Category Archives: Eee PC

Burning the Eee PC

It’s now two months since I got my Eee PC, and I am still as impressed as the day I got it. The seven inches screen is a bit small, and after getting the nine inches for Florencia it looks even smaller :), but even then I can perfectly read my books, which was the main objective.

Browsing the Internet is more tricky, but having Firefox 3 at full screen solves most problems, and now I keep all my notes in a TiddlyWiki page. Writing this blog is not a problem either.

The biggest issue is with my email in Thunderbird, the screen gets overflowed there, but even then it is still usable, and the little machine has replaced my main notebook to go to work.

In fact, every morning I take the bus and start reading on the Eee. The trip last between fifteen and twenty five minutes, more than enough to go over a good number of pages. When I reach the stop previous to mine, I just close the lid and run down for another five minutes walk until I open the Eee again.

Usually there is no problem, the machine stay suspended, using just a little energy to keep memory active and that is all. But Yesterday things were different. I kept it in the bag for more than an hour, and when I reached it the everything was too hot for electronic equipment. For some reason the computer never suspended and stayed working inside the neoprene bag, inside my saddle bag, and overheating.

When I opened the lid the screen was full of lines, and looked gone. I shut it down and left it besides the window, thinking the I was going to need a new one, but when it cooled down after half an hour, I started it and it worked as if nothing has happened.

I am more impressed than before. The Eee PC is more solid and reliable than other laptops priced eight times more.

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First days with the Eee PC

I got one two weeks ago, after being thinking about it for a few weeks (my first bump with an Eee PC was in XKCD).

The little machine is a wonder. Right now I moved my email, browsing, reading and note taking tasks to it, and probably a few others will end up in it as well.

For a long time I was using PortableApps to keep my email and browser on the move, and even than they are very good the lack of a processor makes the operation too slow in many situations. The limit case is when we are traveling, specially in Argentina. The last time there I didn’t carry a laptop but a USB stick, and external USB disk and my PDA (an Axim x51v, which is very good as well), and they run short of features all the time. Now I have the same portable setup as before, but running in the Eee, and I am addicted.

I have a model 700 4G, with Thunderbird as my email client, Firefox 3 for browser, KeePass to manage my passwords, Acrobat Reader (for PDFs) and FBReader (for CHMs) for my reading activities, VLC and SMPlayer for videos and Amarok to collect podcasts (I use Google Reader for the blogs).

The screen is a bit tight, but can be used perfectly to read books and play videos. I was thinking of getting an Amazon Kindle, but now that option looks very remote (I like the idea of a longer life battery, but is not reason enough to get a specialized computer).

Browsing is OK, in particular since I installed Firefox 3. Going full screen and using the new zoom functionality allows me to manage most of my browsing tasks in the Eee.

Thunderbird is more complicated, because with the menus and lists there is no room for the actual messages. In my laptop I have a three panels setup, which is fast and easy to use (I have many email addresses, and moving between them is messy without the address panel), and receive many emails on each, then the preview is very handy to deal with emails promptly. In the Eee I have two panels only, without preview, and that is the thing that I like less in this machine. I didn’t try to work with an external monitor, may be that could be an option.

In my case, the killer activity for the Eee PC is reading. Since we moved to Ireland I am trying to keep a limited number of books on paper (my whole library is still waiting in Argentina until I can have a bigger house), and I tried a number of different devices to read my electronic books (the more successful were the Palm Vx, Palm 515 and the Axim for literature, and an HP Jornada 700 for books with graphics) and none of them covered all the requisites. I will probably keep using the Axim and Palm 515 a lot, but they are not the main readers anymore.

The keyboard is OK. Note taking is another thing which made me try a lot of devices as well (including some old machines which worked surprisingly well, appart from the problem of moving the notes to the PC), and now I am doing most of the writing in the Eee. I was thinking about pluging a keyboard, but didn’t try yet.

I am so happy with this machine, that past night bought a 900 model for Flor :)

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