EEE PC Chronicles, Episode 1

A laptop that is smaller than most hardback books?

I have seen and used the famous OLPC XO (One Laptop Per Child) machine. But I really cannot see myself carrying a Barbie-doll accessory. Eee PC, by ASUS, has a more mainstream design. The new 900 model has 20GB flash memory. Yes, this thing has no internal moving parts and is absolutely quiet. So I ordered one for 3,900MB (and an external optical drive for 800rmb). This baby has a 900MHz Intel CPU, 1GB of memory, and 20GB of flash drive. It also has a built-in wi-fi, webcam, speakers, 3 USB slots, an SD slot, and an Ethernet plug. Seems pretty complete to me.

I charge it over-night and booted it up. The Xandros Linux, a version of Debian, boots up in "easy mode" — a tab-based desktop that is reasonably complete but frustrating to a Unix guy like myself. I needed to run Firefox with profile that that require a command-line interface. The secretive (really simple documentation) "Control-Alt-T" sequence opens a terminal window and solved these problems.

Wireless connection is almost automatic. It has already found my access point. I clicked connect, entered the WEP key, and started surfing.

Tried skype next. Wow, someone I knew was online. She activated the camera, so I did too. Soon, I found myself conversing with someone 6,000 miles away, in video too. Pretty cool.

The keyboard is cramp for my fat fingers and the touchpad is too slippery.

I can get used to this. Stay tuned. <script language="JavaScript"> TagStart() Technorati("EEE PC") TagEnd() </script>

Comments:

Looking forward to reading your "report" on running OpenSolaris 2008.05 on this little wonder. :-)

Posted by W. Wayne Liauh on June 06, 2008 at 07:23 AM CST #

BTW, there is a slew of similarly-sized & relatively inexpensive mini notebooks that are on deck, waiting to be released. Please see my post at the Indiana Discuss Forum:

http://www.opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?threadID=62694&tstart=0

Plug this little machine to an external monitor (a friend plugs his EeePC to a 52" LCD) and a USB keyboard, you also get yourself a fully blown desktop computer.

Compared to the 1.5 to 2 minutes booting time for Windows, the Asus EeePC boots up in 20-25 seconds. Acer boasts that its mini notebook (with Acer's own custom developed Linux distro) will boot up in less than 15 seconds--and with longer battery life than running Windows.

This is going to be the trend of the future!

Posted by W. Wayne Liauh on June 06, 2008 at 10:12 AM CST #

Yep, you definitely need to be running OpenSolaris 2008.05 on that - I'm running it on my slightly older EeePC 701 4g and it runs just fine - a few workarounds needed but bugs are filed. (Compiz is lovely at 800x480 by the way :-) All we need now is a driver for the wired ethernet port, and we'll be done.

Posted by Tim Foster on June 07, 2008 at 06:49 PM CST #

Hi,
I installed OpenSolaris 2008.5 on my EeePC 701,It works almost fine(but a few problems are occured while using),I'm looking forward your installation about 'OpenSolaris 2008.5 on EeePC 900':)

just for reference,I'd appreciate if you could check my handout >
http://mediacast.sun.com/users/akapin/media/Report_Installation_Solaris_on_EeePC-en.pdf/details

I'm now thinking of buying new Eee model 901 which has new intel processor 'Atom'.I wanna try to install OpenSolaris to new Eee 901,but in Japan Asus is going to release only 12GB model.....(they think japanese users won't need 20GB linux model....)

-cheers,

masafumi

Posted by Masafumi Ohta on June 08, 2008 at 07:44 PM CST #

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