Friday, 17 July 2009

Ode to the eee.

For those of you who are not in the know about the eee PC, it is a subnotebook manufactured by ASUS, I own one, and its officially awesome. I'm serious. Its so good, I find it difficult to begin.

Well for a start it is small. About the size of a book rather than a laptop and of about the same weight. Secondly, it is cheap. Mine cost me under £200 about a year ago. This is largely due to the free softwear including the very accessible Xandros Linux operating system. Thirdly, it has pretty much all the functionality of a full size PC. It is quick to stream youtube videos, and surf the internet. Plus with open office (which is a triumph of computer engineering in itself) it is easy to write essays, create presentations and manage spreadhseets. Fourthy, the battery life is excellent. I follow some simple guidelines on Li-ion batteries and even after a year of moderate use it still lasts for over 3 hours. Fifithly, the features are excellent. It comes with a 1.3 mega-pixel webcam as standard as well as an excellent microphone. In fact, I frquently use it for skype calls. Finally, the unit is very upgradeable. I have changed the OS to an nLitend version of Windows XP Professional, upgraded toe RAM from 512MB to 2024MB (which is too much - you only need 1000MB) and added a bluetooth dongle.

Only a few issues present themselves. Firstly, open office is at times slightly frustrating for the hardend Microsoft Office user and requires internet access to solve a few issues as I did not install any help files to save hard disc space. This brings me to my second point. Hard disc space is limited, but this is actually not a problem as I simplly use an 8GB SDHC card for file storage and my nLite installation of Windows XP has not only solved the problems of HD space, but removes the tedious and heavy elements of the operating system. Thirdly, the 7" screan can make viewing difficult and F11 becomes your friend for web browsers as well as several other full-screen/zoom application short-cuts. You really need an application such as MoveMe to get around some difficult window manouvers sometimes. I do feel that most people fould be happier with the 9" screen rather than the 7" that mine features. (But I like it as it preserves the battery life.) The other disadvantage is with the Linux OS. Whilst it is very useable and can be customised to a 'desktop' format, it dosn't feel intuitive to a hardend Windows user. I also had problems with the Linux bluetooth functionality so it had to go.

Dispite these minor issues though, it is an excellent macheine and I find it amazingly handy for commuting, campus, and conversations. I would recomend one to anyone who likes to have their PC with them wherever they go.

What i'm listening to:

Aberfeldy - Slow me Down
Air - Alpha Beta Gaga
Bach - Air
Strokes - Reptilia

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