Posts tagged ‘Asus’


A eulogy to my soon to be departed Asus EEEpc 701.

I have chosen on this day to speak, fondly of my soon to be departed EEEpc 701 netbook.  You see this venerable example of its breed is not long for this world.  The poor dear has in the last few days developed several symptoms which point to a not very sudden demise.  In fact it was only on the evening of  Saturday the 4th that my poor beloved netbook developed what can only be described as a nasty death rattle.  So with its consignment to computer Valhalla assured in the near future, the time has come to pay my respects to this, the greatest of my electronic game-day players.

Yes this is the colour and model of my netbook. (Image via )

I still remember the day that my netbook arrived in the post.  It had taken me 12 weeks to save and another weeks wait after ordering for that moment.  But it had been so worth the wait.  In it’s surprisingly small white box waited the best piece of bad technology I have ever owned.  Which is saying something when you consider I once owned an Atari 5200.  I very carefully opened the box and inside, resplendent in hot pink and white lay my EEEpc 701.  Without even switching it on, I fell totally in love with its miniscule size and equally tiny weight.

Less than ten minutes later that netbook won first blood, when a sharp piece of soldering inside it cut into my knuckle as I fitted the second stick of ram.  That was when I knew our future held many battles of willpower, where the most stubborn would be the victor.  How right I was.

You see this was back in the day when netbooks only came loaded with Linux. The operating system I loathe most of all, even more than Apple OS or Windows, Linux represents everything I hate about computing.  It’s clunky, badly realised and so completely user-unfriendly as to be almost unusable for the uninitiated.  Needless to say at that point in time I was most definitely one of the uninitiated.  That said in time and through sheer pig-headedness I grew to be proficient with Linux, though I will never like it.  But even so, to this day my sickly netbook and I have toe-to-toe battles, caused purely by that most hellish of mankind’s creations Linux.

Yet despite these ups and downs, my netbook and I grew to have an extraordinarily productive relationship.  To date, between blogs, articles, four drafts of one whole novel, one-quarter of its sequel and miscellaneous other pieces of writing, together we have churned out a minimum of a half million words.  That of course is without counting emails and the innumerable posts on Facebook.

On its tiny seven-inch screen I have watched dozens of episodes of the Angry Video Game Nerd, trawled the mucky streets of 4chan and spoken for hours with friends on Skype.

Yes my netbook has been my link to the outside world when my health has prevented me from leaving home for days and occasionally weeks on end.  It has been my release from boredom in Airport lounges and even my MP3 player when my real MP3 player has simply given up and died, mid train journey.

All this for just over €200 almost five years ago, five years of heavy use.

Unfortunately though, my netbooks solid state hard drive has started to fail, the screen flickers, the voice from its speakers is roughened with age and the “m” and “k” keys only work when they feel like it.  It’s almost time for my netbook to be brought out behind the wood shed, so I can put a deer-slug through its processor, releasing it from its current state of misery.

But today friends I take this opportunity to say a fond and loving farewell to my fellow adventurer in my forays into literature, while it is still alive and striving still to kick my ass, with its hateful operating system.  My netbook I raise a glass to you, you have been a worthy companion and occasionally worthy enemy.  I will miss you now that I am forced to replace you in the coming weeks.  But for the time being I will still love using you, even if you are occasionally spitting up digital pus and blood while you sit on my lap.


Ancient Tech

Like any geek worth their salt I rarely throw away anyting thing that once upon a time had electrons running through it.  For example each of my three main bookshelves each has a  large drawer built into its base and all of those drawers are filled with spare components from old PC’s and laptops.

I have one drawer filled with spare power supplies, another has six or seven old IDE laptop hard drives with such small storage capacity that my e-book collection on its own would fill two of them.  How about a spare LCD screen for a laptop?  Or enough IDE data cables to bind a lover quite securely to a kitchen chair?  Seriously I throw away nothing that may have a use at some vague undefined time in the future.

This extreme technological thriftiness extends much further though.  I’m writing this on the very first model Asus EEEPC, the 701, which I’ve had now since about three months after it was released.  Where’s the thriftiness in that?  Well I have another one hanging in a case in my wardrobe for when this one finally gives up the ghost.

My HP Ipaq which I use for everything from writing notes to reading my aforementioned ebooks was released in September 2005 and I fully expect to get at least another three or four years out of it.

So what about my PC you ask?  Well two thirds of it’s components are from a PC that was already severely outdated when my partner owned it six years ago.  Yup that’s right the motherboard comes from a time long before SATA drives.  Hell it only has two RAM slots and occasionally has really nasty shit fits when I try to install complex programs, you know like the built in Windows calculator.  But for all that it still runs World of Warcraft at minimum settings and those ancient creaking components did save me from a fate worse than death for a PC gamer…not having a PC.  For the record the newest component in a real Frankenstein of a PC is the graphics card which comes in at a remarkably young age of 4 years.

No my PC isn’t quite this ancient, although it does call this one uncle.

My mobile is a 5 year old Nokia, my cordless drill was involved in the construction of the Ark, my epilator (if you have to ask, ask your girlfriend and watch for the pained expression on her face) was built using Brunellian techniques and my MP3 player still uses AAA batteries.

So why write about this?  Well soon one of my dearest friends and an adopted lil sister of mine leaves this septic isle for brighter shores and she has promised to gift me her PC which due to weight constraints she can’t bring with her.  This will mark the first time ever that I have had an even vaguely up to date piece of tech in my possession and I thought it was a good time to take stock of what I have used and just how much fun and functionality can be gotten from something so old.

Old of course is a very relative term in electronics.  But when I see someone throw out something as wonderful as a working Apple Newton (one of the great granddaddies of handheld computing) or insist on having a new mobile every six months it makes me sad almost beyond words.  Not just because I tend to anthropomorphise technology (my PC has died so many times I call it Lazarus) but simply because people tend not to stop and wonder if anyone else would not just use but love using what they’ve cast aside.

Look people just because it’s old enough that it has to run on Windows 95 doesn’t mean it’s worthless.  It’s just worthless to you.  Instead of throwing it out how about finding it a loving home with a hardcore geek who will lovingly restore it to and beyond its former glory?  After all a pupp….I mean a piece of technology is for life until it dies in a cloud of ozone filled smoke not just for Christmas.*

Oh and Claire thank you for the future Daniel Jackson so to be named because you just know I’ll still have most of your PC running in one form or another in ten years time.

*refers to one of the ancient beliefs of electronics, that all eletronics run on smoke, hence why they stop working when you see that smoke escaping from your PC/dvd/television.  This belief always superceeds emergency repair proceedure number one, as once the smoke that makes something run has vanished no amount of beating it up with make it run again.

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