If you've been trying to watch YouTube videos or use the BBC's iPlayer site on your Asus EEE PC you might have noticed that it it is not possible to use these services in full screen mode. YouTube videos just play in a bigger window when you try to activate full screen. Trying to watch the videos when embedded on their webpages can be a little frustrating as it wastes available screen space (on what is quite a small screen anyway). Fortunately, this is quite easy to fix. The problem is that the version of Adobe Flash player that is supplied with the EEE does not support full screen mode. I found that the version installed on my machine was numbered 188.8.131.52 and the latest version, at the time of writing is 184.108.40.206. You can find out the version of Flash you have installed by typing about:plugins into the address bar of Firefox or Flock, or by visiting this link: http://www.adobe.com/products/flash/about/.
To bring this up to date we need to get Firefox (or Flock) to use the new version of Flash instead of the one supplied. Download the latest version of Flash by visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer. The page should detect that you ae using Linux. Under Select version to download... pick .tar.gz for Linux and save the file to somewhere you can easily find it on your EEE. What we are going to do now is extract the file we need and drop it in place, but before we do that we should back up the old version so that it can be easily restored should the upgrade not work out. So open a terminal (by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T) and type:
sudo mv /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so.old
If you later need to restore the file you should do the above command again but switch round the filenames. Now go to the directory (cd [directory name]) where you downloaded the new Flash version and extract its contents by typing:
tar xvzf install_flash_player_9_linux.tar.gz
This will create a new directory containing the new version of flash, with our new libflashplayer.so file, move into this directory (cd install_flash_player_9_linux). Copy this into the Mozilla plugins directory by entering:
sudo mv libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
You should now close any browsers you have open. Restart Flock or Firefox and verify that the new version has been installed by using th steps at the end of the first paragraph. Now full screen video should work. I found the frame rate a little slow on BBC iPlayer, so you should probably avoid watching programmes with car chases scenes, but YouTube seemed to work really well.
*** UPDATE 19th August 2008 ***
It looks like the new Flash Player 10 will offer a much better full screen video experience for EEE PC users see my blog post: Flash Player 10 on the Asus EEE PC: A working webcam and proper full screen video