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Portables Hardware

First Full Review of New Asus Eee PC 900 266

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the several-hundred-more-than-before dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After months of rumors, the new 8.9in screen Eee PC is out in the open and the first review is online. As well as the larger screen you get 1GB RAM, 20GB Storage and a multi-touch touchpad. It costs more than the old Eee PC, but it definitely sounds like it's worth the extra cash." I always thought the appeal of the original was the ridiculously low price, coupled with the ease of hacking. Not sure if the sequel will meet that challenge.
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First Full Review of New Asus Eee PC 900

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  • They say if you want the 20gig model with XP - your best bet is to buy the linux version and install xp yourself. But I heard somewhere that xp has problems [slashdot.org] on the eee pc. Though maybe that is just the 7 inch version and this newer machine will do better.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      I was wondering about drivers too. Is Asus going to make XP drivers public, for those who want to do their own install?
      • Re:xp? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Amouth (879122) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:57AM (#23089632)
        all the XP drivers are included on the DVD you get which is also the restore disk for the base linux install.

        my boss has one of the orginal ones.. and putting xp on it was no issue driver wise.. now cramming XP and office 03 on it for him .. that was a fun chalange.. ended up sticking in an 8gb sd card and maping it to the program files folder

        but drivers where no issue at all
        • And let me guess: he did not care to disable the swap file. If he did, he's in a small minority.

          If he didn't he'll be soon hitting the upper limit of the rewrite cycle endurance of the SSD.
          • by Amouth (879122)
            yes i did turn the swap off.. no room for it.. he got the 2gb model..
        • all the XP drivers are included on the DVD you get which is also the restore disk for the base linux install.
          And what, praytell, does one do with said DVD in the event one wishes to restore the Linux install?

          Set it on top of the keyboard and wait for osmosis to kick in?
    • Re:xp? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Scubaraf (1146565) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:30AM (#23089194)
      If you add a bigger screen, upgrade the processor, double the RAM and quadruple the drive space it cost a bit more. But definitely worth the extra money!
    • Re:xp? (Score:5, Informative)

      by edremy (36408) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:45AM (#23089406) Journal
      I have XP on my eee since I couldn't get it to talk to my school's 802.1x network. I honestly don't see many problems with it that the Linux version also doesn't have. It's all of 5 seconds slower to boot, it hasn't crashed and the screen size issues appear with any program that assumes a normal screen- there are dialog windows that run off the screen in Linux apps too.

      I do miss the nice tabbed interface, but most of the bundled apps were pretty worthless and those that were actually useful are free downloads anyway.

      The one thing I really want is a 2nd battery pack and external charger- the battery life on an eee is pretty maarginal.

      • The one thing I really want is a 2nd battery pack and external charger- the battery life on an eee is pretty maarginal.

        What do you mean by external charger?
        • Re:xp? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by edremy (36408) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @09:43AM (#23090356) Journal
          Something like I have with my digital camera- you plug the battery directly into the charger. Right now the eee charges rather slowly from wall current so when the battery is dead I'm stuck for a while. It would be far easier just to pull a fresh battery from the charger and swap with the dead one.
        • by tepples (727027)

          What do you mean by external charger?
          A device that sits between the battery and the wall and does not contain a PC. This way, you can charge a battery even when it's not in the computer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by randallman (605329)
        So you bought an eeepc for $300 then spent another $200 for Windows XP?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pherthyl (445706)
        >> there are dialog windows that run off the screen in Linux apps too.

