Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Present.... The AUSUS EEE

This Year, I got my hands on one of the coolest items out there - an ASUS EEE netbook. While it's small0ish, the 6.5 hours of battery life, the 1.9 pound wieght and the 40 GB SSD drive with no moving parts adds much to this experience.

The PC comes with XANDRO LINUX installed. That is a pretty good system for non-linux geeks, though the first thing I did was switch it to K-Desktop so I could have access to many of the tools I'd come to know through usings LINUX in it UBUNTU and KNOPPIX flavors.

It's been a month now and I'm still quite happy with the EEE as it is with no plans to move it to clunky old XP. To have a quiet, long-lasting Micro$$oft-free system which weighs almost nothing has changed how I do things.


Boot-up: 20 seconds. Opposed to 3 minutes on my optimized Thinkpad.

SKYPE CHAT with VIDEO. The built-in webcam makes chatting with my friends in the UK a breeze.

Open Office: A Micro$$oft-Free Office package starts quickly and works flawlessly on spreadsheets and documents. Testing on the Presenter module for my church PowerPoint shows comes next.

Firefox Browser: Though a slightly slower startup than the XP version, the rowser work with all my Firefox add-ins and handled my bookmark updates flawlessly. I've tested it on blogs, YOU-TUBE banking, financial, and remote access to XP systems in my office.

Network Switcher: As an IT Manager, I use static IP's at several of my work locations. the built-in XANDROS Network app, once I figured it out, allows me to save all wireless secure and static IP Ethernet connections and switch between them as needed without a restart. I wish Windows came with that. I am using a dated shareware package on my XP which I expect to break after every new UPDATE. Oh yes, I could write scripts for NETSH, but I can't see my computer challenged friend in CT or my 79-year-old dad doing that. Yet my friend uses an EEE easily and Dad's birthday is coming soon.

Voice Recognition: I stumbled upon this one and it works. As I am using Dragon when my left hand doesn't remember how to type (usually when I am tired) this would be a great thing for me.


iTunes: I've yet to find an easy to use substitute for iTUNES in LINUX. As a previous LINUX user, I've sorted out K-mixer for playing MP#'s I've loaded some MP#'s and Podcasts on the EE and I can listen to them fine. But I'd like something a bit more intuitive for people like my friend and my dad.

Palm Pilot: At this point I am keeping the Thinkpad around because I live and die by my PALM Zire. I don't want it in my phone, I can't afford an iPHONE now so this is it. K-Pilot has not been updated in years and I'd kills for something which works with my 3-year-old ZIRE. The smartphone will come but not in this economy.

Blog Clients: Yeah I know, just use open office. It's well over time I brush up on basic HTML anyhow (sigh).

I'd be interested in see what any of you have to say about their LINUX EEE's. SOmeone at work had one with WINDOZE XP and I was NOT impressed or amused comparing the performance to mine.

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