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Just What is this ASUS Eee Thing Anyway?

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the been-asking-myself-that-for-awhile-now dept.

Handhelds 401

davidmwilliams writes "ASUS have released a cheap subnotebook. It is far from state-of-the-art tech-wise, with 512Mb RAM and a Celeron processor. It has a 4Gb hard drive and no optical drive. Its screen is 7" and runs at the odd resolution of 800x480 and the operating system looks like something Fisher Price might have designed. Why would you buy it? What on earth can you do with this?" I've been wondering this myself given the huge coverage in the media of this thing.

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Huh (5, Funny)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865128)

the operating system looks like something Fisher Price might have designed.
Just like the Windows XP default theme....

Re:Huh (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865792)

Just like the Windows XP default theme....
... but in Linux! (Just like KDE and Gnome who try to copy Microsoft's UI, even down to the start menu, all the while claiming it's like a Fischer Price toy.)
 

Re:Huh (1)

Menelkir (899602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866020)

And show me just one Microsoft UI that doesn't been stolen from other OS.

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21866156)

The Office 2007 Ribbon.

Re:Huh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21866164)

Windows '95. Microsoft invented the taskbar / start menu / system tray model that almost every other modern desktop OS copied and still uses.

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21866044)

And the people that own Fisher price are rich. As are the people who own M$. Its funny how those two things can connect!

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21866086)

I think Fisher Price actually designed all the current operating systems:

Windows XP
OS X

and some of the programs that sit on top of Linux that come out from

Suse
Red Hat
Ubuntu.

I haven't seen Vista, yet, but I assume it looks as bad as all the other
current Operating Systems that are running to Fisher Price for their
designs.

Re:Huh (5, Funny)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866112)

I just rtfa... actual quote: "A quick Google search ejaculates forth bold experimenters..."

That explains a lot.

Cheers.

Fr0sty P1ss! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865134)

Hello, I'd like to suggest that you try our brand new frosty piss, available in tall steaming mugs. With the great refreshing taste of "Frosty Piss: Steaming Mug Edition" you're sure to get a great start to your day. Ask your grocer to stock it today!
 

Re:Fr0sty P1ss! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865352)

How about Frosty Piss: Failure Edition?

also, I'd just like to say, that I have a boil on my scrotum. Thankyou.

Tons of Potential (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865138)

Just What is this ASUS Eee Thing Anyway?

I've been wondering this myself given the huge coverage in the media of this thing.
Well, you posted an article [slashdot.org] about the source for it violating the GPL (a fixed shortly thereafter [slashdot.org]). You might have learned something about it then. Or you could do a quick search on your site for it and you'd turn up the first review [slashdot.org] you posted and we discussed.

Believe it or not, the "huge media coverage" that I've noticed of this thing has only been on Slashdot. Other than that, it's a big name manufacturer, in our world it's huge news.

It has a 4Gb hard drive and no optical drive. Its screen is 7" and runs at the odd resolution of 800x480 and the operating system looks like something Fisher Price might have designed. Why would you buy it? What on earth can you do with this?
That's not solid logic when you're speaking to a crowd that busts its ass trying to get Linux running on their microwave. I didn't see the reviewer giving any real specific applications of the laptop. Back in college, I used to work with pioneer robots in my classes. The damned things had a 15 lb. Dell notebook mounted on top of them. Ridiculous. Try hauling the robot and the laptop to a demonstration or presentation.

Re:Tons of Potential (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865264)

Believe it or not, the "huge media coverage" that I've noticed of this thing has only been on Slashdot.

Believe it or noot, most of slashdot considers itself the world and the only computer users on it.

That's the reason we have so many posts about Linux being ready for desktop.

Re:Tons of Potential (2, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865368)

It is not just Slashdot - the Register and various other IT press outfits in the UK have covered it quite extensively including the pros and cons of running Windows on the thing and even one attempt to load MacOS on it.

Frankly, it is a geek toy. I would have bought one, if I did not have a personal notebook, a company notebook, 3 working computers doing different things around the house and enough parts to assemble 7 more in my loft (obtained for free or nearly free from dot-bomb and post-dot-bomb craters). I am not the average geek though. I can say "NO" to myself when it comes to gadgets. Most geeks cannot and as a result it is definitely on their Christmas shopping list (for that amount of money it is not surprising).

Re:Tons of Potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865988)

Maybe the OP has been in a cave for the last three months. This product has been covered all over, many weeks ago. For example [mobilecomputermag.co.uk]

Re:Tons of Potential (5, Informative)

shani (1674) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865470)

Believe it or not, the "huge media coverage" that I've noticed of this thing has only been on Slashdot. Other than that, it's a big name manufacturer, in our world it's huge news.