        Of course on Linux you can easily hold the ALT key and drag the window to make the buttons visible. Not possible on windows without third party hacks.
      • Well, the battery charger exists - it is called buying another EEEPC. They don't exactly cost a lot, ya know...
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by thewaker (1249320)
      There are XP drivers available [asus.com] for the 2G and 4G models, and given that the hardware has not changed much I am sure they work on the 20G model. As well there is a great user forum dedicated to Xp on the eee PC [eeeuser.com]
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:27AM (#23089142)
    A less-than-2-hour battery life is a huge problem for a machine touting itself as an ultra-portable. Everything else on these new models are pretty much spot-on. But a short battery life sort of defeats the purpose, methinks, unless their slogan is "Take it anywhere, just not too far from an outlet."
    • by lixee (863589) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:41AM (#23089336)
      AFAIK, there are already 7800mAh and 10400mAh batteries on the market.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by caseih (160668)
        Sure, but that's ridiculous to have to resort to giant batteries just to get a decent amount of battery life. The real problem is Linux's lack of decent power management, as well as the hardware manufacturers' reluctance to support Linux in any way. In this case, though, you'd think ASUS would have some incentive to work with Linux kernel developers to improve the situation. Sadly, though, Linux on laptops of any king is pretty abysmal when it comes to basic features like power management, suspend-and-re
        • by WhiplashII (542766) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @11:06AM (#23091852) Homepage Journal
          Although I only have the 701 EEEPC model (I'm using it to respond to you now!), my battery life experience seems to match what they said in the article - namely, about 2 hours when I am watching a movie with the wireless on.

          On the other hand, when I am on a plane with the wireless off and just typing or playing solitaire and listening to music, I get over 4 hours of life from it. So your usage pattern matters a lot.
        • by PeterBrett (780946) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @11:11AM (#23091908) Homepage

          Sure, but that's ridiculous to have to resort to giant batteries just to get a decent amount of battery life. The real problem is Linux's lack of decent power management, as well as the hardware manufacturers' reluctance to support Linux in any way. In this case, though, you'd think ASUS would have some incentive to work with Linux kernel developers to improve the situation. Sadly, though, Linux on laptops of any king is pretty abysmal when it comes to basic features like power management, suspend-and-resume, etc. windows Vista, sadly, is quite far ahead when it comes to this now. Quite usable on a laptop. Of course my 5 year-old PowerBook still beats it in terms of these things.

          Uh, do you actually use Linux, or just mouth off about it? Because while we're talking anecdotes, I can think of at least three distros which support the power management on my bog-standard Acer laptop better than the Windows XP it came with -- without any configuration hacks of any kind whatsoever.

          The real problem is people who pretend to know what they're talking about.

          • by caseih (160668) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @01:01PM (#23093488)
            I figured some fanboy would scream foul and try to call me on my credentials.

            Of course all evidence is anecdotal, even your acer story. I know what I'm talking about as much as you do.

            So, umm, yes. I really do use Linux. I am a Linux system administrator and developer. I last touched windows on anything I owned over 10 years ago. I don't consider myself an evangelist, but I do promote linux as much as possible and our organization runs its server room 100% on linux and has for years. In short, Linux kicks butt.

            Here's the deal. I've wanted to replace my PowerBook 12" for a couple of years now, so I've looked at the options. I'd prefer a Linux laptop. Every laptop I've looked at (Thinkpad X61, Dell Latitude D420, etc) all look really good in terms of specifications and do generally run Linux pretty well. But everyone that owns them and runs linux on them puts up with things like suspend to disk instead of suspend to RAM, and abysmal battery life, like 4 hours on the biggest batteries (like 8 or 9 cells). Right now I have a Windows user (XP) with a D420 and the standard battery. He gets 5 hours when aggressive management is turned on. Another user running Linux, on the other hand, hits 3 hours at most. *Every* linux laptop user I know has to fudge with ACPI scripts and things to get the various suspend and hibernate modes to work. This is partly the fault of linux distributions and partly fault of hardware manufacturers.

            Running powertop on a laptop is also very revealing. Typical desktop software on linux is not very friendly to power management. Rarely does the CPU enter the lowest power mode on linux (forget the designation).

            So do a bit of research and you'll see that what I'm talking about is generally true. Thinks are improving dramatically, but there's a long, long ways to go. Until then, it's really hard to leave my 5 year old PowerBook with OS X.
        • by tzanger (1575) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @11:12AM (#23091922) Homepage

          The real problem is Linux's lack of decent power management, as well as the hardware manufacturers' reluctance to support Linux in any way.

          This may have been true in the past, but I'm telling you, I get 3.5h out of this shitty Toshiba U300, without wifi, 2.5h with. Powertop is a wonderful thing, but even without it, turning the screen down and making sure the CPU hits C3 leaves me with what I'd consider acceptable battery life. Windows doesn't far any better on this thing.

