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1Ghz+ with the eeePC

3/22/08 - 11am

The eeePC comes from Asus with the FSB clocked down to 70mhz (from 100mhz), forcing the 900mhz Processor to operate at 630mhz. The handy tool eeectl lets you adjust the FSB clock as well as voltage modes on the fly. Regaining 900mhz is easy and with some moderate tweaking you can even go a bit beyond:

eeePC overclocked to 1Ghz+

You can see eeectl running in the bottom right.



On the eeePC:

2/28/08 - 6pm

The eeePC is a 7″ Asus notebook. After reading a couple hours on eeeuser.com I ordered one through Newegg. I purchased the 4G model, which has a 4GB Flash Drive (no hard drive at all.) I also picked up 2GB of RAM and an 8GB SDHC card for a total of 12gb of storage.

The eeePC compared to my regular 14.1″ laptop:
eeepc_vs_v2000_1024.jpg

The eeePC comes with the Linux distribution Xandros which has two modes: Easy & Advanced. I really enjoyed the Easy setup (even though it looks more like a PDA than a computer interface), however, in the end I opted to go back to the only thing I truly know and love: XP.

The installation of XP on a computer like the eeePC is no walk in the park so Jonathan took care of it- and as such I’m eternally indebted to him. There is no cd-drive so we gutted the insides of an external hard drive and raided another computer for a cd-drive, creating an external-usb-cd-drive for the ‘E’. Jonathan then used Nlite to install Xp without all of the unnecessary bloat.

The install itself was quite a setup:
eeepc_xp_install_1024.jpg

The eeePC is certainly unlike any other computing device I have ever used. The technology crammed into it is absolutely amazing- it even feels like it should cost ~$2k (but actually costs <$500). Its also the most attention getting gadget I’ve seen in a while. I was stopped 3 times on the first day I had it at lunch with people asking about it. (take that MBA!)

Unfortunately, the reality is the size does hinder its usefulness. The keyboard is simply unbelievably small- My fingers take up about two keys. It would be better to imagine this as a really large blackberry keyboard than a miniature laptop one. It is there for mild convenience and functionality, but you’d never find me actually typing on it. I believe I’m faster ‘pecking’ at the keys than attempting proper F/J-placement typing. The screen is also rather inhibiting, but I’ve found that with proper tweaking it isn’t too much of an inconvenience. Other high points: Battery life is good and the wifi is the best I’ve ever seen – literally better than any other wireless device I’ve come in contact with.

For me, this makes a perfect grab & go computer. I’ve already put together a station of sorts for it at home. This consists of a base (a textbook will work fine), a usb keyboard, usb mouse, and my headphones. I know: its a hardly portable setup and it actually looks ridiculous. Honestly, though after I set it down and plug in the 3 accessories, it is everything to me that my full-size laptop is.

eeepc_gmail_1024.jpg

In the end, its simply a fun mobile gadget that is too constrained for any serious work. Not bad for a few hundred bucks…

eeepc_full_setup_1024.jpg



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