Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday 4 October 2008

My PC experimentations continue

I've just ordered myself a new notebook computer which I hope will arrive during next week. I've written before about my experiencess with Microsoft's current main operating system being marketed to consumers, Vista, (here, here [final 'PS/' paragraph], here, here, here, here, here and here).

It's only partly to do with my Vista problems, however - even if it's the main reason. In addition to that I've grown fond of notebooks which, because they have small screens, are very portable and pretty light; my current main notebook (the one using Vista) has a 12" screen and if it were not for the horrible operating system would be a terrific little machine. Another 'however' is that during one of my periods of extreme frustration with Vista I [probably not entirely inadvertently, if the truth be known] spilled a full sherry glass of Pedro Ximenez sherry (very sweet sherry indeed) over the keyboard and since then the keys have been very sticky, making it necessary to use an external keyboard, which is a bore. My sub-conscious has obviously been telling me to dump this innocent machine and 'get shot' of Vista!

Anyway, I've ordered one of these sub-notebook things which are becoming increasingly popular, without a built-in DVD/CD read-write drive and with a solid-state memory rather than a hard drive - the model I am going for is the Asus eee PC 1000, which has a 40 GB solid-state drive and runs on GNU Linux as its standard operating system; amongst the various other bits and pieces I've ordered at the same time is a mini external DVD/CD reader-writer to allow me to load other software into it as well as a 16 GB SD memory card to make use of the slot the machine is equipped with the extend the main SSD memory, plus a few other smaller add-ons. Apparently users of this model also get access to 20 GB of secure online storage (i.e. 'the cloud') to store files such as documents or photographs. Once I'm familiar with the machine, I'll probably get another 2 GB memory card to increase the RAM from the supplied 1 GB of RAM. The machine has a 10" screen and, because it has no built-in DVD/CD drive it is compact and pretty light, ideal for taking back and forth on the 'plane to Spain and of course solid-state flash drives are a lot less prone to damage than hard-drives. No doubt the next development will be increased SSD flash-drive memory (from the current 40 GB maximum) and I can well see myself getting another machine once this happens - they are relatively inexpensive and can now probably be regarded as just another easily-affordable consumer durable, unlike my first two machines which cost me around GBP2,500 each in 1982 and 1984 money, that would be a lot more now! I'm currently on my 8th PC and the Asus will be my 9th, if my recollection is accurate - I expect I'll be well over the 10th before too many more years pass!

YouTube never ceases to amaze me; there are a lot of video-clips there (as I discovered last night) demonstrating the Asus eee PC 1000 and other PCs - here's just one of the more interesting ones I found:

- unlike the fellow in the video-clip I shall NOT be putting Vista on it(!) although I might add XP in due course; there are lots of other video-clip reviews of people doing that and I found it was always a pretty stable system, even if it's a bit old-hat now.

Once I've received the new machine I'll undoubtedly be boring-on about it some more!

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