eee PC and Portable Apps – the ideal combination

How has the first 24 hours with my eee 701 SD been?

Interesting.

Let’s do a classical reflection shall we?

What went well

I like the keyboard, with enough ‘rattle’ to make it responsive enough.  I’ve not had an problems touch typing, though maybe a little more ‘hunt and peck’ than I am used to, especially on the right hand side of the keyboard, where some of the keys are smaller than I would expect.

One thing which I do keep doing is hitting the up-arrow key instead of the right-shift.  But that said, it’s started to become second nature to use the left-shift key, solving the problem.

The screen is usable too, yes it’s small, and my eyes have a bit of a funny feeling when going from 7″ to my 20″ big mac, but otherwise it’s fine.

What went less well

It’s hard to be critical of the origins of the small, cheap computer, but the processing power, or lack of it, in Windows XP could be a real problem.  Regular restarts appear to be the norm, and multi-tasking is out of the window.  With the 512 Mb memory, two programs running concurrently seems to be the limit.  Windows continues to pop up worrying messages about lack of memory and virtual space.

To this end, I’ve already ordered a couple of upgrades, 2Gb of internal memory, and an 8Gb SD card are on their way to me courtesy of Crucial memory.  The SD card is simply for data storage, leaving the full 8Gb ‘internal’ memory card for system files etc.

It’s been pointed out that by the time I’ve paid the 35 quid for these upgrades I was close to the price I could have got an EEE 900 for from Amazon.  Point taken, but it’s still (marginally) larger and heavier.

What will I do differently next time?

I did rush in and install my ‘usual suspect’ applications, AVG free for virus protection, Firefox for browsing, iTunes so I could stream my music from the other machines at home.  These brought my system to a crawling stop, and I’ve removed all but iTunes (as far as I know there’s no open source, cross platfom media streamer).

What I have done instead is install Portable Apps, and placed this in my startup menu, and used their versions of Firefox, Open Office, Pidgin etc.  This has been a much more elegant solution, and the programs are quick!  I’m still picking and choosing (AbiWord for example instead of OpenOffice  Writer for example), but the advantage of this approach is when my SD card arrives, I can simply move PortableApps lock, stock etc. to the SD card and (performance willing) I’m ready to go.

I’ve not uninstalled any programs yet though that came with the eee, though removing MS works and some of the windows live stuff would give me some breathing space.  I can’t work out yet how I’m to back the machine up, and am open to any advice/tips.  I clearly need a ‘full backup’- why has no one yet invented a time machine type product for Windows?

 

So overall, I give my EEE 7/10 at the moment, hoping it will rise to 9/10 once I’ve got my memory upgrades in place.  I’m pleased with the least-impulsive purchase of the decade.

I’ll try and post a review of the EEE one month on, to see if my perceptions have changed.

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