Really? I just saw it in one of the big Dutch newspapers Saturday:

http://www.parool.nl/media/2007/DEC/122907-eeepc.html [parool.nl]

Looking at Google News shows it in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Independent, the New Zealand Herald, and so on. Googling for specific newspapers shows articles in the Washington Post, New York Times, the Sun, and so on. It's referenced in an article in the Wall Street Journal. This is all outside of the IT press, mind you!

MacBook eee ThinkPad, according to Google (5, Informative)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865512)

Since another article claimed we had forgotten about it, Google Trends claims [google.com] the eee have surpassed ThinkPad, and close to but not still on par with MacBook. If we look at Google News instead, the advantage over ThinkPad is even greater, and even "asus eee" has have more than three times the number of hits than ThinkPad, and half the hits of the MacBook.

I'd consider a position between two of the most recognized brands pretty good.

On the other hands, if we were to believe Internet statistics, Ron Paul would be elected president with the greatest margin in the history of the country.

Re:MacBook eee ThinkPad, according to Google (2, Funny)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865576)

Precisely, if Lenovo came out with some sort of new thing the thinkpad brand would likely skyrocket for a little while too.

My real question is: what can I do with this that I cannot do with a $250 used thinkpad, a can of air, and a new battery? Thinkpad is cheaper, has a better everything, and I can actually type on it without shrinking my hands. I guess this eee is a lot smaller and doesn't smell like cabbage yet.

Love the idea of this computer, but the cheapskates have always had the refuge of obsolete computers.

Re:MacBook eee ThinkPad, according to Google (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865994)

Well, my old laptop was a Thinkpad X40 (last IBM generation), which is only slightly heavier (1.1 kg). It still has a much larger screen (12") and faster CPU (1G Pentium M). Same RAM. Battery time is only about 1 hour though, so that might be the deciding factor.

Re:MacBook eee ThinkPad, according to Google (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866010)

G Fab asked "My real question is: what can I do with this that I cannot do with a $250 used thinkpad, a can of air, and a new battery? "
Answer: Be away from your charger longer? or were you rhetorical and did not really desire an answer? ;)

Re:Tons of Potential (5, Funny)

drapeau06 (1010311) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865532)

Back in college, I used to work with pioneer robots in my classes. The damned things had a 15 lb. Dell notebook mounted on top of them. Ridiculous. Try hauling the robot and the laptop to a demonstration or presentation.

What's ridiculous is that the robot made you carry it! I guess they're already smarter than us.

Re:Tons of Potential (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866226)

Thanks for the info. I checked pricing, which is really the most revolutionary thing here. At Amazon, they want $399 for these things, with free shipping. Other sites charge for shipping, but lower the price to as low as $350. I compared that to Dell's cheapest offering - currently a 15" Insprion 1520, with 1 gig RAM, 80 gig disk, and DVD player/CD writer. The Dell is a solid machine most people could use as their main computer. I think I'm not that impressed with the value of this new entry. We can do better. This same exact machine for $200 should be doable. I think the $200 range will be a very interesting market, and potentially a big win for Linux, assuming Microsoft continues to screw up and doesn't do the sensible thing and lower their price on cheap machines, and make Vista work well on them.

Re:Tons of Potential (2, Funny)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866260)

"Believe it or not, the "huge media coverage" that I've noticed of this thing has only been on Slashdot. Other than that, it's a big name manufacturer, in our world it's huge news."

The Register [theregister.co.uk] have been covering the Eee quite a bit, particularly a certain scantily clad busty beach babe [regmedia.co.uk], there's a theory going around that she's using an Eee but no matter how long I look at the picture I just can't see any computer - even when I'm using my own Eee!

What can you do with it? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865156)

Like any sub-notebook, you put it in your man-bag/briefcase, and then carry it about with you at all times, so you always have a computer on you.

Re:What can you do with it? (5, Interesting)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865382)

That's exactly my problem with it... you have to carry it in a bag/briefcase. As it says in TFA:

Perhaps it may not suit you as your primary workhorse but there's no denying that the Eee is king of mobility.
I honestly think that title belongs to the Nokia N810 tablet. After all, you get a screen with the same resolution with a built-in keyboard in a form factor that fits in your pocket. I don't work for Nokia... just a fan of that particular product. Sure, the N810 might have about half the processing power (clocked at 400 mhz compared to the EEE PC's 900 MHz), but if we're just talking about mobility, isn't the EEE is about as mobile as a typical subcompact notebook? Which I admit is pretty mobile... but in the end it still requires a carrying case.

Re:What can you do with it? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865480)

I'd agree on the N810. I have a 770 with a foldable bluetooth keyboard, and both fit in a jacket pocket. The 770 is slightly underpowered (an extra 64MB of RAM would have made it a whole lot more useable) but runs vim and a web browser, which accounts for a good 50% of my computing needs. The N810 is faster, has more RAM, and has a keyboard which is usable, if not ideal, when I don't have enough pocket space for the external one.

