Ubuntu 16.04 on HP Stream 11

So last night I finally got around to moving my last laptop over to Ubuntu from the dreaded Windows 10. The laptop in question is a small HP Stream portable that I have had kicking around for a while. Since information about working distributions on specific hardware can be hard to find sometimes, I thought I would publish my experiences here and also share the small number of fixes I had to implement post-install.

As per usual, there are a huge number of configurations on HP Stream 11 laptops. The one in question here is a HP Stream 11-d000na fitted with a Realtek RTL8723BE WiFi card, Intel Celeron N2840 (with Intel Graphics), 32GB eMMC storage & 2GB of RAM.

I had delayed doing this switch over because one of my friends had reported on previous versions of Ubuntu (probably related to the Linux Kernel) had terrible performance issues with the eMMC storage this laptop uses. However, they happily reported a few days back it appeared to be fixed in Ubuntu 16.04 so I seized the opportunity and am pleased to report it works perfectly on this laptop with a few minor tweaks!


I’m pleased to report WiFi worked out of the box and that this system requires no additional proprietary drivers. I did have a small issue where the WiFi seemingly dropped out over a period of time, giving a “Resolving host…” issue in Google Chrome. This was easily fixed by disabling the power saving setting of the WiFi card:

echo “options rtl8723be fwlps=0” | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/rtl8723be.conf

As a habit, I also installed tlp to improve the battery life, and I’m getting approximately 9 hours of browsing time inside Google Chrome with 3 tabs open – not too shabby! Bluetooth was also enabled and functional after the default install and the keyboard function buttons operate as expected.

Interestingly I also had a small issue getting Google Chrome installed. The default Ubuntu Software installer (the replacement for Ubuntu Software Centre) did not seem to do anything upon clicking install on the file and dpkg reported unmet dependencies. Quick solution was to install gdebi and then use it to install the .deb:

sudo apt-get install gdebi

sudo gdebi google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

So if you have a HP Stream 11-d000na and are thinking about Ubuntu, I can report very positive result with Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit). Power off to log in screen takes approx 20 seconds in my tests.


Us, The EU & The Future


I tend to keep out of the political sphere. I always make an effort to vote, as I feel that is a hugely important part of our democracy but normally how I vote is not something I publicly declare. However, the result of the EU referendum, which is quite possibly the biggest and most important political decision, certainly of my lifetime, has left me questioning the country in which I call home.

Let me start by saying, I totally respect the outcome of the referendum. Everyone has a right to vote freely, without interference, pressure or fear (were eligible to do so), that is one of the foundations of modern democracy and that is something I support wholeheartedly. Our democracy, although not perfect, is something to be applauded.

All of this aside, the outcome of the referendum is not what I was hoping for, and in fact it makes me greatly angry. As a young person, this one vote has made me lose so much (providing it is ratified by parliament). We have lost:

  • The freedom to cross borders without visas, to work, to live, to make friends and to spend time in the unique and amazing places all over Europe.
  • The international image that the UK is a world leader in having an understanding, inclusive, outward looking and modern way of life, free from discrimination, racism and sexism. (Of which, I do wonder is even true after some of the leave campaign comments and general views of people expressed in the media)
  • Huge amounts of foreign investment which supports so many jobs and families.
  • The value of our currency.

All of this at the hands of the generations older than us who don’t realise how lucky they have been. Young people like myself have been robbed by those who have bled the nation’s finances dry, with their free education and large pensions, to have the future we wanted. Life inside the EU is all we have ever known, we have grown up in the world where immigration is not only widespread but massively positive. I have so many amazing friends, some have moved here from other EU countries, these people are skilled and passionate and my life would not have been the same without them. Those “brexiters” will say we don’t know how things used to be, and how great they can be again – but did they ever consider we where happy as things were now?

