Thursday, May 7, 2009

789th Post - More on the Asus EEE

As I mentioned last evening, I recently bought an Asus EEE 8G Linux-based computer. I thought I'd tell you a bit about it.

I had been pricing netbook computers for a couple of months. I really wanted one, but the price of a brand-new one in a store was really more than I wanted to pay. The Acer Aspire One series, the EEE series, several others, easily can cost $400 or so. By contrast, the CPU for the (desktop) HP computer I am typing this post on was just $297. Granted, this is last year's model, and it was part of a Boxing Week Sale promotion; but it is hard for my little brain to understand why I should have to pay a hunnert bucks or more for a device when a more powerful computer with much more storage and versatility cost much less and came with everything save for a monitor.

A month or so ago, I began looking on the local kijiji site for netbooks. I found even the used ones to be more than I really wanted to spend.

Finally, in the last 10 days or so, I found a couple of netbooks on kijiji that I liked and didn't require a loan application to get. And, they were both offered in the Annapolis Valley. Turns out that I would be there this past weekend. It was nearly kismet. But, which one to buy?

I decided on an Acer Aspire One with a few extra goodies like a leather case and so on. Buddy wanted $250. I spoke with him, and he was willing to drive to the part of the Valley I would be in.

During the course of our conversation, we became disconnected. That evening, I called him at his home number. Claimed that his phone died at that very moment. He couldn't talk any longer as he was getting ready for work.

The next day, Friday, I wrote him a couple of times, asking him more questions about the computer. No answer. Finally, during lunch, he wrote that his sister had dropped the computer down a flight of stairs, and it was therefore no longer for sale. Yeah, right.

I gave up on him and went back to kijiji, finding the Asus EEE 8G machine. I wrote that Buddy, asking if it were still available. It had been up on the site since March. He wrote me back within minutes to indicate that it was available. He gave me his number. I called, and he gave me some more information about the unit. We made arrangements to rendezvous at a New Minas Tim Hortons on Saturday morning at 10.

The next day, early, I drove to my parent's place. At 7:00 or so, I took my father for a hair cut, and I have related that event on this blog in the last few days. We ran the roads for a couple of hours before returning home, whereupon I took my mother shopping. We arrived at the store she wanted to go into around 9:55. I strolled over to where this fellow was parked. He showed me the computer. I liked it a lot. And I bought it, paying cash.

I am liking it quite a bit so far. The keyboard is a challenge. The keys are smaller than my grubby paws can easily handle, but I will get used to it over time. The mouse button is really a metal strip along the bottom of the touch pad. It is a little hard to press. But the touch pad is one I can tap, simulating a button depression. No big deal. Perhaps a future model with have two buttons, on the left and right hand side of the touch pad. That makes more sense to me.

I don't mind the screen. My very first computer back in 1985 was a CP/M machine called an Osbourne, and it had a five inch screen. The seven inch screen on the EEE is a luxury by comparison. I admire how they managed to cram in so much stuff in such a small space. And I have to wonder what the EEE series will look like in a couple of years when the technology has advanced that much further.

The amount of ram is pretty low, at 512MB. It is expandable to 2G, and I will do that at the first opportunity. However, this is not a Windows machine. It runs Linux. I feel quite at home when I open up a terminal session and use familiar unix commands to move around and get the lay of the land.

The machine comes with quite a few programs, utilities, and games. I want to download some more stuff, but the website that asus offers for its users doesn't have a whole lot of things on that interest me.

They have sold more than a million EEE units over the last 18 months or so. I am not surprised why. Overall, this is a smart machine. It is about the size of a hardcover book, the size that Danielle Steel writes, not the size that Stephen King writes. It weighs perhaps a kilogram.

And, no, I don't read Danielle Steel novels. I just see them in the store, ok? Shut up! Don't judge me.

I ordered a book today through Amazon that discusses how to make the most of your EEE computer. I know this stuff is all online, but having a printed resource like this can only help me get better, faster.

Check out the asus eee pc series. They're not for everybody, but for a second home computer, you could do a heckuva lot worse.



theajthomas said...

You should have gotten a mac. Mine saved a baby from a burning building once.

Bevboy said...

You're a strange little man. :-)

Thanks for coming to the contest today, AJ. Nice to have the support.