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I had thought the same thing, but until you actual see and try one of these eee PC's, you have no idea how much more portable they are, even than a 13" laptop.
 

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I had thought the same thing, but until you actual see and try one of these eee PC's, you have no idea how much more portable they are, even than a 13" laptop.
This sums it up perfectly.

As an example here: I had just gotten a new wireless router, and was trying to optimize the signal strength for some of the other laptops in the house. I simply logged into my router's configuration page from the EeePC, and then monitored the signal strength on all wireless clients as I re-oriented the antennas to provide the best reception. Considering the cramped spaces of my networking "closet" the EeePC proved to be very useful here.

Another case was when I just had to check some information online quickly. Rather than pull out a big laptop and wait a minute for it to boot up, I simply logged in with the EeePC in about 20 seconds (from a fully-powered down state). It was just convenient for me (and this kind of task really doesn't need a Core 2 Duo processor to do).

For me, it's the little things like this that have made my purchase of the EeePC worth it. Before I had seen one in person though, I felt the same way as David did. The truth is, you cannot directly compare this on price alone -- portability plays a huge role. If you want an ultra-portable notebook (that would still be bigger than the EeePC), you'll pay a premium for it.

That said, the EeePC is not for everybody. If you need maximum performance, the EeePC is certainly not the computer for you.

Oh, and for those who don't care for Linux and think that the machine would be underpowered to run Windows XP, I have a solution: install Windows 2000 on it. That's what I have on there now, and it's extremely fast (not surprising, since Windows 2000 "recommends" a 366MHz CPU and 96-128MB of RAM).
 

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I myself will be getting the new eeepc when it becomes available here... the Linux version with 20 GB total storage capacity but I will be installing XP on it. For me, the primary reason I am getting one is because it has no hard drive. This means I can use it on the garage in the winter to watch streamed videos (Spinervals, etc.) while I ride my trainer. I used the laptop for this last winter until the hard disk started making high pitched noises.
 

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Well, I broke down and ordered a black 20G 900 eee PC from excaliberpc. It has been accepted by USPS in San Jose, so we'll see how long it takes. Sometimes, my impatience can cost me! Of course the day after I order it, all of the new models from Asus and others are announced at Computex.
 

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I could see myself get a new one before the end of this year. Really useful to show pictures to friends on the road or search for info when sipping a coffee after a long bike ride.
 

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If you aren't in a rush, you may as well wait at least a month to see how everything shakes out in the netbook class of computers. The Computex trade show is just finishing up, and virtually every company is making a similar product to the eee PC, with Dell, HP, Acer, and MSI appearing to be the main competitors. This should bring the prices down a bit. Each one has it's own pros and cons depending on your needs. ie. regular HD vs Solid State drives, XP vs linux, screen sizes, keyboard layout, battery life, cpu (Celeron vs Atom vs Via), colour, bluetooth, gps, etc.
 

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Technically, ASUS has opened a new market for small but very useful portable. Like you say, if these companies are coming on board with their own small version of this market, chances are there will be a price war. This in fact will be good for us. Kinda looks like when VIA came out with their tiny 6 inches by 6 inches motherboard, the mini-itx. It wasn't long after when other companies wanted to build micro-micro computers.
 

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Well, I received my new toy this morning. Pretty slick little unit. I'll try to use it as is for a week or so before I start trying different linux OS's on it.
 

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Well, it has been a week now, and I must say that I really like this unit (the 900). I do like my toys, but this one is better than I ever could have expected. I actually ended up leaving the default Xandros installed because it boots up so darn fast - about 15 seconds. I have also just installed Ubuntu onto a cheap 16 GB SDHC card for kicks.

This thing rocks!!! :D
 

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I just purchased a 900 myself (Linux model) and will post a review of the unit on YouTube once I've had a chance to try out different operaring systems on it.

What I can say for now is that I'm not a big fan of the default Xandros OS. I haven't figured out yet how to install my own software on it. I want the GIMP, VLC Media Player, OpenOffice.org 2.4 (Xandros only has 2.0)...

Luckily, there's a group out there that created an Ubuntu distro which includes all the drivers for the EEE PC. This way you don't have to hunt them down and install them yourself. I'll be evaluating it in my review. http://www.ubuntu-eee.com

I can understand the dilemna Asus had with the XP option. If they used the same 20GB model for the XP install, the street price for the 900 would easily reach $650, putting it at the same price point as regular sized bargain notebooks which usually have more power, more memory, more HD space, a bigger screen size, and an optical drive.

If you do want the 20GB model with XP however, you can still get it. Buy the Linux model, then buy an OEM copy of XP. I've already confirmed that Xp Pro and the Asus drivers will easily fit on the 4 GB drive, with 1 GB of HD space to spare -- at least until the incessant Windows update files start gobbling up all the free space! :mad:
 

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I have nlited XP on my EEPC and have over 3 gb of space left. I used the CDHC 16GB card for my program files directory. It works perfectly and really like this little machine. Easy to handle and I bring it anywhere with me.
 

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A fairly decent review for the most part, although it definitely seems to show a strong bias towards W2000. You mention how "with tweaks" you can achieve certain performance levels with W2000, which suggests that this can not be achieved by tweaking other OS's. Perhaps you just don't know how to tweak the other OS's as proficiently?

