Back in 1998 I first laid my eyes upon the Sony Vaio C1 Picturebook. It was an amazing piece of machinery at the time, a super small subnote with some nice hardware. At over $2000 it was out of the price range for this recent college grad with no job. It wasn’t until late 2001 that I found myself able to purchase the C1. Three years since I first saw it, the Picturebook had undergone a slight case redesign, and was sporting the newly designed Transmeta Crusoe processor. After a little searching, I was able to find the latest model on an online auction, purchasing it for about $1200. Over the next few years, it faithfully served as my main computer. Extremely portable, it drew a lot of attention at the coffee shops. I still feel it is one of the best designed subnotebooks ever. Read more…
For the past several days I’ve been feverishly working on my document scanning project. I’ve been able to blow through several piles of bills and other papers. This project is going a lot faster than I thought, although there is a whole lot more for me to scan.
The scanner I am using is an old HP ScanJet 4200c I got for free. It’s probably not the best choice anymore for photos, but for documents it works just fine. Its main problem is that it will not hook up to my Mac mini. Apparently, the USB port is not a real USB port, but some sort of Parallel to USB converter, with no Mac drivers. However, it hooks up to my Eee just fine, so I’m able to work without shelling out money for a scanner.
Once my documents are out of the way, I’ll have to step up on the uncluttering part. I’m having separation anxiety trying to get rid of my beloved gadgets.
I’d tried bus wifi quite a while ago while using my Axim. It would connect to the router, but I could never get an internet connection. Right now, I’m on the bus with my Eee, writing on my blog. Sweet! The connection is quite good, seems to go very fast. I’ll have to try a speed test. I’m starting to wish I had a longer commute now.
Update: So I did my speed test. I wasn’t super fast, but was decent enough… free, on the bus, I can’t complain one bit.
Download Speed: 697 kbps (87.1 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 116 kbps (14.5 KB/sec transfer rate)
They were blocking whatever port IM uses, so I couldn’t chat with my friends.
Yesterday evening, I arrived at my mailbox to find a nice surprise. A post-it note from UPS, and my Asus Eee PC sitting in my apartment complex’s office. After unboxing and playing around with it for a few minutes, I must say it is a pretty nice gadget, especially at the $400 price range. I like it a lot. However, as a Sony Picturebook owner, I’m not in awe as some owners. For the past 7 years, I’ve owned a piece of hardware that is just slightly bigger than the Eee, as portability has always been the #1 prerequisite for my laptops. The Picturebook has a better quality screen with higher horizontal resolution (1024×480) and a better keyboard, while the Eee’s advantage is its internal hardware: faster processor, built-in networking, SD interface, 3 USB 2.0 ports, etc. It is nice to have a highly portable, light sub-note with modern hardware. As far as speed and usability is concerned, the Picturebook just wasn’t cutting it anymore. For e-mail and word processing it worked great, but with newer browsers, online video, flash, and AJAX web interfaces the Eee PC is where it’s at.
One thing to note, the Xandros OS that is included… it’s wonderful. Although I’ll probably be switching to Windows XP shortly, I’ve really enjoyed using it. Asus really has something here for target users who want to do all kinds of things on and off the web, without any hassles. With all the great open source software like Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office wrapped up in an easy to use OS, I wonder Windows popularity may start to waver.
As a gadget freak, it was just a matter of time before I caved in, I guess. My Christmas present this year is going to be the Asus Eee PC, and I can’t wait to get it!
After reading the reviews and the user group wikis, I have high hopes for this little wonder. Extreme portability is what I look for more than anything in my laptops, and the Eee is sure to deliver.
If things go as planned, I’ll be putting my older toys on the sales block.