Monthly Archives: April 2010

Installing Ubuntu Remix on EEEpc 900

I just got an EEEpc 900 off of eBay that had XP loaded on it.  It was pretty cheap ($179 with shipping and tax) and overall have pretty good specs including 1GB of RAM, 16GB SSD Hard Drive, built in Mic and 1.3MP camera.  The goal was to get this for when I’m traveling to decrease the weight and easier to pack.  Once I got it I got things ready to install Ubuntu Remix on it.  Here are the steps I took:

  1. Setup a USB installer as the netbook doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive on it.  I tried using the usb creator built in with the Ubuntu remix ISO but that didn’t work out so I used UNetBootin
  2. I got the Flash Drive setup and ran the installer and it worked out well, the touchpad didn’t work during the installation but I had a usb mouse and that allowed me to control and finish the installation
  3. Once I got it installed the wireless worked right away, the touchpad worked, when I closed the lid it went into standby properly

I need to get a new battery for it as it only came with a 4 cell and it seems to already be losing charge.  Otherwise the installation was easy and I’m really happy with it.

Support Plan Management Application

The support plan structure that we subscribe to at MindTouch includes 2 tiers of tickets.  The first tier is a System Maintenance ticket which are basic questions about how to use/install/configure MindTouch.  Then we have advanced tickets called METs (MindTouch Expert Tickets).  These allow for support for advanced functionality within MindTouch.

METs are a cornerstone to the support plans as far as one of the main differentiators.  With this in mind we needed an effective way to track and communicate to the customer their usage of these tickets.  This motivated me to create a PHP/AJAX application that surfaces the number of tickets used and how many are left.

The key functionality of this application relies on effectively categorizing tickets in a way that can be surfaced and counted.  We use ZenDesk for our helpdesk which has a pretty robust RESTful API.  I setup a workflow in ZenDesk that would automatically tag the ticket with an MET tag based upon the categorization of the ticket itself. Once this is done then the ticket will go through its normal cycle of resolution.  In the background nightly I have a PHP script that hits the ZenDesk API and queries based upon values from our database and the categorization in ZenDesk.  It then loops through all of the organizations and parses the total number of METs have been used during their support plan timeframe.

Once it receives this information it updates the database.  The information is then surfaced through a javascript widget that receives information from ZenDesk as to the user’s organization.

This helps the agents have a better idea of the customer’s support level along with providing useful information to the customer as to the status of their account.