Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My EeePC

I thought I would put down a few thoughts about my laptop.

I have avoided moving into the laptop market for two main reasons. The first reason is because if the thing dies I can't fix it myself. I have no difficulty pulling a desktop or tower to pieces and replacing the dead cards or even the power supply, but I am no good with a soldering iron.

The second reason is that I do not like working with Microsoft. I have always said that if I was going to have a laptop it would have to be Linux compatible.

So now I have a laptop. There are several things that encouraged me to buy this unit. First and foremost, the price. Half the cost of any other laptop I had looked at. Then there was the fact that it came with Linux installed. :-) And there was not much to go wrong with the thing. No inbuilt DVD to start with. And I got a full years warranty.

Now I have added some bits to it. I don't always take all of this with me when I travel, but being able to plug these bits into the USB system gives me a huge amount of flexibility.
  • An external DVD. A double benefit. I can use this with any computer I have access to. If it dies, I am not buying a new laptop.
  • A 250GB mini SATA hard drive. This also can be used on any other computer.
  • An external mouse. There is an inbuilt mouse/finger board that works fine if you are traveling, but it is not as easy to use as a standard mouse.
  • An external keyboard to use at home. The on board keyboard is great when you are out and about, but I can type at normal speed with a full size keyboard.
  • An external full size monitor. The on board screen with its scroll bar is adequate if you are not at home, but if you plug in the external you get the benefit of whatever pixel size screen you use.
I was quite happy with the setup of the unit as it came. It has this easy to use set of icons. You just move to the category you want to work with and select the program. Any new computer user would be able to work this system without any lessons in Linux at all.

But then I was surfing the net and discovered a very interesting website dedicated to this little thing. The Link I found on Google is here. Eee PC Tips: A crash course in Linux - Download Squad
This site helps you to move from the newbe type screen to a standard Linux desktop. I followed the instructions and now I have two choices. I can stay in the simple desktop or move to the standard one after booting.

Once I had this installed I decided to look further. I tried the Debian site mentioned but was not able to connect. Not to be put off, I searched for other Debian sites and found one that was available. Now I have MySql, lighttpd and PHP5 on the SATA hard drive. Everything you would ever need :-) Well this week anyway.

So my overall opinion? I realy do not think you would be sorry if you got one of these little Eee PC units. I am very happy anyway.