Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Swinging with the EeePC

EeePC. Just how are we supposed to pronounce it? My first instinct was to call it the "Triple-E PC". My friend says it as "Eeeeeeh-PC." But the official version is just, apparently, "E-PC."

And with that out of the way....

Yes, I bought one.

I first laid eyes on it last December. At a price tag of just a little under P19,000, it hovered somewhere in the threshhold of the buy-don't buy decision. So I vacillated. When I finally did decide to make the purchase, a couple of days after Christmas, all the units at my next door
Electroworld were already sold out. The manager told me she'd call me just as soon as the new stocks arrived.

Last weekend, five more units finally arrived. A little more hesitation. Oh, wait a minute, was I willing to go through another three weeks of wondering? Decided to make the purchase: it eliminates doubt and nets me a new toy to play with. (Oscar Wilde's witticism about temptation comes to mind.)

I've had it for a few days now, so what can I say?

Pros: Nifty little gadget, very portable for those trips. It's not much bigger than a regular 100-leaf notebook and weighs just a bit more. Crisp screen, WiFi, all solid state, fast bootup. Love it, love it, love it.

Cons: Cramped keyboard, cramped screen. Considering how big my hands are, it's really comical to see me typing away on the EeePC. But hey, I'm managing somehow (like I'm doing right now).

It's not a complete replacement for my trusty old IBM Thinkpad R50e, but for the places where a 2 kilo laptop is just clunky, the EeePC can't be beat.

So did I change the default OS to Ubuntu? I'll admit I was tempted to, but in my old age, I've gotten lazy and conservative. I really didn't want to go through the whole adventure of getting the hardware to work with the software, so I stuck with its customized Xandros. What I did do was rearrange the tabs and the contents to suit my working style -- not easy to do, sadly, but still manageable with some help from