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Fry’s electronics February 4, 2008

Posted by reverseengineer in Review.
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Actor, comedian, writer, performer, all-around genius and little-known ubergeek Stephen Fry has weighed in on the EeePC – and he likes it.

With reservations, of course. And he’s not quite up to the specs (there’s no modem, Stephen! And you can use the webcam for chats – you just need to enable it!) and he bashes it as much as he praises it, but at least it’s an honest and generally favorable take on the Eeep.

Some choice quotes:

I am writing this article on a kind of mini John the Baptist, a system that prepares the way of the software saviour whose coming will deliver the 90% of world computer users who suffer under Windows from the expensive, clumsy, costly, ugly, pricey toils of Microsoft.

The Asus EEE PC perched on my knee combines GNU software with a Linux kernel powered by an Intel Celeron Mobile Processor to produce a very extraordinary little laptop. It weighs less than a kilogram, starts up from cold in about 12 seconds and shuts down in five. It has no internal hard disk and no CD drive. It offers 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a seven-inch display; wireless, dial-out modem and ethernet adaptors are available for networking and internet connections, three USB ports, mini-jack sockets for headphones and microphone, a VGA out, an SD card slot and a built-in webcam. All for about £200 – less than the price of a show, dinner and taxi for two in London’s West End.

 

And:

The EEE is far from perfect: system software claims two-thirds of its meagre 4GB of storage, the keyboard is sub-par, the trackpad worse; it seems a shame to boast a built-in webcam and a full field of IM clients, yet be incapable of videochat; the OS, a customised version of Linux, part Debian, part Asus’s own creation, makes downloading outside the bundled software updater uncertain. But these defects are minor compared with the machine’s astounding value and functionality – and to the future trends in computing it heralds.

Read Fry’s complete Feb. 2 column Dork Talk in The Guardian.

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