[luke] has put together a set of EeePC upgrade instructions for those who suffer from solderphobia. If you have the EeePC 700 or 701, also known as the 4G surf, you can upgrade the storage, add bluetooth, and a touch screen without having to solder a thing. Those models don’t have the built in camera, so they have an unused internal USB port. With some crafty taping and careful placement, you can upgrade as easily as [luke]. We’ve really seen the EeePC mature, the product line has expanded quite a lot. For those who don’t mind a little solder, there have been tons of hacks for the EeePC.
[Jeff] is continuing to work on his WiFi streaming radio project and is now into part 7. The reason it’s taken so long is because he’s bothering to document every single piece of the system instead of assuming too much of the reader. The core of the system is an Asus WL-520GU wireless router. It is supported by OpenWRT and has a USB port for use with an external audio card. mpd, Music Player Daemon, is used for playback. This latest part features adding an LCD display for the current track. The router board already has points for the serial port, so it’s just a matter of adding an AVR to talk to the LCD. The next step is building a simple user interface and then boxing everything up. You can view a video of the display below.
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Gadget blogs have been a fluster the last day about TechCrunch stating that netbooks “just aren’t good enough“. Writing a response post hasn’t proven very hard given the number of factual errors in the original. Boing Boing Gadgets points out that the low-end of the spectrum that TC post seems to cover are almost impossible to purchase because they’re so outdated. Liliputing rightly states that comparing the browsing experience to the iPhone isn’t worthwhile since it’s entirely a software problem. Laptop goes so far as to recommend the HP Mini 1000 and Samsung NC10 specifically for their keyboard. TechCrunch isn’t alone in their opinion; this week Intel stated that using the ultra portable devices was “fine for an hour“. TechCrunch is designing a web tablet right now using the collective wisdom of blog commenters. Looks like they’re just reboxing a netbook for the prototype.
We cover the netbook market for different reasons than most: Their low low price makes people much more willing to hack on the device. For the price of a smartphone, you’re getting a fully capable laptop. The low performance doesn’t matter as much since we’re running different flavors of Linux that are much lighter than Windows. People running OSX86 are doing it to address a market that Apple doesn’t.
What’s your experience with netbooks? Do you have one that you adore or are you annoyed by their shortcomings? Models we’ve covered in the past include the Acer Aspire One, Asus Eee PC, Dell Mini 9, and MSI Wind.
[Photo: Onken Bio-pot]
Promises, promises, promises. The $200 Eee PC is supposedly coming in 2009, according to chairman Johnny Shih. No word on whether it will be a 10 inch screen, but it seems possible as they have stated they are phasing out the smaller models. Other interesting facts were divulged, such as 70% of them are now loaded with Windows XP and hard drives.
[Terry Porter] added an external antenna to his EeePC 900. Initially, he mounted it on the side of the unit, but found that the location caused it to no longer fit in its carrying case, and made plugging in USB or Ethernet cables very difficult. His resolution was to move the mount to the rear portion of the case. His professional looking mount is definitely worthy of some attention. Check out the project for a breakdown and some great pictures showing the necessary modifications to make it fit.
If you’re going to crack open your EeePC, you may want to just go all out and add everything available.
Some of the Eee Box PCs have been shipped with viruses on board and ready to go. The virus was sitting on the D: drive, labeled as recycled.exe. As soon as that drive is opened, the virus is unleashed on the other drives and removable media attached. Strangely, Microsoft has come to the rescue as their Malicious Software Removal Tool detects it and removes it. This was only on some models, and apparently mostly in Japan.
Before you denounce ASUS for this oversight keep in mind that they make things that we really want, such as the touch screen Eee PC promised in 2009.
We have run many EeePC hacks before. Like most people, what we really want is a Mac netbook. The folks over at Wired have written up some nice instructions to help you run OSX on your EeePC. The process is a little involved, so don’t expect to just pop in a disk and be home free. There are a few setbacks though. No flash support, hardware F-keys don’t work (volume, brightness, etc), and ethernet doesn’t work. WiFi works but only with a third party driver/app.