          If it really was Linux at fault, wouldn't those people running XP on the eee get more battery life out of it?

    • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @09:29AM (#23090102) Homepage Journal
      I agree, theoretically the appeal of a device like this is that you can flip it open any time you need it, and riggity-jig-and-away-you-go.

      On the other hand, how many people are buying this as a full time alternative to a full sized laptop?

      I think we're still in the early adopter stage -- where most of the people who are buying it are just curious. Therefore it may be more important to meet certain psychological pricing benchmarks (e.g. it's closer to 300 Euros than 400) than it is to put a bigger battery in it. Then the people who find it seriously useful will buy a second battery, or a larger aftermarket battery.

      Admit it; you've bought things on impulse for X dollars, then on impulse bought a Y dollar ugprade for those things, even though you probably wouldn't consider paying X + Y for the entire rig and it was just wishful thinking you didn't need the upgrade. That normal economic behavior for early adopters.

      When the thing gets to the point where pragmatists are buying them, you can bet they'll sport much longer battery lives. Just the volumes they'll be buying parts in will bring the price down to stay "cheap".
      • by $random_var (919061) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @12:01PM (#23092660)

        On the other hand, how many people are buying this as a full time alternative to a full sized laptop?
        I can't speak as to how many customers use other laptops as well, but at 1 million units so far [asus.com] and the rest of the industry racing to catch up, I think the Eee is well past the point of a curiosity. It turns out that people actually like to buy light, cheap laptops! You're right, the battery life is an issue that will have to be resolved, but keep in mind that a lot of the highly mobile people I see using these (students, like myself) are hardly ever far from an outlet. Hopefully when they make the switch to Atom that will help the battery life.
    • by mollymoo (202721) * on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @09:51AM (#23090506) Journal
      In addition to the fairly poor battery life the power consumption on standby is huge (for the 70x anyway, I doubt they've fixed it for this as it has essentially identical internals). If you go to bed and leave your half-charged Eee on standby don't count on being able to boot it in the morning before plugging it in.

      As an Eee 701 owner my advice is wait for the Atom version and the price drop when the competition hits the market. And hope they spend more than $0.12 on the keyboard next time (it's not the size, it's the quality). This market seems to be developing incredibly rapidly, even by computer hardware standards. Things will be different in two or three months time.
    • Another major downside is the keyboard. I own an Eee, and while I used to carry it around with me for occasional typing, I hardly ever use it since I got a thinkpad x61---the bit of extra space between keys makes a _HUGE_ usability difference. I was -really- hoping Eee would become 1" wider along with a bigger screen (and ram/memory, etc.), to make typing a joy instead of a major pain in the..err..hands.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jmorris42 (1458) *
      Ya, but that is the price they paid to partner with Intel. Find a subnote that gets good battery life and it will be a marketing lie. i.e. either it WON'T actually run over three hours OR it isn't a subnote anymore after they strap the hi-cap battery to it's ass.

      If they wanted battery life they should have ditched the Intel Inside sticker and stuck an ARM in, even one fabbed by Intel. Escept for leaning really hard on Adobe to give them a Flash Player port everything else they shipped on the original eee
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:28AM (#23089162) Journal
    I'm amazed at the competition [news.com] that has sprung up in this once niche market of tiny notebooks. I'm sure you're familiar with the classbook, Everex's Cloudbook and the OLPC [slashdot.org] but I just found out that HP [pcworld.com] and Elitegroup Computer Systems of Taiwan [htlounge.net] have direct competition for the eee.

    They all seem to have pretty close pricing, for example the HP's 2133:

    ... anywhere from a $499 system running Linux to a $749 model using Microsoft's Windows Vista Business operating system. The low-end Linux version, which sports a 1GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM--is probably the closest matchup for the Eee. The Vista machine we review here today sits at the top-end with a 1.6GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM.
    I'm glad to see healthy competition in this market. I know some people are going to hate the non-standard stuff going on with these laptops and there's going to be some dirty tactics to 'lock-in' countries to purchase only a certain brand for schools (*cough* Intel/Microsoft *cough*) but these prices are going to continue to be driven down. Which from $400-$500 is a great price!

