- - posted in Ancient Archives

Partly to reassure myself that I wouldn’t be offline, just in case something happened at work, and partly because I’ve wanted a laptop since 1992, I gave in and bought an Eee from Microdirect before going away. I’d prefer a Mac, but since Apple don’t make tiny £250 laptops that I can use occasionally without worrying too much, I went for the Eee 900. Much less battery power than the Eee 901 and no built-in bluetooth, but a tiny £8 dongle fixed half of that, and the cheaper price, faster CPU and better Linux compatibility was a plus.

The keyboard was horrible for the first day or so but I seem to have adapted to it. The default Xandros-derived OS isn’t bad and would be great as a simple web-appliance (if has Firefox, Open Office, and Thunderbird, and can handle most everyday tasks quite well) but after a week I wanted to start fiddling about and installing more software, which simply isn’t available packaged for the Eee’s Linux. I’ve switched to using Eee Ubuntu and I’m very happy with it. Eee Ubuntu is not completely polished yet, and requires a few tweaks here and there, but it’s a massive improvement. However, having a 4GB system partition and access to Ubuntu’s rather large software collection does require a little more self-control than I’m used to.

If you’re interested in getting an Eee be aware that there are different types of Eee 900: some apparent bargains lack the faster 4GB SSD.