As some of you may have noticed, I usually carry around a tiny little black laptop when I'm at Beer and Blog or at a coffee shop. Since people ask about it so much, I decided to write a few blog posts about it with this being the first.
What is it? Its an EeePC 1000 from ASUS (the same guys that make motherboards). Its a new type of laptop that is generally referred to as a netbook mainly because it lacks some of the features that a normal laptop has such as a cdrom, being heavy, a multi-core power sucking CPU, and a huge screen. Outside of that, its like any other laptop with a few other enhancements. In my case, this EeePC has these features which I love about it.
- Long battery life, claims one day computing (6+hrs)
- Solid State Drives (SSD) - no moving parts & better battery life!
- Multi-touch track pad
- Very usable keyboard (92% from a normal laptop)
- Lightweight (2lbs 15oz)
- Fast 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom processor
- 802.11n Wi-Fi and Blue-tooth
- 1.3MP web cam
I've used my trusty 15" PowerBook for many years and I still use it, but its become more of a hassle to carry around with me. I'm a UNIX Admin, so I don't need much on my laptop (xterm, Firefox, Thunderbird, and pidgin) to get work done and the EeePC was a perfect fit. The first models that ASUS releases for the EeePC didn't appeal to me since they had a screen and keyboard that was too small for me to deal with. A good friend of mine (who also has the habit of being an enabler for me :P) purchased one for himself and kept raging about it. I was actually considering getting an upgrade for my PowerBook but didn't want to pay $2K for a new MacBook, so instead I decided to get this EeePC forÂ around $500 (its down to $430 now).
Asus gives you two options for Operating Systems on these laptops: Windows XP or Linux (Xandros). Since I'm a Gentoo developer, I decided to give it a try on this laptop. I encountered a few issues of course, but overall I have all the hardware working. The only annoying thing so far is the wireless driver not being included in the mainline kernel, but that's going to change soon I hope. There is an open source driver but its a little finicky to deal with on networks using any form of security passwords. But it does work!
In the upcoming posts, I plan to write about the following:
- How I installed Gentoo on it
- Gentoo tweaks I use on it
- Window management
- Firefox tweaks (yes, you need them!)
- How netbooks are helping promote Linux to the masses
I love my EeePC and you should get one too! :)