Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2008 21:10 UTC, submitted by Kaj de Vos
Syllable, AtheOS Michael Saunders got Syllable Desktop to run on his new Asus Eee PC (screenshot). There is some work to do to support all hardware, but most functionality already works. Michael reports that video, audio, touchpad, USB and battery monitor all work. Widescreen video and network don't and there may be reliability problems with USB storage devices. As installing Syllable from a USB device doesn't work yet, Michael used an inventive method for installation. It can be done by imaging your Eee drive with the dd utility (from Linux), installing Syllable on it through QEmu and then dd'ing the image back to the real drive. Note that the drive number needs to be adjusted in the GrUB boot file. The project is looking into distributing Syllable especially for the Eee PC in this form.
Order by: Score:
Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Mon 14th Apr 2008 23:06 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

This actually makes me tempted to go out and buy an EeePC

Edited 2008-04-14 23:07 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Laurence
by fithisux on Tue 15th Apr 2008 05:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by Laurence"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

Me too.

Reply Score: 3

Nice Work...Working as intended
by HeLfReZ on Mon 14th Apr 2008 23:17 UTC
HeLfReZ
Member since:
2005-08-12

This new class of "lite" PC is great IMHO. Most peopel have 20x the amount of horsepower they need, which only leaves room for blunders like Vista. OSes get clunky and fat. "LITE' machines force you to streamline and skin down the system, while retaining function.

I think really think projects like Syllable, SkyOS, even ReactOS would make AWESOME droppings on these lite pc, and they shouldn't miss this little boat coming out the station. Kudos to the team.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Nice Work...Working as intended
by Vanders on Tue 15th Apr 2008 07:51 UTC in reply to "Nice Work...Working as intended"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

I think really think projects like Syllable, SkyOS, even ReactOS would make AWESOME droppings on these lite pc, and they shouldn't miss this little boat coming out the station.


Yes, I think the "Ultra Portable" machines are a perfect platform for Syllable, and we're going to work hard to get Syllable running well on the Eee and as many others as we can.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice Work...Working as intended
by biffuz on Tue 15th Apr 2008 09:29 UTC in reply to "Nice Work...Working as intended"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

This new class of "lite" PC is great IMHO. Most peopel have 20x the amount of horsepower they need, which only leaves room for blunders like Vista. OSes get clunky and fat. "LITE' machines force you to streamline and skin down the system, while retaining function.


Most people will not miss horsepower with the EEE. What they will miss is display size and storage.
But if you put a bigger screen and more storage, price will rise to the level of notebooks with more horsepower, so this machine is just nonsense for me.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"This new class of "lite" PC is great IMHO. Most peopel have 20x the amount of horsepower they need, which only leaves room for blunders like Vista. OSes get clunky and fat. "LITE' machines force you to streamline and skin down the system, while retaining function.


Most people will not miss horsepower with the EEE. What they will miss is display size and storage.
But if you put a bigger screen and more storage, price will rise to the level of notebooks with more horsepower, so this machine is just nonsense for me.
"

People trying to run Windows (along with its attendant extra virus scanners and other hangers-on) will miss the horsepower.

The EEEPC 900 (due out soon) will likely address screen size and storage capacity shortcomings. The EEEPC 900 Linux variant (which is lite enough to run nicely) will have an 8.9-inch 1024x600 screen and 20GB SSD storage.

There are other entrants in this market as well:
http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/16/eee-pc-killer-coming-from-acer/

Given such competition, there will be downwards price pressure.

This market is not nonsense ... it is in fact really hotting up.

http://clumpc.com/?p=147
http://gizmodo.com/365720/msi-wind-laptop-to-make-eee-pc-cry-eeek
http://www.umpcportal.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1404
http://www.umpcportal.com/products/product.php?id=185
http://www.umpcportal.com/products/product.php?id=188

Reply Score: 4

biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

People trying to run Windows (along with its attendant extra virus scanners and other hangers-on) will miss the horsepower.


A lot of people will miss Windows altogether...

The EEEPC 900 (due out soon) will likely address screen size and storage capacity shortcomings. The EEEPC 900 Linux variant (which is lite enough to run nicely) will have an 8.9-inch 1024x600 screen and 20GB SSD storage.

Given such competition, there will be downwards price pressure.

This market is not nonsense ... it is in fact really hotting up.


Yes, it is... but with more storage and a bigger screen, as you just admitted. And a bigger price tag, the cost of making such a machine is not so different from making a more powerful one.
These will probably become the lower end of the notebook market, not a "new" market.

Reply Score: 1

HeLfReZ Member since:
2005-08-12

Bingo..this (along with stuff like the EEE Desktop and Shuttle KPC) is quickly become a new battleground. Even Dell announced that they are getting into the fray. I am dying to have one to shove in my bag when I'm out and about, great tool for photographers and people on the go These are meant to be "complimentary" machines, not replacement machines, which is where alot of people trip up in comparisons.

The lite devices aren't meant to be compared to a full size pc, and the argument that you could buy a new c2d laptop for the same price is a completely idiotic remark. Average price for anything with a 12inch screen or smaller is at LEAST $1200, closest you could come is maybe using a old thinkpad xseries laptop, with is sans multitouch,webcam,etc.

I personally like the design of the MSI Wind, but I plan to hold out as long as humanly possible, until everyone has shown their cards.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by zizban
by zizban on Mon 14th Apr 2008 23:24 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

Forgive for asking, but doesn't the Eee PC have wireless? Does Syllable support this feature?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by zizban
by Vanders on Tue 15th Apr 2008 07:52 UTC in reply to "Comment by zizban"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Forgive for asking, but doesn't the Eee PC have wireless? Does Syllable support this feature?


