After much thought over the last few months, I bought myself an Eee PC 1000H. It’s tiny, shiny black, clad in a nice neoprene cover and it works. My specs of a small sized machine that slips into a shoulder bag; enables wordprocessing, browsing, emailing; and looks presentable without burning a hole in my pocket are closely met by this Netbook. And, boy am I excited about owning it? I’ve named it Chotu. Lillipute was a close contender but Chotu would come to mind quicker so won the contest.
With Gurgaon’s electricity nightmares continuing unabated, having a long battery life portable machine with wifi felt more like a necessity than an option for a compulsive surfer and emailer like me. And, even when this last week has been haphazard and busy, each time I’ve looked at Chotu, it’s brought a smile to my face. A relief too that now I’ll remain connected to the world with or without electricity from DHBVN. Asus claims to give 7 hours of backup in this 2-cell battery model in Windows and surprisingly less in Linux. But this less is more in Gurgaon.
The machine has come loaded with Windows XP Home at its price of Rs20,400 from a dealer in Nehru Place but being determined to do it right and go the open source route this time around, with Kishore’s hands-on help, I’m running the Ubuntu based Easy Peasy as the OS, Openoffice for wordprocessing, Evolution for email/calendar/task management and Firefox for browsing. For now, I’m missing Photoshop and Fireworks but hoping to get used to Gimpshop that I still have to install. I find Pidgin a very sensible way to manage various IM accounts. And, the machine’s 80GB hdd comforts me that it’ll easily hold my current and future data and applications. A missing cdrom hasn’t been a problem till now but I may look at an external drive at some point. Its wifi takes rather long to connect but when it does establish the connection, it remains rock solid on and I can seek any corner of the house to crouch and surf.
There are some issues though. The keyboard, with its right shift key way too right for my reach, poses a learning curve that I’m trying hard to cover. Its mouse pad is giving me some grief but I’m determined to win over its affection. Evolution is playing strange tricks on me by sending off my messages half way through, but now I’m mindful of keeping my mouse cursor away from the Send button after some goofups. I wish it behaved respectfully like Outlook and queued up my mail in the Outbox to wait for a forced Send/Receive but well, life could be worse. After all, picking up email straight through an email client has been a liberating experience after worrying about viruses in Windows – it’s amazing to know that virus infected mail needn’t be a huge concern as long as I keep teaching Evolution to separate clean mail from spam.
My music is on it but the soothing sound of BBC Radio or last.fm is keeping me amply happy and away from Worldspace or my personal library. Am sure enjoying this journey from a desktop to computing anytime, anywhere. Thanks to Amit Kalra for accompanying me through a breezy scan of various Netbooks in Nehru Place, Kishore for showing his magic with machine configuration and data transfer to appease my computing needs, and Supreet Sethi for endorsing Eee PC by showing off his own on the visit to KNMIET.