Should I Switch to Windows XP on My Eee PC?

Since I’ve recently switched to using a Mac Mini and a widescreen LCD as my main work setup, I’m considering switching from Xandros (advanced mode, with tweaks) to Windows XP on my Eee. I know it’s going to be a big move, and I know there would be both advantages and disadvantages.

I’m aware that the main reason people switch to Windows is because they need to run Windows-only apps. However, for most folks who are used to Windows rather than Linux, it’s probably the interface and the OS itself, and not the apps. But I’m mostly used to using various OSes for work and recreation, like OS X, Linux (Ubuntu and now Xandros). And I have done a handful of tweaks on my Xandros install, that I’m pretty much comfortable about it.

And do note that most of my work involves the Web. I communicate with colleagues via Gmail and IM (Yahoo, Google Talk via Pidgin). I manage sites via FTP (gFTP) and the browser. And I edit text files using any available text editor, be it Notepad on Windows, Text editor on the Mac, Gedit on GNOME or Kwrite on KDE. My task manager is on TaDa list and my schedules are on Google calendar. I use GIMP for simple image manipulation like cropping, resizing and text overlay. Simple enough, really. I don’t really use my Eee for multimedia, since I do have my other machines for that.

What I need is a stable work environment in which I can do things quickly, efficiently and effectively.

So here’s what I think the pros and cons of installing Windows would entail.

Pros

  • More (commercial, mainstream) software
  • Drivers for those devices where I would have to hack Linux to make work
  • Would take less space on the SSD, assuming I use an install shrunk via nLite
  • Xandros is pretty slow in detecting WiFi networks, especially in reconnecting after waking up from sleep. Windows should be faster in this regard.

Cons

  • Malware. I would have to install and regularly update an AntiVirus software (AVG is my choice for my Windows machines)
  • I’d have to tweak and tweak again.
  • Bloatware? Well, I’m not sure how bloated XP is compared to the default Xandros installation (which takes up 3GB), but Windows apps generally consume more memory
  • I’ll miss the ability to do stuff via command-line. Sure there’s the Windows command prompt, but in my opinion it’s not as elegant as doing things on Linux

Or maybe I can opt for an alternative Linux distro like eeeXubuntu.

I’m pretty sure there are dozens of reasons why I should or why I shouldn’t switch to Windows. Any opinions?

EeePC Branded SDHCs?

A-DATA recently released a line of “made for EeePC” products. According to Engadget:

While you could of course use any USB flash drive of SDHC card with the laptop, A-DATA’s apparently hoping that its new “special edition” flash cards and drives will sway over at least a couple of Eee PC users, and we don’t doubt that they will. Apparently available only in 8GB versions, they each come in Eee PC-coordinating white, with the USB flash drive also boasting the extra bonus of a leather carrying strap. No word on pricing or availability just yet, unfortunately, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they demand a bit of a premium over their non-Eee counterparts.

Will they look good with the Eee? Yes. Will they work better with the Eee? I don’t think so.

The EeePC 900 is Available! But…

On one of my previous posts, I have been raving about the ASUS EeePC 900, the next model (or “generation”, as ASUS’ advertising says) of ASUS’ EeePC line, complete with 8.9″ screen with a 1024×600 resolution, 12Gb storage memory, a larger trackpad, and 1Gb RAM. It was supposed to go for $600, or in our currency (Philippine Pesos), around Php 25,000. More »

Northec Gecko Mini Laptop Planned at Sub-$300 Price

northec-gecko.png

Competition is getting intense. Looks like the subnotebook market is the next big thing for gadget makers. Computerworld is quoted as saying there is yet another company that plans to venture into the cheap (meaning inexpensive) compact notebook market (currently dominated by the Asus Eee).

The company is Norhtec, a systems integrator based in Thailand, of all places, that specializes in tiny servers. The company is working on what they call the Gecko Laptop. The tiny system will be built by Quanta, and is powered by Linux Lite from Linpus Technologies.

The laptop probably has a seven-inch screen, possibly smaller. It has a pretty big keyboard and a touchpad. It’s powered by a Via C7M ULV chip. Not much else is known about the Gecko.

According to reports, the company will announce the laptop soon, and it will sell for less than $300.

Easy Mode For Windows: Easy Mode XP

Easy Mode XP

If you like to use the Eee’s easy mode, but you don’t like Xandros and would like to use Windows, this is the solution for you. You have to hand it to the EeePC community, their ingenuity is awesome.

Check it out here (German) or here (English translation)

Via ASUS Eee News, Mods & Hacks

Will you try this out?

Should I Switch to eeeXubuntu?

I recently downloaded an ISO of eeeXubuntu and was able to create a Live USB out of this. And running it via Live USB, I’m rather impressed. It’s much snappier than the default Xandros. However, tempted as I am to wipe out my current install and replace it with eeeXubuntu, I noticed these few quirks:

  • Longer bootup time (okay, I’m running a Live USB and it’s unfair, but nothing compares to Xandros’ snappy bootup)
  • An annoyng “Your battery may be broken” message upon startup
  • Wireless reception is weaker – on Xandros, my home network is always at 100%. On eeeXubuntu it varies between 100 to 75%

And in the few months I’ve had my Eee, I’ve done various tweaks to the system that made me very comfortable with the current install. On eeeXubuntu it’ll probably take me some time before I get to tweak the system to a level where it feels right for me. Also, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right? More »

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ASUS Eee 900

Daily Tech has reported that ASUS is hard at work to release the next generation Eee, named Eee PC 900. It is reported to have a 8.9″ screen with a 1024×600 resolution, 12Gb storage memory, a larger trackpad, and possibly a different processor. I’m hoping they use the new Intel Atom processors on these babies.

ASUS says that the Eee 900 will be available mid-2008 for $600.

I’m personally excited over this development. What about you?

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