Re:What can you do with it? (5, Interesting)

afedaken (263115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865934)

I've done an N810, and a EEE. The EEE wins for me hands down. Larger screen, and keyboard instead of a thumb board. I'll take a thumb board over T9 predictive entry, but I'll take a touch type-able keyboard (even one as cramped as the EEE's) over a thumb board any day.

I can text message with my phone (ATT Tilt), but the EEE makes slashdot doable, and the web in general a lot more pleasant than it was on the 810.

Nokia Tablets and eeepc (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865606)

1) eee PC has a 900MHZ Celeron CPU which IS UNDERCLOCKED and runs at only 630 MHZ.
2) Nokia N800 is MUCH better than N810,half the price of N810 and supports up to 32GB storage = 2x16GB SDHC compared to max 12GB = 2x6 mini SDHC for N810. Sure in the future 16GB mini SDHCs will show up and this difference will disappear.

Re:What can you do with it? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865744)

I honestly think that title belongs to the Nokia N810 tablet.

Check out the Sharp Zaurus C3000 [on.net] series. Beats the N810 on having USB and CF, but it doesn't have built-in Wifi or Bluetooth.

Re:What can you do with it? (0)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866064)

Yes, but you -can- touch type on EEE, which makes it a "real" computer, and not just some fancy PDA.

It's great (4, Interesting)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865162)

Spent 40 bucks on a 2gb ram upgrade, chucked on an nLited winXp. Now I've got a little utility machine that's /REALLY/ tiny and cute, and didn't cost the earth.
Keeping it light, in both weight and bootup times means it's a great companion to my main dev laptop (Dell M something) that takes an age till it's usuable with all the dev tools/sql servers it loads up. It barely takes up anymore room in my laptop bag, so if I need to check something quick, that comes out, boots in 30 seconds and is good to go on a wireless connection rather than dragging out my main machine.
I love it. Screen is a /bit/ of a pain, and just a smidgeon more screen space would have been great, but it works for what it does.
Tempted to get a white one for the kitchen area, just to have vids playing whilst at the breakfast bar, music playing whilst cooking, or whatever.
9.5/10

Re:It's great (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865380)

Was the nLited XP something you snagged off the 'net, or the one that came on a CD (only mentioned windows drivers in TFA)? Does this mean you dual-boot, or you had to hose Xandros? I'm curious now...

Re:It's great (2, Informative)

afedaken (263115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865982)

FYI: I'm not the OP.

http://www.nliteos.com/ [nliteos.com]

I'm doing an nLited XP on the EEE. Boot time is less tha 30 seconds. You'll need a valid XP license, and the XP installation files. You'll run nLite, select which packages you want to include in your XP install, and nLite copies only the files you need to a target device or ISO file.

From there, you create your own install media (a CD in my case) and do a plain vanilla XP install.

It's probably possible to dual boot Xandros, but I wasn't pleased enough with Xandros to bother. What really kills this though is the small storage size of anything but the 8G unit. The default Xandros left very little disc space on my 4G. Certainly not enough to put XP next to it.

Re:It's great (1)

wes33 (698200) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865404)

How much extra for the xp? $150 maybe. Doesn't seem worth it for what you get ... but I suppose the buttons and icons are where you expect them.

Re:It's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865504)

People buy Windows XP?

AC for obvious reasons.

Re:It's great (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865592)

I'm thinking of doing the same and using it for astrophotography. I currently use an older Dell C400, which is small AFA notebooks go, but still a pain to setup in the field.

Re:It's great (1)

jonespg (1207944) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865980)

It took me a little time to change into the full desktop mode, but it is much cleaner and more usable in the familar setup. It also responds very fast, showing what a lighter weight software. Some people were installing XP on it, which is puzzleing. This laptop does almost everything I would want out of a portable computer. I got one for my girlfriend so we can Skype with the webcam easy... and it fits easily in her purse! I think this guy is just trying to stir up the bees nest.

see the forest for the trees. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865172)

Seriously? It is a super portable laptop, or high-feature rich PDA. The specs you list don't sound like much compared to your home PC but are pretty nice on the road when compared to a Palm. It is just another middle ground tool, but the surprising part is that it was done with open source and thus the price has been kept way down.

Weight, apps available... (3, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865180)

I can see the allure of a device like this.

I personally have a PepperPad 3 that I use while travelling. It came down to weight and the apps available (such as OO.org, Thunderbird/Sunbird, etc.).

I do a lot of travelling and lugging a 6 pound laptop w/accessories through airports sucks. With a fully functional Linux distro on my PP3, I can now use a much smaller messenger bag, and everything, including full-sized external keyboard and mouse, weighs in at less than 3 pounds. And it does everything I need it to while travelling.

You Can Personalize the Eee PC Hardware (4, Informative)

wehe (135130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865196)

There are at least two hardware modifications aka moddings for the ASUS Eee PC [repair4laptop.org] mentioned at Repair4Laptop. One explains how to add an internal USB Bluetooth port to the sub-notebook without affecting the built-in wireless or using the empty mini PCIe card slot. The other describes how to install an internal 3G Card.

