Archive for May 10, 2008

Reference: Asus EeePC Stuff

May 10, 2008

A bunch of stuff I found using WordPress’s blog search feature. Out of 546 items (many of which were duplicated; all of which were out of chronological order, dammit!), I slogged through 280, then gave up.

Amiga emulator on Asus eeePC

eeePC safe overclock with eeectl.exe


eeectl is a tiny yet powerful program for Asus EEE PC series, it runs on Windows® and allows you to control & overclock your EEE PC on the fly.

Software pollution: the hidden drive to hardware pollution — recounts his adventure with DVD burning software and the EeePC

Asus eeePC: byebye world! — see the picture(!)

my eeepc is back — notable for the photo showing a Palm TX on top of the keyboard!

Proud Parents — ultimate geek photo

Tohiba Libretto: 8.3″ x 5.7″ x 1.2″ – 2.1 lbs
Asus EeePC: 8.86″ x 6.30″ x 0.79-1.26″ – 2.0 lbs

5 Months with the EEEPC. An interim review. By a woman.

EEEPC and the Keyboard..XP..Battery…Ubuntu & more

If you view it as a toy you won’t be dissapointed anything more than that and you will be very dissappointed.

Guy tries to use a 2G Surf(!!!) EeePC as his main computer for a week. Aborts on Day 2. List of his posts.

The EeePC 900 Review

The sticking point here is the price; whatever SRP it ends up with, it will be too much – because it’ll have slipped off the sweet spot the 701 was in. 70% of the original magic of the EeePC was from the low price point, to be honest. For a few bucks more, you can get a more fully configured and equipped (albeit chunkier and heavier) entry-level laptop. If you feel the ultraportability is worth the shortcomings, then by all means, get one.

Experiment over

That the Asus EeePC is a good machine, affordable, capable, useful, portable. Within reason, there’s hardly anything you can’t do with it. It’s the gadget with the best value for money I’ve ever gotten in my life, bar none. It’s rock solid, and certainly touches the heart. I will continue to give it the highest recommendations.

But much as I have gotten used to it, my hands still have small continuing arguments with the keyboard, and my eyes often decry the size of the screen. As I get older I know this won’t abate, but likely get worse. Young whippersnappers won’t have these problems, but I’m an old fart already, even before I got the EeePC.

Eee PC

The one downside is the short screen. The new wordpress image loading pop up window has all the vital buttons off the screen with no way to navigate to them. I wanted to load a picture of my teva’s on the blog but that’s not going to happen just yet. guess I’ll have to rely on the flickr feed to share photos until wordpress gets that kink worked out.

Photo: EeePC next to ginormous 17″-screen hp laptop

Sony C1 Picturebook vs. Asus EeePC — ah, pictures I’ve wanted to see, with text.

XP Killbit Vulnerability

Attention EEEPC Users- Are you running an Older unpatched version of XP??

Do NOT Defrag your Solid State Drives

If you are running The Windows OS on a Solid State Drive or Card remove your swap file ASAP.

Eee PC won’t Boot and How to Fix It

How to read comic books these days — Holy Warren Ellis, Batman!!

Rotate your Asus Eee Pc

A movie studio in your pocket

My son Dan is currently figuring out how to sync my N82 with an eeepc running Ubuntu (just to keep up with the geeks), so I used my Sanyo Xacti.

About The Site

Then I found the eeePC. The answer to my prayers.For a writer its a great tool… better screen than the Alphasmart but just as cheap (and even more portable).

Hmmmm … I tried something different in BlogDesk. I specified a background color for blockquotes. I guess that was stripped out by this template. Too bad. It would have been one weird rainbow of a post!

Tax Rebate Buys Gear Diary Geek An EeePC

May 10, 2008

The Race for MY Low Cost Machine — in which he lists the points of the machines he was considering

The Winner: The Eee PC 701 8 GB — self-explanatory.

Hmmm… should I have put a Spoiler Alert in there?

