Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 17th Jun 2008 19:35 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems As we all know by now, the Asus Eee PC has been a massive success for Asus. While that's really nice for the men and women working at Asus, us operating system enthusiasts like the device for another reason: it came pre-loaded with something else than Windows, which creates awareness of alternatives among the public, which in turn helps to diversify the operating system marketplace - something we all want. While the new Eee PC can be pre-loaded with Windows, the Linux version is still there. El Reg takes a look at the Linux version of the new Eee PC 901.
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The *Liniche*
by robinh on Tue 17th Jun 2008 19:59 UTC
robinh
Member since:
2006-12-19

I'm waiting on the specs for the acer-one before deciding which of this new kind of device to purchase. The acer could be cheaper, with longer battery and built-in hsdpa. Sub £200 pc with mobile broadband for £15 month extra - that's pretty killer.

Looks like any kind of mass Linux use is going to occur on very cheap or commodity hardware (phones, "free" hardware etc), which I think is a good thing for Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The *Liniche*
by Doc Pain on Tue 17th Jun 2008 22:00 in reply to "The *Liniche*"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Looks like any kind of mass Linux use is going to occur on very cheap or commodity hardware (phones, "free" hardware etc), which I think is a good thing for Linux.


Maybe tha's why the keyboard does not feature a visible "Windows" key The key is present, but not decorated with an advertising logo. :-)

http://regmedia.co.uk/2008/05/21/eee_901_b_3.jpg

Ah well, and a "Menu" key seems to be present, too. Two keys, nearly useless, wasting space on the keyboard (and making the space bar smaller).

For Linux use, please add Meta keys and a middle mouse button. :-)

Okay, don't take this comment to serious. After all, the device seems to be good for Linux and relatively cheap, too, but after all, a bit expensive (as commented before). But still interesting if you don't mind the money, nice system for diagnostics and demonstration, and maybe for coding if you don't mind the small keyboard.

I understand "free hardware" as a term where driver support is good among Linux and UNIX, and I really welcome any device that does not force you to install a certain OS just to be able to use the hardware. This little computer is a step into the right direction, I think.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: The *Liniche*
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 18th Jun 2008 00:08 in reply to "RE: The *Liniche*"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

Ah well, and a "Menu" key seems to be present, too. Two keys, nearly useless, wasting space on the keyboard (and making the space bar smaller).

For Linux use, please add Meta keys and a middle mouse button. :-)


The home (windows) button hides all apps and shows the (tabbed) desktop, from where all programs are launched in the easy UI. Useful enough. The menu button, sure that's less useful. But there's no reason one couldn't define that as a Meta key. This is in fact what I have done, so the "menu" key is what I use to create accented characters now.

A middle mouse button would be nice for sure. But at least one can emulate it by clicking both mouse buttons a once. This should be easier now since the 901 actually has two regular buttons instead of what seems to be a rocker button on my sister's 900 (though middle click by clicking both is still somehow possible, just difficult. Bit that's what a nice small wireless mouse is for ;) ).

So... can one operate one of these devices without any crapblobs in ones kernel?

Yes. People have been loading other flavors of Linux on it with comparatively little difficulty. The wireless is a sticking point, requiring a patched madwifi (and acceptance of Atheros' binary HAL) so it may not be as pure as some would like. Hopefully ath5k will get there soon.

Xandros as it appears on the Eee also boots very fast with a proprietary init replacement: fastinit. It's been reverse engineered and a drop in open source replacement, finit, is available. I'm using it so I can have /var/log (and run and lock) mounted as tmpfs.

There are still some proprietary bits shipping with the system if it bothers one. Skype for one, Adobe Acrobat Reader for another. Evince replaces the latter nicely. Xandros File Manager is another. Konqueror is there too though if one prefers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: The *Liniche*
by HeLfReZ on Wed 18th Jun 2008 12:52 in reply to "The *Liniche*"
HeLfReZ Member since:
2005-08-12

Specs for Acer One, Dell E, and MSI Wind are already available. They all pretty much trump the ASUS EeePC at this point. ASUS is pricing themselves out of this market and will need to find a way to get the prices down if they plan to sell.

I am personally leaning towards a Dell E or MSI Wind. The ACER One is kewl, but they only offer lower specd machines with linux.

Reply Parent Score: 2