I have received some emails asking for the best source of Eee PC’s but there is no simple answer to that one at the moment. Stocks are low because demand is so high but I can 100% recommend Clove (www.clove.co.uk). They have some pre-orders but are doing their best to obtain stocks as quickly as possible- what I can say is that in 10 years of dealing with them I have received near perfect customer service, quick delivery and good value on countless orders. Take a look and see what you think.
Brando has released a screen protector for the Eee. My experience of their protectors is that they are extremely well made and excellent value for money.
“Brando Workshop Anti-Glare Screen Protectors is made of high quality material which elminiates reflected light and protects your screen from scratches and smudge. Brando Workshop Screen Protector is easy to apply. With special adhesive surface, you can remove and re-apply it without residue retaining on the screen. The best screen protector ever!”
If you want to make more of the EEE’s 7″ screen, you’ll have already followed the tips about using the AutoHider add-on to FireFox. But what about the OS in general? Well, if you select Launch / Control Center / Control Center, and then Display / Panel/Tasbar / Panel, you can select the Hiding tab.
If you select the lowest radio button in the top frame, “Allow other windows to cover the panel“, your word processor, email application etc will be able to benefit from the full screen. Of course, you’ll want a way of accessing the panel again, so, the checkbox below should be ticked – I have it set to “Bottom Edge“, so, all I need to do to bring up the panel is touch the bottom of the screen with my cursor, and, there it is…
… it takes 35 seconds to go from laptop powered off to full desktop environment ready and available in front of you.
I know my Windows machine needs some tinkering, but, with twice the RAM and four times the processing power, it must feel slightly embarrassed that I can boot the EEE, connect to my WLAN, or through my phone via Bluetooth, check my email, close the connection and be shutdown and switched off before the PC has even finished booting…
Here’s a dull story… The other day I was typing away in the restaurant at work and in one hour, 6 people asked me what my small laptop was. As I demonstrated the Eee, every single one of them wanted to know where they could buy one. Compare this with the guy using his iPhone at the next table- no one gave a damn.
So, what reaction does your Eee get in public? good? bad? indifferent?
One comment on SlashDot tonight in respect of Asus’ release of the source code for the EEE entertained me, and, not for the first time, it struck me that, intentionally or not, Asus may well benefit from the slight delay in releasing the source code.
“1. Release geek-oriented product nobody’s ever heard of
2. Make it very obvious it’s based on GNU/Linux
3. “Accidentally” screw up the GPL code release
4. Wait for Slashdot Story
5. Fix GPL code release
6. Trigger Slashdot follow-up story
5. Free advertising sells lots of product
Well, the code’s out in the open now, so everyone should be happy on that front. And if Asus gets some more publicity for their Linux machine in the mean time, then, even better- the more people keen to buy a Linux notebook, the more manufacturers are likely to take notice.
Here is some good news, but not unexpected- “Taiwan’s Asus expects to sell five million new Eee PCs globally next year, a senior company official said on Wednesday. That figure is up two-thirds from a previous sales forecast.
Asus, which recently launched a child-friendly Eee PC, has said it hopes the new line of cheaper notebook PCs will vault it ahead of some competitors as it seeks to boost its market share in North America, where it has less than one percent of the market.
Asus is now selling around 20,000 Eee PCs per month, vice president Kevin Lin told reporters. Lin gave the new target for 2008 after the company said last month that it expected to ship more than three million Eee PCs next year…” Thanks to Gavin for the link.
Laptop Mag has a comparative article, pitching the XO laptop (the device in the OLPC project) against the EEE. Overall, the article concludes with the EEE as the winner, although the XO triumphed in the design, price and connectivity departments – the mesh networking functionality does look rather good, but, not at the expense of a machine which reminds me of ET… However, the XO was not designed for someone sitting in an office*, whereas the EEE would easily fit into this environment.
“While the XO and the Eee PC 701 were designed for different purposes, when comparing the elements that are common to both, the Eee PC 701 provides a better computing experience for the money.”
*Other than perhaps the offices of the Early Learning Centre, I guess.
where all the EEEs have gone…
“For nearly a year, Fresno Unified school officials searched for a laptop that wouldn’t clutter a student’s desk.
Thursday, school officials said they purchased 1,000 wireless laptops that fit on a desk alongside textbooks and notebooks, as well as give students the opportunity to build a digital portfolio of essays, drawings and other creations…
Fresno Unified’s endeavor is the first of its kind in the nation because the laptop maker, ASUS, unveiled the 7-inch creation just last week. What makes the ASUS laptop unique is its built-in keyboard, said ASUS project manager David Leung. Other small laptops have touch-screen keyboards, he said.
Fresno Unified was the first school district to purchase ASUS’ 7-inch laptop, Leung said.”
Not sure that a keyboard is as unique as they claim, but, there we go…
More details here.
Not related to the EEE as such, but, interesting news that the owners of a patent relating to multilingual keyboard technology are suing the OLPC project for wilful patent infringement (“wilful” being important, because of the possibility of treble damages under US patent law), and illegal reverse engineering. Lagos Analysis Corp’s (“LANCOR”) claim is pretty specific, as it accuses the OLPC project of purchasing two machines containing their proprietary technology, and extracting it for use in the OLPC. LANCOR is seeking “substantial damages” and a permanent injunction against distribution of the allegedly infringing product.
There is more about this on MarketWire, although, readers should note that this is a press release from LANCOR.
This is an interesting case, as Nigeria, where LANCOR is situated, is one of the beneficiaries of the OLPC project. On the one hand, LANCOR wishes to protect its intellectual property, but, on the other hand, one can’t help but wonder whether suing what is essentially a charitable project is in the overall best interests of the company – would a royalty-free licence to the relevant code, allowing the OLPC project to continue distribution, perhaps in return for some form of advertising / presence in the OLPC device itself, be a better option?