    While it may not be the year of Linux on the desktop, it's certainly the year of Linux on the super freaking tiny notebook that is difficult to type on (yes, I know what a USB keyboard is).
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by ceroklis (1083863)
      Haven't you heard of USB keyboards ?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mollymoo (202721) *

        (yes, I know what a USB keyboard is)
        Haven't you heard of USB keyboards ?

        Like, huh? Seriously, huh?

        (aside: The keyboard on the Eee I'm typing this on missed six keypresses during the typing of this post. Make that seven, no, nine.)

    • by wytcld (179112)
      I don't get the keyboard size complaint. I'm 6'6", with hands sized to match. I can type on the Eee as easily as on the normal-sized Happy Hacking keyboard on my workstation. And that's touch typing, fast.

      It's only when I go to my Zaurus clamshell that my typing slows to the two-fingered kind. Getting used to typing on the Eee is like getting used to a neck on an unfamiliar guitar. For the first ten minutes the new geometry interferes with coordination. After that, the fingers adjust so that the difference
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dbcad7 (771464)
      The HP looks pretty good.. Don't care for Suse though.. Am sure it would run Xubuntu (pretty sure anyway), but I wonder about getting it to do the compiz thing like the EEE with the Via graphics chip they have on the HP.
    • by Kadin2048 (468275)
      I've been thinking for a while about purchasing one of the subnotes. Not as a primary computer or even a primary notebook, but as an alternative to the giant and totally impractical company-issue 19" notebook.

      The EeePC 900 seems like it may be the leader right now; I was intrigued by the original EeePC but having that tiny screen surrounded by a giant bezel smacked of wasted space. I don't mind using a 7 or 8" screen, but if I am, I want the whole device to be that size. If it's big enough for a 9" scre
  • OK, so maybe I was premature when I said that the similarities with Apple would end with the colours, but I didn't want to spoil the surprise! Just like on the MacBook Air, you can zoom in and out of images by pinching your fingers together, or pulling them apart.
    How are the Apple lawyers going to like this? Second, can it do all the other things the MultiTouch can do? The killer feature on my MacBook Pro is 2 finger scrolling, 2 finger right click, etc.
    • And the interface sounds strikingly similar to At Ease [toastytech.com]
    • From TFA:

      Asus has come up with a far better method. Instead of having to place your finger right at the edge of the touchpad to scroll, the Eee PC 900 will let you scroll from anywhere in the touchpad, as long as you use two fingers
      Apparently ASUS came up with this feature, and I've just been imagining using it on Mac laptops for the last few years.
      • Re:Multi Touch (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:48AM (#23089462)
        I was under the impression that this was "invented" (yes MultiTouch has been around for a long time according to the Wiki [wikipedia.org]Fingerworks.

        In 1998, Fingerworks, a Newark-based company run by University of Delaware academics John Elias and Wayne Westerman, produced a line of multi-touch products including the iGesture Pad.
        Then Apple bought Fingerworks (according to [engadget.com] many rumors [macrumors.com]) and got all their IP and technology. I haven't run across any info on ASUS having this technology first. Unless they're the ones that bought Fingerworks and then licensed the technology to Apple.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stoolpigeon (454276) *
      It would be nice if the apple lawyers got all riled up about it, and it got enough attention that everyone new any company claiming sole rights to something so obvious should be slapped upside the head. Even better would be if this slapping actually took place in court so no one else would have to worry about apple bothering them over something so idiotic.
  • Swell... (Score:5, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:42AM (#23089348)
    It's a new low for /. when "First!" appears in a story title.
  • by athloi (1075845) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:47AM (#23089434) Homepage Journal
    What people like about the Eee is that it does 90% of what a computer does for the price and portability of a cell phone.

    Toying with that formula is unwise. Instead, further pare down the bloated Xandros and XP installs so that people can use a 4-8 GB machine.

    I thought they were going to install Intel's Atom in the next revision?