Not only this but I’m anxious for the future. The United Kingdom’s entire identity is on the line. The division lines between constituent countries has been revealed to run deep, I can’t help but feel that the strength of the union is going to be tested, not only in Scotland but in Northern Ireland too. I am a great supporter of respecting the will of the people (as I said previously), and as such I entirely support the breakup of the union if that is what the people of its constituent countries desire. As someone who grew up in Northern Ireland and the place the majority of my family still reside, the prospect of a hard border and the possibility of unsettling the peace process is a horrible, horrible thought.

We have no choice but to respect the voice of the entire electorate as a whole, but I can’t help but feel that like everything else, it is young people who will suffer the most!

There may be some day in the future, when the younger generations have a majority and decide once again we should become part of the EU, and I can only hope that our European counterparts will forgive our older generations mistakes and allow us once again to be a proud nation inside the European Union.

Book Review: Happiness by Design (Paul Dolan)

HappinessByDesignHappiness is an interesting topic to think about. We all experience it (or lack of it sometimes) at some point in our lives. To me happiness is timeless, you can experience happiness now, in the present, but you also experience happiness over your lifetime – when you look back you have a sense of how happy you have been overall. If I ask you how happy you are you will probably be able to give me an answer, but can you explain why?

This very fact makes happiness hard to quantify, and Paul Dolan, who is a leading researcher in this field, has done a good job of attempting to help everyday people understand what the inputs to their happiness are, thereby allowing us to make changes to our lives that will impact happiness positively.

The book is an interesting read from cover to cover for someone who is interested in the concept of happiness like myself, but I would also recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how they can be happier – at a glance some of the suggestions seem overly simple, but for me the book taught me to understand how pleasurable and also purposeful activities make up my happiness and stepping back allows you to base your decision making on options that will make you happier.

A word of warning, this is not a self help book. Reading it will not enlighten you on how to go from miserable to happy if that is the case for you. It does however provide someone who is of average happiness the tools to think and be aware of their happiness, examine their lives through their experiential self whilst being aware of their conscious and unconscious attention habits, with the outcome of being able to make small changes to the design of their lives in order to be happier. That is happiness by design.

“What you attend to drives your behaviour and it determines your happiness. Attention is the glue that holds your life together.”

Recommended read.

Fixing Renault R-Link TomTom Incorrect Time

Over the weekend, myself and brother couldn’t help but notice that the ETA displayed on my Renault R-Link system with TomTom Live Maps was incorrect. It appeared to be displaying a time +1 hours ahead of current, even though the main clock was set correctly.

Having searched the internet for a solution to this and came up empty handed, I sat down with the system and went through the settings pages to try and find a fix. And eventually I did.

Turns out, I had deselected the “Set Time Automatically” option in the Time & Date options page of the R-Link system, when I changed the clock to adjust for the beginning of British Summer Time (BST). Once this is turned back on, the clock will go blank for a minute whilst I’m guessing it retrieves the time either from an FM traffic update or via TomTom Live over the internet. However, once this was complete the navigation ETA was fixed, so I’m guessing it’s a small time zone related issue!

Just thought I would share, of the off chance anyone else comes across it!

It’s almost Christmas

Had such a good day tooday! And it’s almost Christmas! And there is hope my favourite blog program Windows Live Writer will live on and get updated again! These are all YEY things! Open-mouthed smile 

The days at work go so much smoother when there is more work time and less meetings, so nice to be able to sit down over a coffee and have a proper software development chat today. It’s like being back at university!

This evening I kicked off the annual routine of Christmas shopping, just small things for the family. Going to put in some hard thinking over the next few days to come up with some awesome presents for them all. Might treat myself to something else, since the new car isn’t arriving for ages!

