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The Asus works

Thursday, August 28, 2008 by Dave Winer.

I brought both my trusty but big 17-inch MacBook Pro and the tiny Asus Eee PC. I was hoping the Asus would be up to being my sole reporting notebook, that I wouldn't have to lug both computers with me from event to event.  Permalink to this paragraph

I was concerned that the keyboard would prove too small for writing, and that the Windows-based tools would prove too unfamiliar, but I'm happy to report that the Asus performed like a champ. The MacBook stayed at home during the DNC, and my load was light, with just the tiny Asus, which got a lot of attention, people wanted to know about the tiny computer, and were amazed that it cost just $600. Permalink to this paragraph

The Sprint EVDO and Siera wireless modem also worked flawlessly everywhere in Denver, in the Pepsi Center, backstage, in Starbucks (where I'm writing this now). Permalink to this paragraph

Further, the keyboard works, even though I have huge hands and fat fingers. You can learn how to touch type on this keyboard, as I write this I'm loooking out the window at the traffic on 16th St, and only had to look at the key board to ffind the numeric keys. Otherwise, I l4eft the errors in so you could see how accurate you can be with this keyboard.  Permalink to this paragraph

The machine does go to sleep for a few seconds while I'm typing from time to time, very annoying. I hope to get to the bottom of why it's doing this and stop it. Permalink to this paragraph

The only thing I wish it had was more space on disk. I got the model with a solid state disk, I guess it's Flash memory? It's split into two virtual drives, about 10GB total. Not enough storage. I supplemented it with a 16GB SD card, but that's a bit of a PITA because that's how I get pictures off my camera, so I'm always swapping the SDs out. Pretty sure I'm going to lose one eventually. Permalink to this paragraph

One thing I haven't figured out is what Paint program to use for cropping and resizing graphics. That's why you don't see pictures in the margins of my writing this week. I have very modest needs. I used to use Adobe ImageReady but I don't know how to install it on this computer becausee it doesn't have a CD drive. If anyone can recommend a lightweight and easy, but good picture editing program for Windows, it would be much appreciated.  Permalink to this paragraph

But net-net I'm happy, my back is happy. It's been hot here in Denver this week and being able to move around without the MacBook has been a pleasure. Oddly, I don't mind using XP at all and I go back and forth between it and the Mac without problem, so far.  Permalink to this paragraph

Photo: Size comparison -- MacBook vs AsusPermalink to this paragraph


A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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