The Eee 901: Awesome

An Eee 901 showed up here recently, and I’ve had a (little) time to play with it.

What an awesome little machine that thing is. The keyboard is better than I expected, and so is the screen.

I got annoyed at the lack of things like Emacs on the default Xandros install, so decided to zap it and install Debian. But first, I wanted to take a backup of it.

I was thinking to myself that this is a Linux environment, but I can’t just boot up a Linux rescue thingy to get stuff off it because it’s not a regular PC.

Oh wait. It IS a regular PC. It is so small that I wasn’t even thinking about it in the right terms. So a little dd, gzip, and nc later I have my backup image.

Debian went on smoothly — booted from a 16MB image on a USB drive. X, suspend/resume, etc. all worked out of the box. Compiled the wifi driver and it works.

This is, I think, the perfect laptop size. Also the price is good, it’s solid… what’s not to love?

2 thoughts on “The Eee 901: Awesome

  1. John,

    the EEE PC is certainly cool; one of my friends has one (of the original 701 4G models), and he’s very pleased. In fact, it’s a huge success over here in Europe, and being the first one, you could call it a trendsetter.

    But to your question about “What’s not to love?”

    It’s the non-existent margin IMHO. Let me explain:

    I opened up the European (German) ZaReason, a company which existed already in the US, and whose attitude to Open Source I liked very much. Besides that, Earl & Cathy are really nice people, so why not build on their work and experience, and offer the same here – that is what I thought. I’m not a Debian developer, but I tried to support it since years, helping out with manning booths at FOSDEM, giving a talk at LinuxTag, helping at Systems again, stuff like that.

    Now, the problem is: offering pre-built Linux machines around here is close to impossible. While Earl & Cathy for instance can offer several different Asus models on their American ZaReason page, I have difficulties with getting even one of them (the S or Z37), and soon my only distributor here will cease to offer them because of Intel’s new Centrino2 platform.

    With the EEE PC (both the original and the 901), it’s even worse. Ok; by now I could get the 701 4G and offer it, with a very low margin. The problem is: end customers can get it cheaper with tax included than I would have to pay net. And again, for businesses, there’s a sole distributor offering it, and I don’t know for how long.

    The 901? You don’t even get the 20G (read: the Linux version) here in Europe! Not even as an end consumer (just searched price comparison websites and such, it’s all about the 12G with Windows).

    Alternatives? The MSI “Wind” for instance? Aye, even in pink – but with Windows only.

    So what’s not to like is that people like me – who know that without people like you, we wouldn’t have a business at all – cannot even offer what we’d like to. The state of Linux laptops in Europe? Still a sad one…

    Thanks for your work for Debian,

    1. Sorry to contradict, but I just got my Linux eee 901 today.

      They are now starting to show up in the UK. Hopefully they will show up in the rest of europe soon enough.

      As for margins – I’m sure everyone’s margin on the 901 is tight, it’s a pretty cheap machine.

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