Picasa is my primary software for dealing with the tens of thousands of digital photographs I have taken since 1999. I got it running on my dad's old Compaq with its Ubuntu Linux, and I wondered if it would install on the Eee 4G. I found it works; here are the steps:
0. On the Eee's Internet tab, open the Firefox browser (Web button).
1. Go to the Picasa Linux page at picasa.google.com/linux/.
2. Click the prominent Download Picasa 2.7 for Linux button.
3. The Web page lists several types of installers. Since the Eee 4G's Linux is based on Xandros, and Xandrosis based on Debian, I choose Free Download (.deb) - for Debian/Ubuntu x86 (32-bit). I was a bit worried about the requirements for WINE and Mozilla -- where they included on the Eee? (It is.) I decided to install first, figure out problems later.
4. Firefox asks if you want to save or run with the installer. I choose Run.
After the download finished, the installer didn't work. Darn! But the Google page provides this advice, should the automatic installer not work:
1. Open a terminal window (equivalent to a DOS or Run window in Windows) with the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut.
2. Enter the following text (copy and paste doesn't seem available):
sudo dpkg -i /tmp/picasa_2.7.3736-15_i386.deb
3. Press Enter, and then wait. Stuff happens in the terminal window. Wait longer than you think you should. Eventually a message appears about Picasa being installed.
Don't close the terminal window yet!
4. Picasa is installed, but how to run it? No icon is installed on the Eee desktop. Google suggests running the following command in the terminal window:
And then it ran! It is scrunched into that small screen, and unfortunately Picasa does not let you turn off UI elements. Google has a list of known problems here.
Adding a Shortcut to Picasa
It can be a pain entering Ctrl+Alt+T and typing /usr/bin/picasa each time we want to see a coupla' pictures. There might be a way to get a Picasa icon on the Eee's desktop, but...
After all the steps I worked out below, I found that manually creating a bookmark (shortcut) was necessary to launch Picasa for the first time after a reboot. After it has run using the bookmark, Picasa deposits an icon of itself on the taskbar. You can skip past the colored text if you already know how to create bookmarks:
Here are the steps to creating bookmarks (equivalent to shortcuts in Windows) in File Manager:
1. In the Work tab, click File Manager.
2. Navigate to the folder that holds the Picasa shortcut: /usr/bin
a. Click All File Systems.
b. Open /
c. Open usr
d. Open bin
3. Scroll down to find picasa (press P to get to the P section quickly).
4. Right-click, and then choose Add Bookmark from the shortcut menu.
5. If the Bookmark toolbar is not displayed, turn it on: from the Views menu, choose Toolbars, and then turn on Bookmark Bar.
6. The bookmark (shortcut) appears as /usr/bin/picasa. You can change this text to read Picasa, like this:
a. On the bookmark toolbar, right-click usr/bin/picasa and choose Open in Bookmark Editor.
b. Under Bookmark, right-click usr/bin/picasa and then chose Rename. Change to Picasa. Leave the URL unchanged (file:///usr/bin/picasa).
c. Click Save (the diskette button on the toolbar).
d. Close the editor by clicking the red X.
Click the bookmark button to run Picasa. (You'll first see a blank Shell window appear. After a few seconds, Picasa launches. You can close the Shell window.)
Downloading Photos from Cameras
The purpose of Picasa is to download photos from digital cameras, sort them, apply affects, and output them by email, to printers, and so on.
Would it work with my Canon S1is camera? This one uses the CompactFlash memory card, which is too large for the Eee's SD slot. It worked, and here's how:
1. In Picasa, I clicked the Import button.
2. Connect the camera to the Eee with a USB cable. If necessary, turn on the camera (the S1is turns on automatically when it detects the USB connection).
3. Click the Select Device droplist, and then choose GPhoto2 Camera.
4. After a moment, Picasa starts transferring photos!
But don't click Import All yet.
A problem with the Eee is its lack of storage space. Less than 1GB of space is available on the 4GB solidstate drive. The solution is to change Picasa's default storage location to the SD memory card you've got in the SD slot.
It has 4GB of free space -- or more, if you've purchased a larger one. Even if this card fills with photos, 4GB SDHC cards are now so cheap ($20 or less) that you can afford additional cards. Or USB keys: I just bought a 16GB thumbdrive for $69 at Wal-mart.
Here's how to redirect Picasa's storage of photos:
1. Click Tools in the menu bar, and then choose Options.
2. In the Options dialog box, click the General tab.
3. At the bottom you'll find Save Imported Pictures In. Click Browse.
4. In the Browse for Folder dialog box, work your way to the D: drive (found under Desktop) and a specific folder.
(This dialog box does not let you create folders or directories, so you may need to switch to File Manager to create a folder for photos.)
5. Click OK, and then return to Picasa. Click Import All.
The photos are stored on the memory card.
A benefit to the card is that you can now move it to other computers, for copying or printing photos. You can even stick it into another digital camera for viewing.