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Port-A-PC January 20, 2008

Posted by reverseengineer in Ramblings.

Of course I got it because it was portable.

And I’d be damned if it isn’t. I can actually put it in a fanny pack with all the little pieces that go with it – the charger, the wifi mouse, a flash drive, an extra SD card. Then I run out the door with the thing on my waist. Goes with me everywhere. No sweat. Literally.

It’s nothing like a MacBook Air, of course. (I’d rather we not go there. It would be like comparing, uh, apples and …catalytic converters.) I’d love one of those, but it still isn’t an Eeep.

I used to lug around my Macs and Thinkpads in big rucksacks, folios, sachels and bags of all shapes, sizes, weights and materials. I have a considerable collection – I have a serious bag problem, I think. That’s another story though (and something I’ve told in another blog.)

But now with the Eeep, I hardly need one. Now I’ve just settled on the trusty old backpack that I’d occasionally bring if I don’t need to bring a laptop. That’s because it’s not meant to carry one; no special pads, pockets and compartments for the tech stuff. I just throw in an extra shirt, a book and some other analog things like a sandwich, or the occasional tech thing, like a Nintendo DS.

Now that I have a laptop in the plain old backpack, it doesn’t even feel at all like it has one inside. I keep the little pile of EeePC detritus in a little zip case, and after I throw it in there, the bag still feels empty. It’s so light it could just be an analog tuna sandwich in it. I just need to keep reminding myself there’s a laptop in there so I don’t hurl the bag into a corner when I get home.

I’ve even tried to just carry the thing in my hand. I recently went out with the power adaptor in my pants pocket, and just handcarrying the Eeep along with a thin hardbound I’m currently reading called Variable Star written by Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson. Thin as it was, the book was still bigger and heavier, and was the thing I wish I had left home.

The fact that my Eeep’s a tough little bugger is an added plus. In the School of Hard Knocks this one is a Dean’s Lister. Hardy and durable, there isn’t that nagging thought I always had in the back of my mind that I should tiptoe my way around all the time back when I carried the bigger gear. Now I can comfortably be my klutzy, careless, normal self.

Right now I’m typing this in a Starbucks, with about five other people tapping away at Macs and Windows laptops. One of them is getting ready to go, and I watch him stowing his big rig away like he was packing for a long trip: putting away his corded mouse, his coolpad, winding up the power cable around the brick and jamming them all in the bag, then stuffing the chunky laptop right in there after it with great difficulty, as the junk had taken up a good deal of the space already. Poor guy. It was a ceremony I was very familiar with.

Now, when I have to go, I’d just shut the lid closed and throw the Eeep into the mesh pocket on the side of my rucksack. Then I’m outta there.

The Asus EeePC may not be thin enough that I should be afraid of getting paper cuts, but it’s cheap, tough, tiny and does the job.

Good enough for me.



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