Previously here:

Micro Fondles: hp Mini, HTC Shift, Asus EeePC

Blog Notes: Email Non-Reply Loose Ends

May 10, 2008

No change from last time:

Dubai never replied, despite promising to. That country can sink!

Yorkshire Television still hasn’t responded.

Pastor Manning hasn’t either.

Nor has the alleged original owner of the ipodair domain.

No, I don’t forget.

Post Update: Just. Like. That.

May 10, 2008

Just. Like. That.

Her updates:

Thank You & Health Update — March 28, 2008
Brain Tumors And Surgery — April 15, 2008

Micro Fondles: hp Mini, HTC Shift, Asus EeePC

May 10, 2008

I was in the area this morning and stopped in J&R to see what I could lay my fondling fingers on.

I’d just noticed earlier in the week that the HTC Shift was listed on their site, so I went looking for that first.

And there it was, added to the area where the OQO, Fujitsu, and Samsung Q1U sadly hang out, an aisle away from the main notebook action.

It was attached to a fugly brown wrap-around pleather case that I couldn’t get to disengage so I could hold the unit by itself to test weight.

Then I tried to do its shift and was afraid I’d break the damned thing! After three tries, I got it to work (I think).

J&R now has this nasty security on all their demo devices. You have to know the password to get in to try it. Which — what a coincidence! — means summoning a salesdroid over. Uh, no. I don’t want that. Sometimes, but not all the time, they also have a Guest account with Enter as the password. But that was not the case with the Shift.

Anyway, all I had to do is look at that keyboard and see it was sad. Then I actually tried to press a key and it was downright tragic. Although it’s a real keyboard, the keys are too tiny even for my thin hands. Label it absolutely worthless. There’s practically no way to hit one key without also engaging another. And I thought the Asus EeePC was bad in that respect! The Shift is just worse. The keyboard on the OQO, because of the way that unit is held, is better than the Shift’s.

Overall, I also didn’t like the thickness of the device. It was just a fugly brick.

I’d had, like most people I think, high hopes for the Shift. It was smaller than any other UMPC and had a built-in keyboard.

Then the fondle reports and actual reviews came out and the battery life was stunningly bad. And hardly anyone liked the keyboard.

So there it sits in J&R with a $1,500.00(!!!) or so pricetag, silently crying to itself because people look at that price and mock it. (No, not even a price slash to $500.00 would make it a buy.)

Next up was the big surprise — the hp Mini Note!

What a strange set of proportions it has. The keyboard sits there all large, looking like some bizarre mouth. And since the demo unit is right next to a line-up of four Asus EeePCs, the contrast is even more startling.

That keyboard: not so bad, not so good, either. The one notebook keyboard that acts as if it was tailor-made for the typing trajectory of my fingertips is the one on the Apple MacBook. It’s just downright eerie how I can make zero errors on it without looking at the keys at all. It’s as if the keyboard had ESP and was able to move each key to be directly beneath my fingers.

Not so with the hp Mini. I had a few typos, mainly with keys off to the left — I think the Shift key and A key gave me some trouble. Other than that, it was pretty good for typing in terms of the keys being where I expected them to be underneath my fingers. The keyboard felt roomy. The keys also aren’t flat. There is a slight curve to them and they have an OK texture.

However, there is a very short travel distance to the keys and the feedback is not as soft as I’d like it to be. I can foresee that keyboard reactivating a very bad case of RSI I developed from having to use an IBM ThinkPad in very hard full-bore use for several months a few years ago.

I didn’t have any problem with the trackpad. And I didn’t mind the side placements of the mouse buttons at all. My left thumb naturally went to the left button without my having to think about it.

The shell has a nice metallic finish. I’m not entirely sure the bottom is metal, but the outside top — the back of the screen — sure feels like it. It feels like a tool, not a toy.