I played with one yesterday (4, Informative)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865228)

It's hard to type on if you're used to regular sized keyboards, but it gets the job done. Three hours of battery life isn't that great considering the OLPC gets about 12, and better protected from the environment too. ftfa: "It's endless world of hardware modifications that smart people worldwide have embraced" Um.. what the hell is that supposed to mean?

Re:I played with one yesterday (2)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865304)

Regarding the whats that supposed to mean comment... The writer of this article has some issues in regards to vernacular: another example is the way he describes how Google returns searches to you; I'm not even going to repeat it. It made me puke a little in my mouth when i read it.

Re:I played with one yesterday (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865370)

It means these aren't the lame hardware mods that only dumb people embrace.
Whatever that might mean.
Besides being able to change software and hardware, what use is the Eee anyway?

Re:I played with one yesterday (2, Interesting)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865730)

ftfa: "It's endless world of hardware modifications that smart people worldwide have embraced" Um.. what the hell is that supposed to mean?

Translation: Cheap fun for people who are willing to work with a soldering iron. There is not much room inside, but folks are already modding the laptop to add more 'disk' in the form of hand made USB adapters to SD cards internally! The laptop is small, but the mainboard is not so miniaturized that one can't measure/modify the circuits. As a bonus - it cost so little (for this sort of hardware) - it is worth risking letting the magic out.

Re:I played with one yesterday (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865880)

"It's endless world of hardware modifications that smart people worldwide have embraced" Um.. what the hell is that supposed to mean?

That the author failed their English grammar classes.

Dan East

A Misconception (5, Informative)

alanw (1822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865244)

you can also remove pre-installed items you do not need. I removed the Chinese language dictionaries ...

The Eee PC uses unionfs to merge together two partitions: sda1 (/mnt-system, 2.3GB, read-only) and sda2 (/mnt-user, 1.4GB, read-write)

There is a grub boot option "Restore Factory Settings" which wipes the user part.

Deleting installed applications doesn't free up any space - it just marks them as deleted on the user partition.

Re:A Misconception (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865964)

If you remove unionfs, or boot without unionfs (busybox in the initramfs or a live distro on a flash stick) then you can mount /dev/sda1 by itself and delete things in a way that does free up space.

But the restore capability is a good idea in a consumer marketed linux machine. Actually, it would be a good idea in windows, too!

What this little machine is.... (3, Interesting)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865274)

Is faster than anything I owned in the 1990s with a bit less permanent memory.


Seems to me I remember the day when a 640K operating system and a 40Meg disk were king, so having 1.5 Gig left over to play with after the OS is loaded --that's like luxury space. Oh, and I can go back and get more permanent memory if I delete some stuff if won't ever use, can add and subtract multiple versions of multi-gigabyte portable (SD) memory, and if I use a USB Wifi stick, I can connect even to the web at pretty good speed?


What this thing is is portable. Medium powered. Flexible. Ideal for a Linux person like me who would like to have a road warrior unit he can live with -- without the backache.

The point of the eeeeeee (0, Flamebait)

orangesunglasses (1140459) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865296)

The point of the EEE , . - ' Your head. It is a very cheap, very good subnotebook, designed with children in mind,who the fisher interface appeals to.

Better Thesaurus (5, Funny)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865300)

I think Mr. Williams needs a better thesaurus. From page 2:

A quick Google search ejaculates forth bold experimenters...

Re:Better Thesaurus (0, Offtopic)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865642)

I know where your .sig comes from, I know where your .sig comes from!!! "They mostly come at night. Mostly".

Gosh, I should get a life...

What Can You Do With It? (2, Informative)

jstrain (648252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865308)

My dad purchased one, half to play around with, half to actually use. It certainly is not a replacement for a full sized laptop or desktop, but it fits the bill for what he uses it for pretty nicely. The church he attends has a penchant for springing preaching duties on him at the last minute. Instead of carrying a folder full of old sermon notes, he simply carries the ASUS now. Now he has years worth of sermons and notes at his fingertips. Like I said, I would never want to use it as a real PC, but for keeping in touch on the road or just keeping important info handy, its tough to beat.

Re:What Can You Do With It? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865524)

Hey man my dad purchased one as well. Half to play around with, half to prop up that wobbly table. It may not be a laptop but it works.

Re:What Can You Do With It? (5, Funny)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865796)

>The church he attends has a penchant for springing preaching duties on him at the last minute. Instead of carrying a folder full of old sermon notes, he simply carries the ASUS now

This is not a Slashdot approved use. Please confiscate it immediately. Your service to the Party is appreciated.

Media Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865314)

If I got one, it would become a home media server with a bonus screen, keyboard etc... Has all you'd need like it's fairly cheap, small, has low power requirements, enough processing power and can even run without a UPS to back it up. Just plug in a USB HD.