Yes, I have been busy since February! Time for a quick update/summary…

Hard to believe the last time I had a chance to update my own blog was way back in February! So much has happened since then, so old times sake I think it’s worth a quick summary! 🙂

First lets get some music on, Spotify’s new Discovery weekly is where its at:

Gadget Show Live

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Thanks to my excellent friend Dave, I got to go to The Gadget Show Live this year. It’s an event that has been on my calendar for a long time, and it was a fantastic tech filled day! Safe to say I saw enough tech I wanted to empty my wages for at least the next year. Fingers crossed we can have a re-union trip next year too!

Finished University

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After 4 great years in Bangor, university finally came to an end. The last few months in Bangor with my wonderful housemates was the perfect way to end things, I miss them all very much already. It was really nice to have the parents and RyRy at graduation, where I not only got my 1st class MEng (Hons) but I also scooped the prestigious Dr John Robert Jones prize for being the top non-welsh student across the entire university as well as the IET Prize for being the top engineering student! You can read all about me on Bangor’s website here.

Enjoyed a visit home

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Spent a little time at home catching up with all of my family, and enjoying some rare Northern Ireland sunshine and a trip to the zoo!

Holiday to England and then Freiburg

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Had a wonderful time exploring Cheshire with Jenny including a stop off at Beeston Castle and Jodrell Bank observatory (which is my kind of place!). Then a nice break out to Freiburg to see the wonderful Sophie with Jenny and Chris! 😀


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One of my “must visit again” locations from my childhood, with 18,000 airmiles to burn and very little time to plan, it was the obvious choice of destination. The weather wasn’t fabulous, but it was still a great trip. It’s still one of my top 5 places in the world.

Spotify – Rock Star Jam 2015

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Although my activity has taken a huge slide over recent months, the wonderful people over at Spotify where kind enough to still invite me to Rock Star Jam 2015. It was great to meet the new extended team and some familiar faces too! The 3 day trip included everything from Viking dining, to office tours, feedback sessions, demonstrations and competitive table tennis!

Old friends, new place & new job! 

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So it’s official, I’ve moved to Coventry, the new flat is all sorted and moved into and I’ve started as a Graduate Research Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover based at Warwick University. And I’m a student again (kinda), through the JLR graduate scheme I’m signed up to take MSc modules to enhance my development eventually leading to an MSc (all paid for!). Last weekend, I got to spend some time with two of my favourite people too! 😀

And that is me up to date I think! I won’t leave it so long next time! 😀

Opinions, Knowledge & Understanding

I have always been a great believer in the ideology that everyone is entitled to their opinion. It is something you are taught as a child that you never forget. Opinions are great things, they give you an insight into people, their thoughts, other ways of thinking, things you missed or have never thought about before. Being able to have and present opinions is a powerful tool of the human species, ultimately having opinions allows us to make decisions.

My issue with opinions is when people are misinformed. One of my biggest hates is people who push opinions upon you when they themselves don’t fully understand what they are talking about. And let’s be clear, being misinformed and presenting an opinion doesn’t make you wrong, you could be right or wrong or neutral or “I don’t really care” but people should be aware that presenting an opinion is ultimately the beginning of a social interaction in which your point of view might be challenged, and that is where things tend to go sour. It wouldn’t be unknown of me to challenge an opinion in conversation I agree with, simply because how people justify an opinion is often more interesting and telling than the opinion itself.

Real opinions should come from knowledge of the subject, as data processing engines (brains) we should form opinions based upon interpretation of facts, knowledge and understanding. So please, for my sake and for others, do some research and try not to judge or exercise opinions about things before you understand them. I know it is difficult, and it’s a rule that everyone including myself has broken countless times. We are programmed to gather facts, process for patterns and make a decision quickly, breaking that process is a challenge. Also remember rule 9: Everybody Lies. This includes the Internet which is 85% spam, 10% lies and 5% useful things.

Next time you read something online, ask yourself this question: “Who wrote this?” And using that thought, think about how even though it may be factual, that person probably has an opinion/view on what they are writing about. There are exceptions of course, but often the interesting things are what you can read between the lines.

This is of course my opinion on opinions, feel free to disagree!