Cheap laptops

Asus Eee PC tabbed interface

I have the loan of an Asus Eee PC for a few days [ after which it goes to a deserving student ].

A colleague was using a class set with a 16-19 group. They had no trouble with the Linux/OpenOffice software, and they all wanted to buy one. I had similar reactions from University postgraduates and staff this afternoon.

This ready use of a Linux desktop by normal people is consistent with a conversation I had some years ago when Birmingham Libraries were using Sun workstations and a Linux desktop for the People’s Network. The librarian said that the younger people just adapted and the older people only used the Web and needed about 5 minutes to learn how to find sites.

I think low cost small solid state laptops are going to take off. But I’m still saving up for my Apple Mac Air…

...but what I really want is a umpc designed by Apple.

Asus Annoyances…

  • Wifi settings not remembered between sessions, and default to WEP as opposed to WPA
  • WebCam video software saves in OGG with no conversion software. Attempting to record sound and video results in sludge update of the video
  • KDE PIM is naff
  • No GIMP
  • Bin sound recorder and install Audacity
  • Caps lock has no visual indicator

Asus Likes

  • Wifi works
  • Open office saves to MS formats by default – cuts no end of support issues.
  • I really like the tabbed interface by task – I’ll try to build one of those for my Ubuntu box

Bodmas using Firefox full screen on the Asus Eee Pc

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