[SATLUG] Asus EeePC 4G

John Choate jdchoate at gmail.com
Fri May 30 18:34:02 CDT 2008


Just thought I'd share this...

My boss got one of these yesterday:
(right after typing all of the following, Asus' web site is down... so keep 
trying the link from time to time)
http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=24&l2=0&l3=0&l4=0&model=1907&modelmenu=2

The simplified system and GUI  that it came with was very simple and neat, 
though not too impressive. Needing a more thorough system my boss got a slim 
Western Digital USB 250G external had drive for it and we connected a 
portable DVD drive. I installed Mandriva 2008.1 Spring after a successful 
live CD test. The EeePC has a fairly 'normal' American Megatrends BIOS and 
was easy to choose the USB drive as the primary hard drive and select it in 
boot priority options.

It runs great. The built-in wireless is an Atheros adapter and it worked on 
the first try, as did the built in ethernet. We used rfbdrake (VNC) to get to 
his MS Vista desktop and it worked perfectly, although scaled to 800x600: 
larger than the EeePC's highest resolution.
We also tried a Sprint Sierra Wireless AirCard 595U for a third networking 
option. The sierra module loaded automatically when it was plugged into USB 
with no effort or configuration from us. We successfully got it accessible 
and dialing out through /dev/tty/usb0 with kppp; it acquires an IP address. 
No data transfers were happening so we need to experiment with some 
configuration and his Sprint account info, but it was late in the day so we 
gave up for the weekend. I'm positive it will work.

Everything else works well including audio and 3D acceleration with the Intel 
graphics chip. Most OpenGL screen savers work well, though some from the 
rss_glx package had poor performance but I was expecting much worse.
Compiz-fusion works great, but I had to turn it off because program windows 
could not be ALT-dragged above the top of the screen if they were too tall to 
reach buttons displayed below the bottom of the screen. The 800x480 max 
resolution is pretty tiny, but most of KDE scales well and everything looks 
good and is easy to read text. Openoffice Calc 2.4 opened quickly enough and 
scaled well and looked good.
Supposedly it has a webcam built in, though I didn't think to test it. That 
will happen next week.

I had been doubtful about these machines, but after this success, I think I'm 
gonna get one.


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