    Regardless, the Eee is an important step for open source and Linux. See Asus Micro Laptop Brings Linux to the Desktop [chrisblanc.org].
    • by mollymoo (202721) *

      The Atom isn't out yet, it'll be used in the next revision of the Eee apparently, perhaps as soon as next month. Asus wanted to rush this model out to gouge the market for maximum profits as quickly as possible (and £110 more than the 4G for an extra 2" of screen and 16GB of flash is some serious gouging). Asus's CEO basically admits this in this very informative interview [laptopmag.com]. The quote I'm referring to is "I think this is the initial price. I believe in June the market will decide the price and it can

  • by sltd (1182933) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:50AM (#23089502)
    From TFA:

    Yes the price is higher than the previous model, but I personally believe that the Eee PC 900 still represents staggering value for money.

    Thank you, Miss Teen South Carolina.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I personally believe that American kids in such as in Europe and South Africa don't have Linux because they don't have ISOs.
    • Mmmm, yeah, ike the opposite is possible - "I IMPERSONALLY believe"...

      RS

      • by Kelbear (870538)
        The use of the word "personally" emphasizes the "I". While it could be considered grammatically redundant, given the context of a mixed audience of both careless and anal-retentive readers, it serves to reinforce the point that he is merely making a statement with regards to his belief in the value rendered.

        This reduces the likelihood that a careless reader will review his words and misunderstand his point to read:

        "Yes the price is higher than the previous model, but the Eee PC 900 still represents staggeri
  • Evangelize (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PinkyDead (862370) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @09:09AM (#23089808) Journal
    I saw a post the other day pointing out that Asus were not evangelizing Linux - it just happened to be the best O/S for their needs.

    Well you could've fooled me. They're doing a better job than those that are doing it deliberately. 20G vs 12G, sweet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mollymoo (202721) *
      Sounds to me more like Microsoft "requested" they don't sell the Linux version any cheaper than the XP version. Making two models of the hardware doesn't make much sense otherwise.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nicklott (533496)

      Who'd have thought that one company actually *doing* something could evangelize linux better than a million geeks screaming at each other through the ether...

      All it needs now is for *one* major game developer to port their games to linux and "Linux on the Desktop" might cease to be an oxymoron. (valve is the obvious one for me. They're obviously not going to port every game, but with steam you would get to see all they have at once.) Of course it would kill some people to use a closed source app on their s

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @09:25AM (#23090050)
    I had the previous version of the eee and returned it after a few weeks. I bought it to use while traveling and it was functionally fine. But when I tried to use it in my lap (at conferences and on the bus, train, etc.), it had an annoying habit of flopping over onto its back. With the battery in the back undre the the hinge, there is not enough weight under the keyboard. When used at the slightest incline, it flops onto its back (to view the screen well you have to tilt any laptop down a bit when it is resting on your thighs). Hopefully they fixed this problem with the new version. Where did the speakers move to? if they put them up front that might help.
  • Unless there is absolutely some major reason you need Doom and the heavyweight versions of office applications with you at all times, you can do better with an HPC Pro machine.

    I picked up a couple of NEC MobilePro machines for $50 on eBay. Windows CE 3, with Pocket Office, Pocket Internet Explorer, etc. I also picked up a Cabletron Roamabout PCMCIA wireless card for $10 with free shipping.

    I get:

    - Touch-type-able keyboard same as Eee PC
    - Less weight
    - Less bulk
    - Instant on, instant off
    - MS Pocket Office and a
    • Unless there is absolutely some major reason you need Doom and the heavyweight versions of office applications with you at all times, you can do better with an HPC Pro machine.
      I don't know if you've noticed, but hardware has come a long way since Doom was released. There's even a port for my (three-year-old) mobile phone.
    • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @10:44AM (#23091500) Journal
      Sorry, but I've USED Windows CE before.

      I know just how terribly unresponsively it performs.
      I know how terribly limited the selection of available software is
      I know how crippled all the "pocket" apps are.
      I know just how completely lacking external hardware drivers (eg. printers) are.

      If you need more than something that just barely lets you type basic documents and sync them with your desktop, WinCE is a lame duck.

      The HPC form-factor is quite nice, but the realities of using one for any length of time is not so pleasant.
       
      • That was my point in a way.

        The vast majority of mobile professionals outside of IT ONLY need to use Word and Excel. The Pocket Word and Pocket Excel apps work fine in most cases and for those that done, there a full versions of office apps available for $100 or less from several vendors.

        I don't sync mine. It's got a 4GB CF card for data storage and a wireless card and am running Samba on my home PC. I just come home, open my shared folder over the wireless network, and copy documents back and forth.

