I Gave Up My Notebook For An Eee PC: Day Two

coffee.jpgWaking Up To Wi-Fi Problems

After I woke up and did the normal morning scrubbing and grooming, I made like a bullet to the Eee PC in order to check my e-mail. I encountered a problem, however; the Eee Pc would not connect to the Web via my secure home network.

I tinkered with the system’s Wi-Fi settings, and after 10 minutes of withdrawl symptoms, hopped on my MacBook to search for a solution. I stumbled upon the Eeeuser.com forums, where a quick search revealed that many, many Eee PC users experienced similar frustrations. I learned that one of the quick and dirty fixes is to delete all preferred networks and enter a Wi-Fi set-up manually, which I did. After a quick reset, I was connected and a happy camper. At least for now.

Multimedia Fun With the Eee PC

I have most of my digital music backed up on an external drive, so when I wanted to listen to some tunes while ironing my clothes, I simply attached it to the Eee PC via USB 2.0. I transfered only a dozen or so songs to the Eee PC as I wanted to preserve some free space on the 4GB solid-state drive. Although the Eee PC’s music player isn’t exactly easy on the eyes, it offers a nice array of options like the ability to create playlists, listen to the most frequently played songs, and subscribe to podcasts.

I was pleasantly surprised with the sheer volume that the little guy could pump out; I actually preferred the Eee PC’s integrated speakers over my MacBook’s. The speakers flank the display, so audio is shot directly at you. Cool. Then in a moment of genius, I pulled out an old set of Logitech 2.1 speakers and connected it to the Eee PC via the headphone jack-WHOA. My floor began to vibrate as bass and drums of Sound Garden’s “Black Hole Sun” kicked in.

While in a multimedia state of mind, I decided to transfer over some photos and video with a SD card, which, by the way, made me realize just how much Apple stiffs owners of the consumer MacBooks. How is it that this $349 mini-notebook has an SD card slot and my MacBook doesn’t? Seriously, Apple, step it up. Video, for the most part, looked solid on the 7-inch, 800 x 480-pixel display, as did photos. Nothing spectacular, but not too shabby, either.

Takin’ It To The Streets

I usually have my 5-pound Apple MacBook in tow when I head out for some good times, just in case I want to check e-mail, find a new comedy spot, or write a piece in a pinch, but today I opted for the Eee PC. Typically, the MacBook would go into a notebook bag, but with the Eee PC’s small footprint and light weight, I carried it in-hand with no ill consequences.

While riding the subway to meet a friend at a coffee shop, I’d reckon no one noticed that I was even carrying a notebook until I opened it, powered on, and began to play several of the bundled casual games; it was then that I could feel the curious stares from the people sitting across from me. One of them made eye contact and asked if the Eee PC was a new version of the Nintendo DS, to which I gave him a run down on the system. I don’t think he knew what Linux was, but he seemed pretty awed by the machine as I gave him the explanation.

At the coffee shop, my friend Lauren was completely enamored with the built-in Solitaire. For her, the Eee PC is an oversized Nintendo DS. I guess the same could be said about our waitress who asked us about the “cute toy.”I kindly delivered another explanation, and began to wonder if I should charge Asus for all of this free marketing. It should be noted that I had no problems connecting to the Web using the shop’s open Wi-Fi.

More Home Networking Problems

After I arrived back home, I decided to jump online to check show times for the new Rambo flick, because, after all, nothing ends a day like mindless the violence issuing forth from someone old enough to be my gramps. Once again my home network would not play nice, and once again I jumped on my MacBook to find a solution. This is getting very, very irritating. Very irritating.

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  1. Dave Says:

    If you really want to turn the eeePC into a proper working tool, ditch the toy OS and install XP, all the problems go away………no more wifi problems, no more driver problems for cellphones. And it boots just as quickly.

    Whats better than an eeePC? an eeePC running XP!

  2. Phenoum Says:

    at least tell me you’ve moved to advanced desktop mode…..

    if not hop over to wiki.eeeuser.com and eat your heart out ;)

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Just go to advanced mode, and the “toy-OS” is a KDE desktop. No need to bloat the Eee with XP if all you do is checking mail and watching multimedia.

  4. Ander Says:

    Just go to advanced mode, and the “toy-OS” is a KDE desktop. No need to bloat the Eee with XP if all you do is checking mail and watching multimedia.

  5. Jaco Says:

    Don’t install XP. Too much unnecessary bloat for such a modest little machine. We have one and there’s no reason to replace the OS that comes with it. My wife can still run her Screenplay editing package CeltX on it, and there’s nothing else we’d want to do with it that it can not already do.

  6. Barbara Says:

    I had the same problem with my home network, and at first I solved it by turning off the automatic WiFi connection, and manually connecting each time I turned it on, which was a pain in the butt, but at least got me online each time.

    But then I switched to the advanced mode, and, just for the hell of it, put it back on automatic connection, and I haven’t had a moment’s trouble with the WiFi since. Don’t know why it would make that difference, but it did.

  7. Fred Says:

    Install XP with nLite so that you only install what you need. No bloat and more compatible software that linux OS installed on the eee pc.

  8. Mike Says:

    I noticed all your derisive comments regarding the MacBook … but … which of the two laptops you have there “just works”? ;)

  9. TacticalPenguin Says:

    An eee running XP has abysmal battery life, but i will agree several small software problems are fixed. Personally, I find eeeXubuntu interesting.

  10. Rick Says:

    I agree with many of the commenters…XP on the EeePC completely defeats the purpose of the machine. Because not only do you have the increased overhead of Windows, but you also lose all your productivity apps, and have to start worrying about viruses and spyware again too. XP or Vista (yes some people have tried it) on the Eee simply don’t make sense.

    One quick tip I have discovered on the Eee for wireless is to simply toggle the radio on and off and you will usually connect right up. My Eee, recognizes all my haunts automatically, but on the rare occasion they don’t, I just toggle the radio, and I’m off and running.

  11. David Says:

    the reason why I would buy is because it DOES not have windows preinstalled. It would be nice to explain what are the problems because I’m running one with the default xandros and an invisible wpa encrypted wifi network at home and no problem at all

  12. Gavin Miller Says:

    The comments regarding XP on the Eee are misinformed at best. XP is a joy on this wee machine. No need to ‘lite’ XP or anything else, just get a fast class 6 SDHC for apps, install 1 or 2Gb of ram and disable the swap file. Result is a fast, responsive system, 15 second boot, GREAT battery life and compatability for those of us with lots of Windows software.

  13. OldElfin Says:

    This is a great write up and it’s making me want one more than ever. Thanks for the info.

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