OLPC hardware alternative? (1)

superash (1045796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865340)

Probably only the hardware that can run either Microsoft or Linux variants of OLPC OS ( if in future someone decides to create one) ??

You are missing the point (5, Informative)

Stu101 (1031686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865344)

Having actually used one, I can say, it rocks. Ok so I wouldn't like to use it as a main machine (not what it was designed for) but if you are an avid note taker, or like to have internet on the run it is all you could want. It is *exceptionally* light, even compared to the JVC mini note range that I look after every day.

Also, its pretty much instant on. So your not hanging round for things to happen. It's ideal to check mail, a few letters whilst in the wifi coffee shop. Its an ideal meeting toy I suppose.

Also a massive advantage of this for linux is that a) A linux company is getting paid to put an OS on hardware and secondly, the hardware and software fit well together, they were designed too.

As for the interface, hell its good. It's simple and quick. What more could you need. If you want more advanced options, turn on the advanced options, its not hard.

The really mad thing? It's not linux peeps buying it, its average shoppers and gadget freaks. Its providing an inroad to the masses that standard linux cannot because of the variety of hardware it must work on.

Put another way, in the uk, you cannot buy one for love nor money at the moment, and probably not until mid April will there be sufficient stocks.

Mother on the Internet (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865378)

I want to give one to my mother to get her on the Internet. She only needs to be able to do some light email and web browsing on it.

Re:Mother on the Internet (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865662)

We bought one for our 70-something relatives for Xmas to replace their no-internet Win95 second-hand PC. We'll see how it goes. I do plan to hook it up to a full-size keyboard/monitor/mouse as an option from the smaller keyboard and screen.

Inexpensive Toy (2, Interesting)

foxalopex (522681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865388)

Funny that you would refer to the interface as Fisher Price looking but the reality is for a lot of techies that buy it is that it is an inexpensive / mod-able toy that may eventually find some good use. After all why risk messing up your high end laptop / desktop unit when you can get a device that is designed to be messed around with and is inexpensive in case you do manage to break it. Just look at the Linksys NSLU2 for example. As a product it's nearly completely useless as a NAS. Load on the modified firmware that lets you run Debian on it thou or OpenSlug and presto, you have a Linux server that has a 4 watt power use profile that's pretty hard to beat for price too.

Yes, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865430)

Yes, but does it run Vista?

mod D0wn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865442)

If you have *BSD has lost more Bulk Of the FreeBSD Developers a relatively from onHe folder on posts on Usenet are With process and GNAA and support

Well yeah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865474)

It is far from state-of-the-art tech-wise, with 512Mb RAM and a Celeron processor.

Nothing wrong with a Celeron, but 64 megabytes of RAM is pretty small nowadays.

Why Eee? (5, Insightful)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865490)

Why the Eee? I reviewed one for the local alt-monthly newspaper [masslive.com], and even after I was done with the review, I wound up keeping it. In a nutshell: it's nifty to have an inexpensive, super light, teeny wifi laptop with a crisp, bright screen -- I've been using it primarily for a RSS/CBR reader myself. My advice is ditch the standard OS, which is lovely but would never fully satisfy most slashdot readers and install Ubuntu 7.10. It's easy enough to do [eeeuser.com] and works great after a few tweaks [eeeuser.com]. One caveat to keep in mind is that I can't seem to find any place that sells additional power adapters (yet) so the portability is slightly diminished by having to lug around the adapter too. but I'm sure that will be rectified soon, as Asus has done a great job so far responding to customer complaints and suggestions.

Boot from anything; run REAL Linux distros (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865494)

An attractive feature of the eee is that its bios makes it possible to boot from anything, the internal ssd, an sd card or any storage devices connected to the three USB ports.
I dont like loose appendices but the SD card slot is very good, I purchased four 16GB Patriot SDHC cards, and installed four different operating systems on each of them. True, I spent more on these cards than on the eee itself, but I have a functionality regular laptops do not have. My favorite is Ubuntu 7.10 with lots of physics and biology apps (5.4GB used for installation). I also hacked a Win XP disk and managed to put XP on another SD card, but it is slower than linux. The interesting part is that I do not use the internal SSD for booting anything, just for storage.I HATE Xandros, the first thing I did was to erase it.

Re:Boot from anything; run REAL Linux distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865758)

"I purchased four 16GB Patriot SDHC cards, and installed four different operating systems on each of them"


That's, what, 16 OS's total? I'm not sure I could even come up with 16 current operating systems. Kudos.

Ultra portable, but no battery life? What gives? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865522)

FTA:

the battery life is three hours
Whats the point on a ultra portable laptop if you still stuck using a power umbilical every few hours.

Sure its fine if your only using it whilst commuting or when moving a short distance to the next power plug, but if the battery life is still that poor where is the advantage. Given the a smaller size, does it actually become that much more portable when you are restricted in the same way a standard laptop is?

