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First impressions: Asus EeePC 1000

December 21, 2008

I know I should be buying gold coins with my “spare” Federal Reserve Notes, but I just couldn’t resist the siiren call of this little computer. Here are some observations after 2 days of use…

The model I bought came with 40 GB of SSD storage and 1 GB of RAM. It came equipped with a version of Linux that I just didn’t really care for. I will say that it booted up quickly and I had no problem connecting to my in-home wireless network (WPA2 encryption).

Most of the reviews of this netbook all complain about the right shift key. I’ll admit that it’s a bit of a challenge getting use to it, but it’s something I can live with.

The operating system however is something I wasn’t willing to compromise on. Armed with my trusty bootable USB thumb drive, Ubuntu 8.10 invaded the Eee PC. Immediately after installing, I downloaded and installed the Eee PC kernel. The best reason is that Ubuntu didn’t know how too deal with the Eee PC’s wireless network adapter. The Eee PC kernel solved that problem for me. By the time I was finished tweaking, my netbook looked and felt like my Toshiba notebook.

Battery life is one of the reasons I wanted this little computer. Occasionaly I travel cross-country by air. While I enjoy listening to music or a good audio book on my SanSa e280 media player, I enjoy a good movie from time to time. My Toshiba notebook can almost play a two hour DVD before the battery dies. I won’t have the same problem with the Eee PC netbook! I played four 90-minute movies on a single charge yesterday.

The disk storage is actually two SSD disks, one 6 GB, the other 32 GB. If this computer, with this disk configuration included a Microsoft OS, the 6 GB disk would be a serious constraint. However, Linux is less resource hungry than Microsoft Windows.

During install, I made sure that /home went on the 32 GB disk. Fully configured with all the same software I use on the Toshiba notebook takes about 60% of the disk allocated for the root file system.

If you’re looking for a small, portable computer with long battery life, this is the computer for you. There are others on the market, most of which come with Windows XP Home Edition installed. The difference is price (Linux and all the software I’m using is free) and comfort. I find it easy to move between Linux and Microsoft Windows. Point, click — the user interface is pretty much the same. As they used to say, your mileage may vary.

Until next time,
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