Getting the most out of your Eee PC
Posted on: 01/15/2008 09:03 PM
bit-tech published a feature that outlines some ways to get the most out of your Asus Eee PC
I've been using the device fairly heavily for a few of weeks now and overall I've been really impressed with it. It's light, small and sturdy and has a great feature set for its price. It seems perfect for train journeys, with its quick boot up time and almost precisely the right size for sitting on chair-back tables seen on planes and trains. Not even my old X-series ThinkPad could manage that.Getting the most out of your Eee PC
One man's meat is another man's poison, and certainly many people will be put off by the 800 x 480 display resolution and lack of Bluetooth. Word on the street is that the new Eee PC will sport a higher resolution screen, and as much as I'm now used to the smaller screen -- most websites are designed for 1024x768 screens, so this will be a welcome addition. The keyboard is a little tricky to get used to, and even now I constantly find myself pressing "up" instead of "shift", and "2" instead of "1". But for around £220, it still offers amazing value in my eyes.
The operating system is based on Xandros Desktop 4, which is in turn based on Debian Etch. Asus has changed a few things in the install, so it's not 100 percent compatible with Xandros, but it's very close. If you're a bit of a Linux fan, you might feel like just wiping the drive and installing EeeXubuntu, or Eeedora. However, I like to think of the Eee PC as a single function device, rather than a fully-fledged PC. It's got an OS that is designed specifically for that hardware, and it works well. Changing to a different OS is a recipe for lots of fiddling, slower performance and a much greater chance of things going wrong.
As new updates come out, they are rolled out using "Add/Remove Software". As Asus knows the OS is identical on all their machines, it makes rolling out such updates a lot easier -- this has already pushed out an update for Skype 2.0 during my time using the Eee PC.
The OS built into the Eee PC feels a lot like using a Psion device -- simple and speedy. You can get a virtual tour of the OS here. With FireFox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice installed as standard, I feel right at home as this combination of software is what I would be using on any Windows or Linux platform.
The OS isn't perfect though, so in this article I'll be showing you a few of the things I've changed to make the Eee PC feel more like a Me PC.