Review: Asus Eee PC 1215
November 5, 2010
The Asus EeePC 1215NI’ve gotten my hands on a new netbook, this time is the Asus Eee PC 1215N. It comes with an Intel Atom 1.8 GHz (dual core), 2 GB of RAM, a 320 GB HD and an Nvidia Ion graphics chip. All of this is wrapped up into a nice little 12” package. It won’t be setting any speed records with its Intel Atom processor, but having a dual core 1.8 GHz is quite the upgrade from the standard single core 1.6 GHz. It certainly makes life on the go quite nice. Plus I’ve added Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.10 to the mix.
Quick Review: Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04
August 2, 2010
As is my usual habit, I got bored of my operating system and reformatted. I decided to try out Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 Lucid Lynx (on my Eee PC 1000), since I hadn’t yet gotten to play with that. I have previously used both 9.10 UNR and 9.04 UNR, as such, I have some basis for comparison.
Eee: Game On
July 20, 2009
Everyone knows the real reason anyone uses a computer is to play games (or at least a close second… but not everyone watches porn). With that in mind, here’s a few games that I have enjoyed investigating. Still haven’t got StarCraft to connect to Battle.net, so no fix to pass on there. PlanetSide — I right-clicked the link on my desktop and then used the “Troubleshoot Compatibility” option and it chose XP SP 2 and then launched up something I hadn’t seen before that I couldn’t actually use to get into the game.
Optimizing Windows 7 for Netbooks
June 26, 2009
A while back I got an Eee PC 1000, which I’ve talked about a number of times. At first I installed Ubuntu 9.04 on it, but after a while I got bored and decided to give Windows 7 a try. While I prefer Linux servers, my desktop machines tend to run Windows, mainly because it can run the software I need for desktop machines — like Photoshop & games. Granted a Netbook isn’t going to be a machine for Photoshopping, but you get the point. After a while of playing with my netbook, John got jealous and decided he had to have one for himself. He got his Eee PC 900A and installed Windows 7, which he just covered in the previous blog entry (something I probably should have done, but never got around to doing). If you’re playing along at home, you’ve got Windows 7 installed on your netbook, but it isn’t necessarily running as well as it could be. There are a few easy things you can do to “optimize” Windows 7 for the netbook experience.
Eee: Installing Windows 7
June 24, 2009
Since Microsoft has been generous enough to share the Windows 7 RC with everyone, and because Jon has enjoyed it so much, I decided my Eee should be running Win7. Getting Windows 7 is fairly easy, download site and key available from Microsoft and Microsoft TechNet. Both have the same information, the former looks prettier, while the latter offers a more utilitarian experience. Either one will get you what you need. Oh yeah, the ISO is about 2.5 GB, so make sure you have a bit more than that available on the machine that is downloading it. Next up is getting the image somewhere useful. You have two choices: Burn a DVD and then hook up an external DVD drive to your Eee… Bootable Thumb Drive Not wanting to deal with #1, I chose option #2, as I believed it would be much faster (no DVD to burn) and less hassle (no external DVD drive to acquire). Now, how do you make a Thumb Drive bootable? An excellent question, for which I turned to google.
Eee: Hardware Upgrades
June 22, 2009
This is the first of a series that Jon and I will be doing on netbooks, specifically the Asus line of Eee Netbooks. Jon got a 1000 a while back, and I recently acquired a 900A. Both of us are running Windows 7 RC on the machines (the installation of which will be covered later). Today, I want to discuss the two hardware upgrades I made to my machine. First, let’s discuss what it came with:
Benchmarking: Ubuntu 9.04 i386 vs LPIA on Eee PC 1000
May 6, 2009
==Background== The other week Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty was officially released, to my great enjoyment! Of course, I’d already been running it for a while on my ASUS Eee PC 1000. The one issue I had with it was that the Ubuntu Netbook Remix Alpha that I downloaded was for i386, and the Eee runs an Intel Atom processor (it was compatible, but not the same). I had assumed that once 9.04 was officially released, they’d put out a LPIA (Low Power Intel Atom) optimized version of the aforementioned remix. I downloaded the Netbook Remix on release day, but didn’t notice until a few days later that the download was for i386. The image file name was “ubuntu-9.04-netbook-remix-i386.img”. I thought this was extremely odd since the UNR download page says ‘What do I need to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix?’ and then ‘An Intel Atom processor’. Very strange indeed. So I went and asked about it on the Ubuntu Forums. As it turns out I was not the only one that noticed this little “issue”. Later I also found a bug report for this problem and the reply from one of the mucky mucks of Ubuntu stated: i386 was a safer bet for the first release of UNR, also having an i386 and a lpia version double the QA time; however we will consider this idea for 9.10, there are some issues with lpia still. So…. No LPIA version for the first official release of UNR. Granted there was a UNR for 8.10, but it was sort of hacked together after the fact. I can accept that. After all Ubuntu doesn’t release for a ton of platforms like Debian does. But the question came up in the forum thread, is LPIA optimized code really necessary? Some claimed that LPIA gave them an