As some of you may have noticed, I usually carry around a tiny little black laptop when I’m at Beer and Blog or at a coffee shop. Since people ask about it so much, I decided to write a few blog posts about it with this being the first.
What is it? Its an EeePC 1000 from ASUS (the same guys that make motherboards). Its a new type of laptop that is generally referred to as a netbook mainly because it lacks some of the features that a normal laptop has such as a cdrom, being heavy, a multi-core power sucking CPU, and a huge screen. Outside of that, its like any other laptop with a few other enhancements. In my case, this EeePC has these features which I love about it.
- Long battery life, claims one day computing (6+hrs)
- Solid State Drives (SSD) – no moving parts & better battery life!
- Multi-touch track pad
- Very usable keyboard (92% from a normal laptop)
- Lightweight (2lbs 15oz)
- Fast 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom processor
- 802.11n Wi-Fi and Blue-tooth
- 1.3MP web cam
I’ve used my trusty 15″ PowerBook for many years and I still use it, but its become more of a hassle to carry around with me. I’m a UNIX Admin, so I don’t need much on my laptop (xterm, Firefox, Thunderbird, and pidgin) to get work done and the EeePC was a perfect fit. The first models that ASUS releases for the EeePC didn’t appeal to me since they had a screen and keyboard that was too small for me to deal with. A good friend of mine (who also has the habit of being an enabler for me :P) purchased one for himself and kept raging about it. I was actually considering getting an upgrade for my PowerBook but didn’t want to pay $2K for a new MacBook, so instead I decided to get this EeePC forÂ around $500 (its down to $430 now).
Asus gives you two options for Operating Systems on these laptops: Windows XP or Linux (Xandros). Since I’m a Gentoo developer, I decided to give it a try on this laptop. I encountered a few issues of course, but overall I have all the hardware working. The only annoying thing so far is the wireless driver not being included in the mainline kernel, but that’s going to change soon I hope. There is an open source driver but its a little finicky to deal with on networks using any form of security passwords. But it does work!
In the upcoming posts, I plan to write about the following:
- How I installed Gentoo on it
- Gentoo tweaks I use on it
- Window management
- Firefox tweaks (yes, you need them!)
- How netbooks are helping promote Linux to the masses
I love my EeePC and you should get one too! :)
That’s right, come see my musical talents next Tuesday night from 6:30 – 8PM at Charlies Rhythm and Brews in Albany, Oregon. This will be our first gig ever as a group! We’ve been working hard since last September or so working out a set and we’re finally ready for the big scene. The group I’m in is jazz combo called The Infallible Collective. The group details are as such:
- Trumpet – Me!
- Electric Upright Bass – W.G. â€œMalkielâ€ Davies
- Guitar – Doug Meyers
- Drums – Kevin Van Walk
We’ll be playing a mixture of jazz standards (with a twist!) along with some originals compositions by the group. The style of Jazz we’ll be playing will range from â€™50s & â€™60s bop to Latin Swing & Bossa Nova to modern trip-hop and jams. It should be a good time! I’ll be posting a Facebook event about it soon.
See you there!
Beer and Blog at Fireworks was awesome tonight! Thanks so much to Ocean for getting the pizza’s lined up for us. It never ceases to amaze me about the tech community here in Corvallis. It may be smaller than Portland, but its certainly just as full of energy and ideas!
Tonight I overheard some discussions about getting other user groups going on a more regular basis centered around ideas created at Beer and Blog. I’m excited to hear new ideas like this coming out of these meet ups. It was certainly one of the goals and hopes I had when I decided to organize. Related to that, I’m planning on heading up to Portland on Saturday and help at the Calagator code sprint. While I don’t plan on helping with much coding, I do hope to get some feedback on some usability questions I had regarding a Corvallis Calagator based site I was working on. The Corvallis tech community is facing the same problems Portland had, but on a much smaller scale. There’s getting to be more and more events happening and people need an easy way to track it.
I’m actually hoping to utilize Calagator as more of a community driven calendar that includes events such as live music, arts events, and other community related events. WhileÂ I’m personally interested in a unified live music calendar, I’d love to see it used for a more wide range of events.
But back to Beer ‘n Blog tonight! It almost turned into a disaster for me tonight. I had just gotten to Fireworks when my pager started going off in a frenzy. By the end of it, my iPhone had about 100 text messages on it. I soon noticed that a group of servers in a set of racks next to each other appeared to have a power failure of some kind. Thankfully one of my students was still at work and took care of it. Almost everything came back online without any help from us which is amazing. I’m still waiting on the full story on what happened but it appears one of the electricians working on the power upgrade had tripped something on the power rail those servers were on. Talk about a headache! :(
Even though we didn’t have a real “topic” driven session tonight, I think a lot of people got help with their blogs and learned a few new tricks! Next week we’ll have Dawn Foster from Portland at Cloud 9 for a talk about Yahoo Pipes. I can’t wait!