Wake me when you can run it for 36hrs+, no software asked...

Re:Ultra portable, but no battery life? What gives (1)

bfree (113420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865658)

Have you seen the eee power supply and compared it to a laptop power supply? Have you seen the extra batteries (including a 6 cell 7800 mAh which should provide 4.5hrs or more)? That large extra battery and the power supply together would be about the size/weight of a normal laptop power supply and carrying those around with you should give you at least 7 hours continuous battery life between charges. New asus eee accessories [asus.com]

Re:Ultra portable, but no battery life? What gives (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866092)

Glad to see that an extended life battery exists. Do you happen to have a link to an e-tailer taht is actually selling it?

Slightly OT: Fisher Price (4, Funny)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865538)

I find it hilarious that the author says "the OS looks like something Fisher Price might have designed." It's sort of an (un)concious jab at Linux.

  Here's something I noticed for years:

  Do me a huge favor. Go to an XP machine. Go to control panel, look at the icon for "User Accounts".

  Look familiar?

Re:Slightly OT: Fisher Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865622)

why? did linux rip that off too?

Re:Slightly OT: Fisher Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21866042)

...but they don't fall down.

Re:Slightly OT: Fisher Price (4, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866212)

The article is inaccurate anyway. Of course everybody knows that Windows XP has always had a Fisher-Price interface. The author therefore assumes that this Linux distro must be using the same thing.

Not true: the Eee actually uses a Playskool interface, which has no connection at all to Fisher-Price. This is just another example of the typical superficial journalism you see in media today.

Fast and Cheep, but not Powerful??? (3, Interesting)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865540)

Sure, it's not state-of-the-art - but when it comes to laptops you have three competing demands - fast, cheap, powerful - but you only get to choose two
I think the author confused laptops with some technology where fast and powerful weren't the same thing - like tractors. Personally I thought weight, battery life, speed, disk space, price, screen real estate, and durability were the competing factors in laptop design. This laptop chose weight, speed, and price over the others.

I wonder (0)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865542)

Has anyone tried to install DSL on this? It's hardly the most robust or full-featured build out there, but it's earned a place near and dear to my heart after making my old 166MHz Toughbook an effective travel companion once again. It would just hum on a machine like the Eee and leave plenty of storage space (I'm using less than 5% of a 5GB drive, including OS, add'l software and various photos and documents.

Aaaaargh (2, Interesting)

exKingZog (847868) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865556)

My boss plonked TWO of these bloody things on my desk just before Christmas, with a look of beaming pride on her face - one of them came in pink, y'see.

"Look! It comes in pink! It's so SMALL and CUTE! Aren't they cool? Are they any good? I bought two of them..."

She's now pestering me to buy one for every mobile user because their (dual-core, 2 GB, 7200 RPM, DVD-R, 1600x1280 Latitude D830) laptops are "too heavy". Except she doesn't like the operating system and wants XP on them all. I'm now in the process of tactfully telling her that this is not going to happen... it'd be worse than the f***ing Blackberries they keep buying and expecting us to fix.

Re:Aaaaargh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21866198)

I'm now in the process of tactfully telling her that this is not going to happen... it'd be worse than the f***ing Blackberries they keep buying and expecting us to fix.


Ahh, it's good to hear the Microsoft noise machine kicking into high gear. Now that Enterprise IT has its marching orders, the EEE can become a new front in the user vs Microsoft tech support war.

Works great- runs non-cut-down Ubuntu (5, Informative)

kilf (135983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865656)

I've had one of these for nearly two months now. It runs Ubuntu Gutsy just fine, with all your favourite apps. I'm typing this comment on it, in fact.

It has everything a laptop should (except a CDROM), and plays music, browses the web, runs OpenOffice, etc. It's not helpful to think of it as a "cut-down" or "toy" machine. It's really a pretty standard PC. It generally feels very fast and responsive, perhaps because all the storage is solid state.

It even runs Compiz-fusion flawlessly.

I've been using it over the last couple off weeks as my main machine. My only complaint is that the screen res is low and up-arrow key and right-shift key are too close together, and they have a similar symbol on them.

stoking the fire while the pot is boiling (1)

jhines (82154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865694)

If the unit is more in demand than can be supplied right now, then stoking the demand with more media attention is not a good idea.

