to RC1.1 and changes from the Default to RC1. PM me with anything you feel should have been covered.

3MX RC3.1
This is 3MX's fully fleshed version. Its about as feature packed as it gets. We have got a working bit torrent client called Transmission, Napster and P2P (peer 2 peer - like limewire) clients. Two IRC Clients, 4 Internet browsers in varying speed (more about that later). It also comes with a PDF to HTML for reading PDF  files.

What About The Four (!) Browsers?
Well, there are four browsers on 3MX RC3.1. The fastest by far is Elinks, however ELinks is text based, with 16 colour capability so text is in colour. Then there is Dillo. Dillo is the fastest graphical browser, but gets rid of CSS (style sheets so background colours), Cookies and JavaScript. It is very very fast though, if you can take all the scrolling. Then we have Netsurf. Netsurf is a slightly slower browser, but does have JavaScript, Cookies and CSS. Its faster than IceWeasel. IceWeasel is an unbranded Fire Fox browser. It allows you to log on to Ebay, Hotmail, Yahoo, most (if not all) banking sites and other deep content sites.

Does this mean that Flash works?
No. Although Wicknix got a Flash 9 build running, it was too slow, so isn't included in 3MX. Gnash, which is equal to flash 9, is availible from IT IS VERY SLOW. IT CAN TAKE NEAR ENOUGH TO TEN MINIUTES OR MORE FOR SOMETHING TO LOAD - USE AT YOUR OWN RISK

I want to use Facebook or Bebo
3MX RC1.1 loads full Facebook, i have seen it on my sisters laptop, however it is a little bit slow. If this is an issue, you can visit to log in to Mobile Facebook. The same applies to Bebo. You can visit for any Bebo  

Leven2e has posted a whole load of mobile sites that will load up quicker than their desktop counterparts, look for post #3 on this thread:,57.msg4739.html#new

Issues with 3.1
Abiword doesn't work when opening .doc format files (files made on Word) so how can I view word documents on my laptop? Try saving your document as a .rtf (rich text file) on word will make your documents compatibe with 3MX.

Attym doesn't work when trying to log on to my msn account. Again there are several work arounds for this. Firstly try using a Jabber account with the MSN Transport. Secondly using XChat, use bitlbee. I used Bitlbee for a while, and it was great. Why change? Because i got Attym working. How? I fiddled with some connection options.

Getting ATTYM to work on RC3.1
Firstly, make sure your connected to the internet. Next go to Edit, then preferences. Down the left hand side there will be a tab saying Services. If its not expanded already, click it, then go down to the MSN service. Make sure the following boxes are checked, Enable Debugging, Reconnect if connection unexpectedly drops and Check the connection state. MSN Via Attym should work.

RC1.1. If the poll Jay set up shows 2.1 to have some kind of hold on the share of users, i will add a 2.1 section at a later date. Any suggestions feel free to PM me. I locked this topic due to the fact this is mean to be an uncontested, manual. (not saying i think its all 100% right and im not going to change it) I just want new users and people new to Linux to have a safe haven where there is no confilicting info, everything that will go in here will be definate.  It may change over time, as mistakes get corrected and stuff but yeah. PM me with feedback. If i need to change the narritive (if it sounds too... wannabe funny for example) i can re work it. If you dont tell, i dont know!

Again Any Suggestions/corrections/ideas please feel free to PM me them. Im open to whatever people have to say, even the smallest things. :D

« Last Edit: July 22, 2009, 12:28:20 PM by Seagull Rickman »