mobile internet on your kogan agora netbook

Three mobile broadband USB key (image courtesty of three.com.au)

UPDATE: I have just tried the kogan agora netbook coupled with a borrowed 3 USB mobile broadband internet key, and the setup was exactly the same as described below.


The kogan agora netbook is designed to be taken anywhere – on the road, on the train, down to the local, etcetera. And being a netbook, its primary use is the internet – email, the web, instant messaging, etcetera.

So it’s safe to assume that people are going to want to use mobile internet devices with the agora – be it a 3G USB dongle or mobile phone – to connect to the internet. So safe to assume, that Matt has already asked how this can be achieved.

Thanks to the gnome NetworkManager applet, connecting to these devices is easy! First off, connect your USB dongle or mobile phone (by USB – my Nokia 6120 works fine, just select “PC Suite” when you connect the USB cable). Next, from the Preferences menu click Network Connections, and then select the Mobile Broadband tab.

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multitouch on the kogan agora netbook

The agora netbook’s touchpad comes with a Synaptics touchpad, and a common question popping up around here and on the kogan blog goes something like: “does the touchpad support multitouch?”.

A quick google later, and reveals an article that seems to be the holy grail of multitouch for Ubuntu. The title says it all:

Multi touch for any, all synaptics touchpad

“Any, all” – that’s me! But lets double check. According to what my kernel reports, my agora is equipped with a Synaptics touchpad:

Synaptics Touchpad, model: 1, fw: 6.5, id: 0x25c0b1, caps: 0xa04711/0xa00000
input: SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad as /devices/platform/i8042/serio1/input/input9

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“You have to set ‘SHMConfig’ ‘true’…” – even though you have created shmconfig.fdi

In previous blog entries (disabling the touchpad whilst typing and installing gsynaptics) I described how to enable SHMConfig in order to control the touchpad.

I had some feedback from at least two readers who could not enable SHMConfig, and when they tried to use gsynaptics or syndaemon, they were met with the error “You have to set ‘SHMConfig’ ‘true’ in xorg.conf or XF86Config“. The instructions provided in the post to enable SHMConfig using the /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi method did not appear to be working.

After a lot of troubleshooting work with Travis, we were able to determine why this was occuring, and how to resolve it.

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