If it is stacked to the ceiling in warehouses, then throw fuel on the media fire.

personal organiser & home automation (1)

fredboboss (1059056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865760)

This Asus thing is kind of linux on the desktop, looks great. I wish I had at least one. I intend to buy 2 : 1 as a personal organiser for its mobility, and 1 for my home automation project because of its low power requirement and the hacking possibilities. fred

I get it (1)

LoaTao (826152) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865788)

Small form factor laptops are great for travel if all you need to do is email, web, etc. I used to use a Powerbook 2400c back in the day. Today my travel machine is an Dell Latitude LS loaded with Zenwalk. It's only a PIII/256/20 but runs just fine with the lightweight distro and didn't cost me anything since someone gave it to me (found when cleaning out a student rental... thanks rich kid!). The big advantage it has over the Asus is the keyboard and screen (21.1") and still weighs in at only a bit over three pounds. Wireless didn't work with the first two cards I tried (Linksys revB and Orinoco Silver) but picked right up on the old 3COM 802.11b card and has worked every time since.

three chears for the eeePC. (1)

GreggBz (777373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865842)

I love mine. I bought the cheaper ($350) 4Gb surf model. Initially, there were some concerns that the Surf had non-upgradeable soldered on memory. Fortunately not, and I was able to upgrade the memory to 1Gb. I don't think I'll have any storage problems, as SD cards are now rediculasly cheap. I had a 2gb one laying around, and used that.

I tweaked the standard xandros install to provide a full KDE desktop. I built a custom kernel with USB support built in and large memory support so I could replicate the Linux install and boot it off a flash drive and use > 2gb of memory.

I'm considering developing some games for the thing. It would certainly be a cool platform. The external display works great, and if you hook up a USB keyboard and mouse, you have a tiny quiet energy efficient desktop.

Everywhere I take the thing people ask questions. It's very cool.

I'm planning to roll it out for a hospital (5, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865854)

At a hospital I consult with; the IT penetration is surprisingly very poor among doctors. The hospital typically receives 600 patients a day; of which about 275 are diabetics - who require repeated visits over years. There are about 150 in-patients who typically stay for 4.5 days before discharge.

IT usage is about 60% for the in-patients; but less than 12% for out-patients. The problem? Doctors are fed up with using PCs - Windows or Linux. Some of their biggest complaints:

1. Long boot time; Linux is only slightly better here; and Vista is downright pathetic and consequently been banned. The EEE PC boots up in less than 20 seconds and the GUI is immediately functional. No need for any useless login, active desktop, active directory etc.

2. Ultra portable - so the doctor can carry it to the wards and rooms; and dictate into it when necessary. Very cumbersome with laptops; tablets are better; but very expensive compared to the EEE (1:8).

3. Wakes up from suspend in less than 2 seconds - unparalleled.

4. The interface is very user friendly and makes sense without training - unlike Windows.

Surprisingly, this is still not widely avbl in India. Ingram Micro is getting it in the 3rd week of Jan. as I hear. We are ordering about 120 units for our doctors; who are genuinely thrilled with a computer for the first time in their lives.

****

A second appln. is for an e-governance system whereby citizens apply for assistance - there are about a dozen welfare schems like for handicapped, destitutes, old age pension, widow pension etc. The EEE PC is much more functional than a laptop and can be easily carried to the villages by trained self-help-group women assistants. The e-governance appln. is a web-enabled semi-offline-capable system; so even if there is no broadband; the locally installed LAMP appln. gives a very similar look-and-feel; once in a few days it gets synced with the main server.

Being about 25% of the price and weight of a laptop makes the EEE PC very handy for both these situations.

At the price, who could complain? (3, Informative)

afedaken (263115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865876)

I picked up a 4G surf model.

Can't speak for everyone, but mine is the laptop I actually USE on a regular basis. I'm hesitant to whip out my Toshiba R15 tablet, since it's heavy, and slow to boot. The EE is up in 30 seconds, and thanks to the SSD doesn't balk at being tossed around a bit.

I'll grab it on the way out of the house and just drag it with me like my camera. I've used it in conjunction with my cellphone to check mail on the road, research products, or do a quick wiki lookup when conversation requires. It's also pretty hand for doing photo previews in the field. The SD slot makes reading my casual camera's card easy.

With screen rotation, I can hold it vertically and read e-books and manga scanlations like I would with a paperback.

I've done some coding and remote work with it, but I wouldn't recommend it. Keyboard is way too small for that sort of thing.

About the only thing I haven't done on my EEE is gaming, which is clearly beyond the intent of the unit. That said, I'll bet it'd make a great classic game / emulator platform.

Now that's not to say I don't have my gripes. As I mentioned, the keyboard is just a tad too small. I've had to learn to type with six finger and a thumb. The right shift STILL stymies me 4 weeks after my purchase. There's no capslock indicator, which has caused me no end of trouble when entering passwords. Can't do a middle button emulation click with the rocker style mouse button.

But none of these are game enders. Annoyances yes, but given what ASUS is charging for this little beastie, I'm not expecting perfection. I'm expecting usable, with minor compromises, and that's exactly what I got. Really, the EEE was probably the most satisfying notebook purchase I've ever made.

People want "It Just Works" (1)

jihadist (1088389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865898)

They want to check email, websurf, play vids and mp3s, and run a few business apps (Quicken, Excel, Word). They want it to turn on, start working, offer few complexities, and keep doing so for the next five years.