hour more of battery time, other claimed it was crap. This, of course, hearkens back to the early days of x86 versus x64 operating systems. In fact I found an article about 32bit versus 64bit on 9.04 which I ended up using as a base for my own series of tests. ==The Tests== I installed Ubuntu 9.04 Alternate i386 and Ubuntu 9.04 Alternate LPIA on my Eee PC 1000, both with the most minimal installs. I then proceeded to run the following tests: Convert an Album of MP3’s into Ogg Vorbis Bunzip2 the Linux 22.214.171.124 kernel tarball Untar the kernel Compile the Kernel Bzip2 a 400+mb ISO of Wikipeida ==Results== ===i386=== uname -a : Linux happyfeet 2.6.28-11-generic #42-Ubuntu SMP Fri Apr 17 01:57:59 UTC 2009 i686 GNU/Linux dir2ogg : 9mn 45s bunzip2 : 0mn 54s tar -xf : 1mn 51s make : 196m 18s bzip2 : 7m 6s ===LPIA=== uname -a : Linux happyfeet 2.6.28-11-lpia #42-Ubuntu SMP Fri Apr 17 01:56:10 UTC 2009 i686 GNU/Linux dir2ogg : 9mn 58s bunzip2 : 1mn 1s tar -xf : 1mn 28s make : 163mn 12s bzip2 : 7mn 16s ===Differences=== dir2ogg: LPIA was 3% Slower bunzip2: LPIA was 12% Slower tar -xf: LPIA was 21% Faster make: LPIA was 17% Faster bzip2: LPIA was 3% Slower ==Summary== The test was fairly inconclusive. With the exception of compiling the kernel (which took 30minutes less on LPIA), the difference in times between i386 and LPIA were statistically insignificant (for dir2ogg and bzip2). Frankly the tar -xf and bunzip2 tests took so little time that any minor flux on the machine (say a cron job) could easily skew the test in either direction. The kernel compile was, in my book, significantly faster. I think LPIA is worthy of a trial run on my Eee. Of course I noticed, as the bug stated, that there are a few issues. For example the wireless did not work out of the box like it did with the i386 Alpha I previously installed. This may be a quick & easy fix, but so far I haven’t had the time nor energy to actually fiddle with the machine. For those that are interested, after the jump I’ve got more details on exactly what commands I executed for the tests
Tethering my AT&T Tilt to the Eee PC
March 27, 2009
Car Geekery As John was behind the wheel this past Saturday, I had many hours to burn; thus, I decided to try my hand at getting tethering working. I was attempting to tether my AT&T Tilt (HTC Kaiser II) with my Eee PC 1000 running Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04. When I was buddy breathing (IE Charging) the Tilt off the Eee PC the night before, I had noticed that it showed up as a wired network connection to the Ubuntu — tinkering ensued.
ASUS Eee PC 1000, Ubuntu Jaunty and You!
February 25, 2009
If you follow my twitter feed, then you know over this past weekend I got an ASUS Eee PC 1000. In fact, I spend a good deal of time tweeting about it on Monday when it arrived. I thought I’d spend a little time sharing my impressions of the device and some of the tinkering that I’ve done with it over the last few days (it lasted about an hour before it got reformatted). Please note: Most of this post is in the extended body, so to read it all you need to click the more button. In the past I haven’t used this feature much, but this post is really long. First the system specifications: • 10.2” LCD @ 1024×600 • 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom • 1 GB RAM • 40 GB SSD (More correctly: 1x 8 GB and 1x 32 GB) • Comes pre-installed with Xandros Linux (of the Debian family) • 1.3 Megapixel Webcam • Stereo Microphones (shows as 1 device, used for noise canceling) • ~5 Hour battery • SD Card reader • 802.11b/g/n Wireless • 10/100/1000 Ethernet • Bluetooth • Multitouch trackpad • Ports: 3 USB, 1 VGA, 1 power, 1 microphone, 1 headphone, Network Hardware Review My first impressions is that this is a nice little package. My unit came in black and I think it looks good; granted it is a glossy surface so it picks up fingerprints. The accent pieces, like the buttons above the keyboard and the mouse buttons, have a brushed steel look (though they are probably plastic), which I think looks really classy. The screen is nice and bright at its brightest setting, though it doesn’t get that dark. The buttons on the mice are a little tough for my preference, but it isn’t really a deal breaker, especially since you can just tap the pad instead (which I have the tendency to tap really hard). Additionally, the important thing is, it is LIGHT, 3 pounds and change with the standard battery. They keyboard is advertised as 92% full size which I think is a fair description, though some compromises have been made in the name of fitting into the form factor. My only real problem with the keyboard is that directly below the Enter key is the Up arrow — right where I expect the Shift key to be. The Shift key has been moved to the right of the aforementioned Up arrow. Since I have a preference to use that right shift almost exclusively, I hit that Up arrow by mistake A LOT when I first started on the device. But like any keyboard that is slightly different, it takes a little getting use to, then it is all good. In fact, I am typing this entry up on the Eee PC itself and I’m not hitting the Up arrow by mistake nearly as often (and I find myself using the left shift some, which is actually a good thing for me to do). Overall, I’m pleased with how it is designed. Semi-update: I got to take a look at Brion’s Dell Mini 9, the shift key/arrow key setup is the same on his machine as it is on my Eee PC. So I’m under the impression that this is actually a fairly common design for netbooks. It makes sense, since most “regular” keyboards have the arrow keys off on their own little island and that wouldn’t fit in such a small form factor.