The screen is bright — although the Vista Business wallpaper was using pretty sickening nearly-translucent colors that appeared diluted. I had no problems with reflections on the screen itself. It wasn’t until looking at it again that I noticed some reflectiveness from the black bezel surrounding the screen. I guess any screen reflection will — Duh! Alert — depend on angle and ambient lighting. I didn’t have any reflection of my face to distract me from my test typing into WordPad.

Picking up the hp Mini Note was one dealbreaker. It has serious weight. And the demo model was without a battery in it! Having this in my shoulder bag would be the weight equivalent of a serious non-fiction hardcover book. Worse: due to the nice finish of its shell, I’d probably want to protect it with something, so that’d mean even more weight.

It’s also strangely bulky. I say strangely because I compared its thickness with the Asus EeePC right next to it and there wasn’t a ginormous difference in their depth.

In terms of size, the pictures that have been circulating of an Asus EeePC sitting atop a Mini are deceptive. I did that comparison for myself with both units and was surprised at how much larger the Mini was compared to the EeePC (the 7xx model; J&R hasn’t gotten the e900 yet). It’s a bigger difference than the photos led me to believe.

But, of course, the original dealbreaker with the hp Mini is its VIA CPU. As it is, I wind up cursing at my desktop PC slowing down. It’s a 1.8GHz Celeron (shut up!). I’ve been told the performance of the VIA chip is worse than what I have at my desktop. So, I’d probably have little joy using it and much frustration. Which, given its price, is not an experience I want to have.

I then went back to test typing on the EeePC again. This time I carefully looked at the keyboard and forced myself to really aim at the key I wanted. And I found my typos dropped drastically. Like the Mini, I also had problems at the left side, with Shift and A (As kept not being registered).

I have an idiosyncratic typing style, never having had any formal typing course and never having used any typing tutor software. I taught myself on a portable manual typewriter (see this picture for the exact one! — my god! I just recalled reloading ribbons! what a horror!) — when those were considered laptops! In defense of my typing style, let me say that I never, ever had problems on the classic IBM Selectric keyboard; wow, could I bang out text on that — and keep everyone in the building awake overnight!

Having seen that I can severely curb typos on an Asus EeePC if I concentrate, I guess I’ll have to rethink my skepticism over the keyboard assertion in that Redfly review.

The weight of the Asus is also its charm. Really, it weighs nothing. Of course, the demo unit lacked the battery, but I can’t think adding it would put it anywhere near the hp Mini without its battery. Also, the size of the EeePC is just perfect for plopping into my shoulder bag. Given comments I’ve had from EeePC owners, they simply close it and drop it in their bags; the finish has been practically scratch-resistant.

The initial excitement I had over the EeePC was this: My god! A real computer I can actually tote around for just $400!

Then Everex came along and muddied those clear waters by seemingly upping the ante with its Cloudbook and its hard drive. It was the Cloudbook that first began the drumbeat against the VIA CPU in cheap subnotes. (Yes, there was carping from the UMPC camp well before then, but only addicts would shell out the big bucks for those expensive items to begin with.)

Then hp saw that bet and raised it with the Mini. But it’s a cheat of a raise. The SSD version of the Mini seemingly puts it up against the Asus EeePC, but that’s not the only configuration available. Inevitably one says: Well, if I’m going to pay $50 more for a better keyboard, why not a few dollars more for a hard drive? And so the price creep begins — along with complaints over the VIA CPU MHz speed and the lack of built-in Bluetooth! — and the original appeal of the Asus EeePC is lost in a fog.

So I sit here half telling myself to throw off all other considerations and just get a $400 EeePC that has XP installed on it. Then another half of me says, no, maybe the e900, so I have some leeway for the future. Then another half of me (shut up, I contain multitudes!) tells me that’s jacking the price up by one hundred and fifty dollars. And if I’m going to do that, yet another half of me says I should then not compromise at all and just add yet another $50 and get the MSI Wind, with its larger screen (10″!) and bigger keyboard (hp Mini sized?) and hard drive.

There. The war within me goes from $400 to $549 to $610 (approximate prices, not including NYC sales tax!).

What about you? Am I the only person spinning like a top over this?