Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new.

Well, the HP mini had some great attributes like size and keyboard, but battery life definitely wasn't one of them, and getting a replacement 6-cell just wasnt worth it in the long run as it would A) ruin the slimline aesthetics and B) the gain in battery life wasn't nearly as much as had been hoped for as reported by those that actually purchased one. So I sold it for a bit of a loss and purchased an equally reasonably priced Eee PC 901 20G (wanted to stay on the small side), the one that came with (blech!) Xandros Linux pre-installed. First order of business was to wipe out that kiddie interface and replace it with a "real" distro. I never got around to trying out Crunchbang as I had heard there were a few issues that needed to be ironed out with the "Cruncheee" version yet and I really didn't have the time or patience to work on it at the time. So during my research I found a distro that was supposed to make an Eee PC run like a top straight out of the box. Said distro shall remain nameless to avoid any flaming (although it's not too hard to narrow down the list of "Eee specific distros), but it certainly did not function as advertised. After many hours and days of the 901 overheating, updates breaking different features and trying to get all the hotkeys to work like they should (if I could get them to work at all), I finally threw in the towel and went in a different direction. Since the 901 was listed as a Tier 1 machine on the Ubuntu Netbook Remix web site, I decided to give it a spin. I installed it, ran all the updates and installed Eeecontrol. This time it was a much different story. Everything functioned as it should and the battery life was amazing. It worked so well, if fact, that my wife fell in love with the machine and decided she had to have one of her own. Unfortunately, by the time she had come to this conclusion the 901 had been discontinued and couldn't be found anywhere at a price of $400 or more, which was obviously unacceptable. Needless to say, the 901 is now the prized possession of Mrs. M and by week's end I'll be the (hopefully) proud owner of an Eee PC 1000HA. Hoping things go just as well with this machine as they did with the 901 fist time around. We shall see shortly, I suppose.

FYI, The Sansa Fuze is stil running like a champ. Looks like it's earned a permanent position in my ever flexible gadget-sphere. It works great with Rhythmbox (and Quod Libet, my alternate music management fave), not so much with Banshee which I gave a brief workout (yes, I'm yet another one of those anti-Mono zealots). Plan to give Listen and a few others a try in the not so distant future as well.

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