        I'm a wr
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jhol13 (1087781)
      Screen: 640 x 240 ... try to run Firefox or Netbeans on that. Something I do with EeePC without problems.
  • and this would make the perfect device for my sensibilities.

    First make a dockable bluetooth headset so that it will recharge and be available when I want it, not sitting on my desk where I forgot it.

    Second, add a cell phone with a sim chip slot so I can transfer my cell service onto the laptop.

    I think that this is where they are heading, especially seeing as the Intel atom cpu they are scheduled to switch to has cell network capability built in.
    • I think that this is where they are heading, especially seeing as the Intel atom cpu they are scheduled to switch to has cell network capability built in.
      No it doesn't. Where did you read this?

      I'm hoping that the next EeePC 9xx with Atom will have an ExpressCard/54 slot (even if it sticks out a bit when populated) for things like 3.5G modems and so on.
  • From The Article:
    because Asus has come up with a far better method. Instead of having to place your finger right at the edge of the touchpad to scroll, the Eee PC 900 will let you scroll from anywhere in the touchpad, as long as you use two fingers.

    I am surprised that nobody else has thought of this feature:-P Great going Asus for being a real innovator.
  • by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @10:18AM (#23091010) Homepage Journal
    I bought an EEE PC a month ago. Just last week I enabled the expert desktop mode after some fiddling around with a stubborn synaptic(ugh just purge the finicky entries, won't you?). I find it a lot easier to use than my Ubuntu server sitting downstairs(on a 700Mhz Athlon). Is it the speed? No. Ask me where I can set the mouse wheel scroll speed on the Ubunutu machine, and I won't know. Easily found it via the large-size Control Panel equivalent on the EEE.

    Initially, I balked at the idea of having Linux run on such a nice piece of hardware, thinking I would switch to Xp instantly. Nope, I will keep it, even after years of frustration trying to use Linux as a workstation before. I'm not running it out of Linux advocacy, I'm running it since it actually freakin' works this time. Actively using google's apps already(gmail, etc), it was a nice little touch to have them linked already on the little frontent.

    Sure, I can't quite get gcc running yet to compile downloaded apps, but I'm doing just great everywhere else. Hooking it up to a keyboard, mouse & monitor makes it a nice little workstation.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by domatic (1128127)
      ASUS has recently released an SDK for these. It may be better and easier to install that on a larger machine and just transfer over compiled packages and install them. Also, I don't recommend this procedure for everyone but I got away with chucking in a source line for Debian Etch and did an "apt-get upgrade" NOT "dist-upgrade". This works well because the Xandros loaded on the unit is based on Etch. So anything I want now can be built on one of my Etch machines and installed easily. Basically as long
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      Hooking it up to a keyboard, mouse & monitor makes it a nice little workstation.

      The monitor is the bit that really bugs me about this machine. It's 2008, and it comes with a VGA connector. Monitors without analogue inputs are becoming increasingly common, and even those that support them typically now are digital devices with an analogue to digital convertor for legacy support. Looking at the pictures, there's enough space on the case for a DVI port, so why isn't it there?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by twalk (551836)
        Adding a DVI port would probably raise the cost by $5-$10, a real no-no on a extremely low cost product. Also many projectors only have VGA. (Which BTW is about the only reason you see an external monitor connector on a laptop anymore.)
  • FREEEEE (Score:5, Informative)

    by Yeb (7194) <moe@alephobjecLA ... m minus math_god> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @10:27AM (#23091156) Homepage
    I am working on a project to "liberate" the EeePC so it runs only Free Software as defined by the Free Software Foundation.

    Already, most of the bits are there, but need to be patched in to the kernel (e.g. ACPI, "eee.ko", ATL2 ethernet). There is no free wifi driver working yet, but it is actively being worked on as a part of ath5k.

    The other main non-free part is the BIOS. Hopefully someday we'll be able to get coreboot running.

    My notes, docs, code, etc:
    http://www.blagblagblag.org/pub/BLAG/developers/jebba/eee/ [blagblagblag.org]

    git repository of patched kernel:
    git://blaggit.blagblagblag.org/linux-freeeee

    -Jeff

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