They don't need your dual core. They don't need your MBA. They don't want your $2500 price tag. They want the laptop as a portable media appliance.

The Eee delivers this and no one else does. Expect it to be popular among consumers, and enigma among geeks, for some time.

important software support! (1)

Verte (1053342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865904)

I feel silly that I would have bought one if I knew the HURD would run on it.

New version coming soon? (1)

rnswebx (473058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865950)

So, I liked the sound of this little guy and looked around as to where to buy it. I noticed that Amazon has a pre-order option [amazon.com] for an 8gb drive, 1gb ram machine.

Does anyone happen to know when this version may be released?

Media coverage... (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866114)

I've been wondering this myself given the huge coverage in the media of this thing.
It can run Windows... that's the reason for the hype.
If the media was where it should have been then the coverage would be on the OLPC XO and their "Give 1 Get 1" initiative.

A quick Google search ejaculates forth?? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866118)

Geesh, that's a nice image. I wonder if he normally speaks that offensively at work.

As an extremely happy user of the EEE PC... (1)

acherusia (995492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866170)

I'd really have to say it's the size, cost, and lack of moving parts. It's perfect for slipping into my purse (though I expect this'll make it targeted more towards women, since they're the ones already carrying around something that'll hold this). It's cheaper than any other laptop out there, especially the small ones. The fact it has a flash drive means that a) the hard drive will be less likely to be the first thing to fail because I've jarred it so much and b) sitting on my lap as I type in bed, it's still less noisy than my desktop 10 feet away, which is nice for insomniac nights where I hate noise. It boots up faster than any other notebook I've had.

The Linux version it comes with by default isn't really my favorite, but I'll probably get around to tweaking it one of these days. I have, however, noticed that when I show complete technological illiterates my laptop, they tend to figure out how to find stuff faster than when I've shown them Windows stuff. Personally, I tend to figure it's the kind of machine that's great for either know-nothings, or experts. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm willing to read online instructions for any tweaks I want.

It's a laptop that's expected to be used 99% of the time just to get you on the internet, and I don't have any real complaints about that. I have a desktop if I want to use a regular keyboard and a decent size monitor. This is for portability, and it's damn good at that.

This is Slashdot (5, Funny)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866176)

What can you do with a small portable computer that runs Linux? I doubt anyone here would have any ideas. Try a site like Fark or something. I think they're into computers.

What do you know? They brought back the Portege! (2, Insightful)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866182)

You know what guys? I have a Toshiba Portege 3010 that I bought at a flea market just for fun, it was so cute and weights in the region of 1 KG! Its a full-fledged windows PC with 266 mhz speed, 64 Mb ram, 5 GB harddrive and a USB port. This thing is 9-years-old. Did ya get that folks? NINE-YEARS-OLD. Guess what I did with it? Thanks to some russian genious Windows 98 got USB support for general-mass-storage on it so it worked like a charm with todays USB memory stick, another smart person out there in the internet world figured out how to use CF (compact-flash) WiFi devices on it...so I could just insert that one into a pcmcia-cf converter and voila...I had WiFi on it as well. Now...this thing surfs with the speed of any portable today (exept flash videos that do require some cpu power)...but it boots in 17 seconds (yes folks - 17 seconds from the second you turn it on). The point I am trying to make here..is that my TFT-screen based 10.2 Inch portable 1 kilo laptop from yesteryear...does this just as fine as this "modern" device from Asus... cmon guys...I am sure they can do better than that? Or are we really stuck in time somewhere?

Fujitsu Stylistic LT c-500 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21866216)

Although, I appreciate that they do not offer entirely identical features, the eee and the LT C-500 are comparable and the LT is now available for less than £50 on ebay.

I much prefer having a touchscreen running Debian, although the RAM can be tricky to get hold of.

Cheers

A terminal in your bed. (2, Informative)

k-zed (92087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21866252)

I have one of these. The builtin linux is tweakable enough (like by adding standard debian 4.0 repos to the apt config) so you can install dwm [suckless.org] - and from there, you have a very light device that boots into a terminal in under 15 seconds, and you can do everything you usually do "online" (irc and mail through ssh, music through nfs or netradio with moc, web with firefox, etc).

It's easily powerful enough to watch movies, play flash (youtube of course), some opengl games. The keyboard is also very good; if you do your coding through the unix interface (make etc) as you should, instead of some GUI BS, it's very usable for programming, too. (Of course, you should use the keyboard instead of a pointing device to do your stuff; but that's true for any computer, not just the EEE.)

Battery is strong enough to give you 3 hours of movie watching over NFS over wifi.

Negative points I could bring up: it gets warmer than my Lenovo 3000 V100 (although the Lenovo is supposed to be a markedly cool model), and the builtin fan (the single moving part) is audible at times. I can live with these problems - and the EEE makes a lovely modern replacement for my old Toshiba Libretto C100.
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