My mini notebook!

Yuhu!

I finally got it! I remember posting here something about an Asus eeePC. Well, that was quite a long time ago. Two months? Wuah… I knew I was indecisive, but not at that point. After reading some reviews, I wanted to buy a 901 with a GNU/Linux OS. Unfortunately, that version was only available with a Windows XP OS (at least in all the Dutch shops I went). You should know that I don’t like that OS. Thus, I was quite disappointed, and waiting for some miracle. Fortunately enough, today a made a quick decision. The quickest of my life.

Shopping

I went out with my colleagues for lunch, and we enter Dixon’s, an electronics shop. We wanted to buy a Fax for the company, and look at the smartphones. By pure chance, we also took a look at the mini-notebooks exposition. There was the eeePC 1000H (XP), an Acer Aspire (XP), an eeePC 901 (XP), and then a Acer Aspire One.

Acer Aspire One (AAO) box

This one had Linux Lintus “something else” installed. Even though I had no idea what kind of distribution it was, that was one point. Next, the keyboard had “PgUp” and “PgDn” keys, and a big right “Shift”. One colleague told me that the eeePC keyboard is not so practical, after all. He has one, so… The design was also nice. Another point. Finally, the price was below 300 euro. They kidded me about buying it. Ummm… and why not? I’ve been waiting so long, and I like this one. It has only 512MB RAm, and only 8GB SSD hard drive, but an Atom CPU, enough USB and SD slots (even a multi card reader), WiFi… So, while the others were looking at the mobiles, I told the seller that I wanted to buy it. I was lucky, because it was the last one. When they saw me with my little box, my colleagues were quite surprised:

– Ga je het bestellen?
– Nee, ik ga meenemen! 😉

(are you ordering it? no, taking away!)

Of course, I guess it will be cheaper to order it by Internet, but I don’t care. The only thing I know for sure, is that I’m writing this post on my new mini-notebook. Haven’t you noticed?

AAO - Haven't you noticed?

After more than one hour playing with my new toy, I have my back and shoulders a bit destroyed, so I’ll do a pause.

Review

Ok, after washing the dishes, let’s review my little “thing”. I’ll be short. The first thing I’ve done, after a hard day working, is to take some pictures. Then, install the battery, plug the DC adapter and boot it.

AAO - First steps guide

The first screen asks for a language (no Japanese included), and then a user password I still haven’t used. After that it reboots and configures itself. Don’t ask for bootup times. More or less 20 or 30 seconds. There is no login screen, but directly a menu divided in:

Connect: Browser, Messenger, E-mail, RSS Reader, Wikipedia, Google Maps and Hotmail (!?)
Work: Writer, Spreadsheets, Presentation, Calendar, Contact, Calculator and Notes
Fun: Media Master, Photo Master, Games, Webcam and Paint
Files: My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, My Videos, My Downloads, My Files

There is also a Settings menu and a Help button, that shows the same printed manual but in PDF format. Personally, I immediately missed a Terminal button or application, but I think that for a “simple” user is more than enough. The browser is Firefox version 2.0.0.14, and Writer is OpenOffice 2.3. The rest of apps I haven’t used yet.

AAO - Menu

Things I dislike?

– Why the windows decoration are so similar to Windows XP?
– Where is my Terminal?

Things I like?

– Is simple!

Setting a network was so simple as clicking on the networks button on the taskbar, and selecting my WiFi network. I previously configured this one with WEP. Connection was really easy to set up. I only had a problem when rebooting, after some software updates. That is also nice, as soon as you get connected to the Internet, the system ask you to update. It worked, but while I was looking for a terminal and already making some changes, the system asked for a reboot, disconnecting form the network. After the reboot, the system didn’t remember the key, so it was failing continuously. Hopefully, I had found the terminal by then, and could solve it.

It took me some minutes to find the terminal. I looked on the Manual (RTFM, remember?), but no clue. Then on Settings. Nice settings, but nothing there either. At least after a simple search. Hey! Did you say search? There is a search menu on top, and you can select Internet or Desktop. Let’s search “terminal” on the desktop. Bingo!

All the icons, manuals, and also executables are there. A double tap on /usr/bin/Terminal does the trick. A well-known window appears before my eyes:

AAO - Terminal found!

I start configuring the hostname, /etc/hosts, and other settings, only to find out I have no network. The update, remember? After the reboot, my changes are lost. I hope is a temporary issue. I really need to personalize my mini notebook! There is also no SSH client, and, even worse, no apt-get!!!! How I am supposed to install software? Argh!!! Anyway, I will discover later. To solve the network disconnection issue, I used iwconfig ath0 key MYKEY. Connected! 😛

First impression

My first impression is good. It’s not the most powerful computer I have ever seen, but is more responsive than my previous Celeron @850MHz. I could sent an e-mail with GMail with an attachment. Uploading a picture was as easy as removing the SD card from my Ixus, inserting it on the multi card reader, and browse to select the picture. I think that can be really helpful when traveling. I can just uploading pictures from an SD card and then continue taking photos with a second one. I can also write a post from my bed or the sofa.

Keyboard and screen are small, is true, but the resolution of the 9 inch screen is enough (1024×600). I still have to test with an external monitor. Vertical and horizontal scrolling are also possible, but not with 2 fingers (as in MAcBooks and eeePCs). I’m not so used to trackpads, so I don’t know if my trouble to scroll is due to my lack of experience or the notebook.

AAO - Me after review

What I’m really happy is about the software. Purchasing a computer with no Microsoft license makes me feel better. Is not that I hate Microsoft, no, but I think alternatives such as GNU/Linux distributions should also be distributed with computers. Then users can choose want they want. Really, this computer is simple. No strange names for the applications, just generic names, easy to use by anyone. However, behind, you know there is a GNU/Linux, with GNOME programs, and eventually a terminal somewhere, so you can tweak it. I think the computer industry should embed more Free Software on their products. I mean, there are no licenses issues, they just have to pick up a suitable distribution, make some modifications to it and install it on their products by default. Xandros on the eeePC and this Fedora derivative are good examples. Well, I don’t really know if they are hidden proprietary drivers inside, but that would be really stupid. Why not to make the whole product free, as in Freedom?

Well, time to upload some pictures, link them here and go to sleep! 😉

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5 Responses to My mini notebook!

  1. Tomeu says:

    Bona jugueta!

  2. Mateu says:

    Bones Xesc!

    Bona compra, jo fa un temps que tenc el Ausu eeePC 701 i me va de meravella, ja me diras que tal el 901. Això si, el Xandros me va durar ni 5 minuts. Era massa fàcil :).

    Bueno, ja me coneixes, deixar una debian ben configurada i que vagi tot fi, un cap de setmana i llestos!! je je.

    Salutacions!

  3. toni2 says:

    Mmmm… en su momento me llegaron rumores de que los Acer son bastante caca 😛 vete con cuidado! 😉

  4. […] de quasi 40, no arribava als 15 euros! Ara mateix l’estic carregant via el port USB del meu mini-notebook. Esperem que hi pugui aficar música des del meu GNU/Linux, car segons els requeriments necessit […]

  5. […] and thanks also to Seth (was called Isis), my new IT equipment, with which I’m updating my blog lately. I’m […]

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