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Micro computing



My bank recently sent my wife and I a brrand new Asus EEE PC after swittching service plans or somthing. We're not really sure why to tell you the truth, but we're keeping it. Please pardon the spelling mistakes, the key oard on the EEE PC is just eigght and a half inches wide, compared to a normal 11.5 inches and the keys are almost two small to type properly. I'm slowly getting used to it but it's not easy.

The entire system has just 512 MB of storage, about 80 per cent of which is being usd for te Linux Xandros operating system and all the software it came bundled with. I'm in the process of freeing up more space by deletng a few children's games and educational programs, but the Add/Remove Software tool is next to useless. Like the copyof Ubuntu I;m running on a laptop at home, I hav to use the Terminal window to do most things, which means I have to look up the "sudo apt-get" command lines to manually remove those programs. For a computer geek with no programming knowledge outside HTML and basic Java, I actually prefer it that way.

Overall, I'm quite impressed. The onboard memory is low, but you can put in an SD memory card to add up to 16 GB of storage. Tiger Direct ( www.tigerdirect.ca ) sells 8 GB for about $50 these days so storage is not really an issue for me. Besides, these days you can do almost everything you need to do online — save your photos on Flickr ( www.flickr.com ), your documents and spreadsheets at Google Docs ( www.gmail.com ), and all you other random files at ADrive ( www.adrive.com ) or XDrive (www.xdrive.com) free of charge. As for music, you can store your own tunes at MP3Tunes Locker ( www.mp3tunes.com ), or just build custom playlists at Last FM ( www.lastfm.com ) or Project Playlist  ( www.projectplaylist.com ), etc.

(Good thing this computer has an Undo feature — I just erased the last two paragraphs somehow, probably by accidentally dragging my thumb over the EEE PC’s small and sensitive touchpad.)

The EEE PC processor is powered by a very small but very capable Intel Centrino chip, has bout 256 MB of RAM memory, and 802.11g wi-fi capability. The seven-inch screen runs at a respectable 800x480 resolution (that you can apparently increase through various hacks, but I have trouble reading small print on the screen as is).

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