Also, there were a few outright errors regarding the default Xandros system. You are NOT "disconnected from the underlying OS like a PDA" You still can easily install new software by pressing Control-Alt-T to open a terminal and install any piece of software you want, including the latest OpenOffice. The instructions are on the eeeuser wiki, if you cared to look.

A few curious notes: my wireless WPA worked out of the box on Xandros, so I am not sure what the difference is between our setups. Also, Ubuntu requires just a few minor "tweaks" as you call it, to get it running 100% including wireless, hotkeys, webcam, microphone, etc.

Anyways, like I said, for the most part a decent, albeit not great review. ;)
 

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The principle Windows 2000 "tweak" involved moving the swap file to the secondary SSD, a reasonably simple and quick procedure that dramatically improves the computer's performance. The other required tweak is eliminating Firefox's disc cache. That's pretty much all you need to do to the Win2K installation.

Windows XP does benefit from the same tweaks as Win2K. But to increase performance, you'll also need to disable a few services that take up too much room for no valid reason, and cut down on the system software bloat. Afterwards, you MIGHT still have enough room for all your software on the 4GB drive.

The problem with optimizing Ubuntu and Xandros is that you have to use a terminal window (1980s technology) to perform many of the tweaks. Ubuntu did improve this aspect by including the Synaptic Package Manager in the distro, which is much easier to use than the ever annoying Aptitude. But you still need to access a terminal window to modify the configuration files so the computer will power off properly, and redirect the log files to a virtual disk so the SSD drives aren't accessed.

Xandros' custom made package manager however is not only limited to their own selection of software, Aptitude's default package is also just as limited. You need to include a separate package source in Aptitude to get other software, a process I didn't want to try out because the entire process was already going way beyond the basic computer skills of most "humans" out there. And as far as "unlocking" Xandros was concerned, the process was way beyond my level of patience, and it's already been reported as being unreliable!

And as far as media playback under Linux is concerned, it's STILL a complete mess after all this time! I'm currently working on launching a Canadian television channel which will distribute its programming on the Internet via BitTorrent. So for me, a computer's ability to play back just about any video material out there is CRITICAL! And Linux simply doesn't cut it!

Windows 2000 did not win the OS battle because of the mistaken belief that I'm a "fanboy" of it. To be honest, I actually prefer Windows XP. But on a machine with such limited resources and storage space, the best operating system I could find for the EEE PC 900 was an operating system that dates all the way back to 1999.

When you think about it, that's pretty pathetic.
 

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You might want to qualify your review to make it clear that your perspective is for people with a Windows background. I agree that linux is definitely NOT for everyone, but your statement that
And as far as media playback under Linux is concerned, it's STILL a complete mess after all this time! I'm currently working on launching a Canadian television channel which will distribute its programming on the Internet via BitTorrent. So for me, a computer's ability to play back just about any video material out there is CRITICAL! And Linux simply doesn't cut it!
is a complete falsehood. It is your lack of familiarity and knowledge that makes it so.
 

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So which Linux based media player should I use that'll fully support DivX, XviD, H.264, OGM, QT, RM, WMV, MPEG, Huffyuv, and DV/HDV along with full support for .SRT, .ASS and .SSA subtitle track formats, and play as well or better than the Windows equivalent in a single downloadable package?

Or to put it another way, where can I find Zoom Player for Linux?
 

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There isn't a linux equivalent for what you are looking for. Stick with Windows for your needs. Both Windows and linux have their areas where they are better than the other. For your specific requirements, clearly Windows is better.

On a side note, what do you use huffyuv for? That is the only one that I can't seem to find a linux player for. I have never heard of huffyuv until you mentioned it. From what I can find, it hasn't even been updated since 2002!
 

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I'd like to buy an EeePC but I'll need the WindowsXP OC installed. Which version should I get? I'm going to be using the following programs:

MS Office
MS Publisher
Nero 7
InDesign
Photoshop CS3 (and definitely 2 Gb of RAM needed).
 

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Huffyuv is an older codec I once used years ago to record TV shows with Dscaler and my WinTV card. It's a near-lossless codec with incredibly low CPU usage, but which consumed a lot of HD space. It was the only codec I could use back then to record a TV show in real-time without killing the computer.

The problem with Linux is not necessarily with the players. Even under Windows, Zoom Player is but a single player amongst many which connect directly to the DirectShow filters that do all the decoding work. The main problem with Linux is that none of the video infrastructure is anywhere near the quality level of what's available under Windows. Even the VLC player had trouble with high definition material on more powerful computers where the Windows software ran flawlessly on the same machines.

The only way I'll understand what's happening in the Linux environment is by comparing the source code on both operating systems. Afterwards, I may be able to create the kind of player I'll need for my TV station since it'll become part of the automated broadcast system, which is why I need support for all of those video formats. Since my television channel will be a public access channel, I'll be receiving material in a wide varierty of formats, all suitable for television broadcast. It'll be a lot easier for me to feed the existing material in the broadcast chain than convert everything to the same format, degrading the image quality in the process.

I really want Linux to work out in this field. All the improvements we've seen over the years haven't altered the basic functionality of the operating system one bit, making even very old software just as reliable today as the day it was released. A single Windows upgrade however can easily break critical software components, which is the last thing I need on such a mission critical installation.

The last thing I want the audience to see is a BSOD. :)
 
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