Yes, it uses an Atheros wireless chipset, but Syllable doesn't yet have any wireless support. Our first priority will be to get the (weird) wired gigabit ethernet to work.

Reply Score: 3

headache machine
by stabbyjones on Tue 15th Apr 2008 02:47 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

So far it's been easier to install xp on this machine than anything else. It won't even restore from the dvd they give you, so once you wipe it there's pretty much no way back.

I've managed to kill one in a week although my 2nd one seems to be working well after about 2 months. I've only installed xp this time instead of trying for debian et al. The flash drive just doesn't seem like it will last long.

When i get a few days off i'll have a go at xubuntu installing from a usb key instead of a usb cd drive. which hasn't been working well for me when trying to install linux.

The EEEpc is not a power user pc. I use it for taking notes at uni and for working on the train.

Reply Score: 1

RE: headache machine
by leos on Tue 15th Apr 2008 03:59 UTC in reply to "headache machine"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

So far it's been easier to install xp on this machine than anything else. It won't even restore from the dvd they give you, so once you wipe it there's pretty much no way back.


Of course it restores from the restore DVD. Stop spreading FUD.

I've managed to kill one in a week although my 2nd one seems to be working well after about 2 months. I've only installed xp this time instead of trying for debian et al. The flash drive just doesn't seem like it will last long.


And you came to this conclusion how? Flash drive will probably outlive any possible use you might have for the machine. Lots of detailed analysis of this online.

The EEEpc is not a power user pc. I use it for taking notes at uni and for working on the train.


Well that's what it was designed for. That said, I do development on mine when I'm not at home, so it's perfectly usable for more advanced tasks.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: headache machine
by sbergman27 on Tue 15th Apr 2008 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE: headache machine"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Of course it restores from the restore DVD. Stop spreading FUD.

Agreed. And I've installed eeeXubuntu, eeedora, and regular Ubuntu (7.10) without a hitch on mine. Of the three, regular Ubuntu has been my favorite.

Reply Score: 2

RE: headache machine
by lemur2 on Tue 15th Apr 2008 04:27 UTC in reply to "headache machine"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So far it's been easier to install xp on this machine than anything else. It won't even restore from the dvd they give you, so once you wipe it there's pretty much no way back.

I've managed to kill one in a week although my 2nd one seems to be working well after about 2 months. I've only installed xp this time instead of trying for debian et al. The flash drive just doesn't seem like it will last long.

When i get a few days off i'll have a go at xubuntu installing from a usb key instead of a usb cd drive. which hasn't been working well for me when trying to install linux.

The EEEpc is not a power user pc. I use it for taking notes at uni and for working on the train.


If you are worried about longevity of the flash drive, then installing XP on it would be the worst thing to do.

XP has only two choices for the filesystem ... FAT and NTFS. NTFS is not designed for flash drives, so FAT is more suitable ... but also more insecure (eg. no concepts of owner or user or permissions are supported by FAT).

The best option for the EEEPC flash disk would probably be LogFS.

http://kerneltrap.org/Linux/LogFS_A_Scalable_Flash_Filesystem

http://www.linux.com/feature/114295

I'm not sure if anyone has coupled a good lightweight Linux distribution (say XUbuntu ?) with LogFS as the root filesystem for the flash disk, but such a combination would be ideal for the EEEPC, it would be just the thing to answer your concerns about the durability of the flash SSD, and it would fit perfectly with your use for the machine of taking notes at uni and working on the train.

It would be a far, far better choice for you on your EEEPC ... and it would as a bonus be cheaper, more secure (wouldn't need anti-virus, for instance) and probably make the machine last longer and operate quite a bit faster as well.

PS: I would think the current Linux variants for the EEEPC would be using JFFS2 wouldn't they? Anyone know for sure?

At least this is designed for flash ... unlike NTFS or FAT.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JFFS2

Edited 2008-04-15 04:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: headache machine
by lemur2 on Tue 15th Apr 2008 04:58 UTC in reply to "headache machine"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So far it's been easier to install xp on this machine than anything else. It won't even restore from the dvd they give you, so once you wipe it there's pretty much no way back.

I've managed to kill one in a week although my 2nd one seems to be working well after about 2 months. I've only installed xp this time instead of trying for debian et al. The flash drive just doesn't seem like it will last long.


Just a bit more explanation of why you should avoid XP and use an OS with a log-structured filesystem (designed for flash) instead:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Log-structured_filesystem

Some kinds of storage media, such as flash memory and CD-RW, degrade slowly as they are written to and have a limited number of erase/write cycles at any one location. Log-structured file systems are sometimes used on these media because they make fewer in-place writes and thus prolong the life of the device by wear levelling.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_levelling

Wear-levelling attempts to work around these limitations by arranging data so that erasures and re-writes are distributed evenly across the medium. In this way, no single sector prematurely fails due to a high concentration of write cycles.

Conventional file systems like FAT, ext2 and NTFS were originally designed for magnetic disks and as such rewrite many of their data structures (such as their directories) repeatedly in place. Some file systems aggravate the problem by tracking last-access times, which can lead to file metadata being constantly rewritten in-place.


So, once again ... if you are worried about the durability of the EEEPC flash disk ... get rid of the XP install asap.

Reply Score: 4