It is strange to think that it was only 2007 when the first Asus EEE PC came onto the market. This fun little machine turned heads and would often be the subject of curious questions. I think it was also a bit of a game changer, opening a world of ultra mobile computing to a whole new audience. It is also ancient ancestor of the Eee Pad Transformer. I've had mine for just over a week and have sometimes used it as a tablet, sometimes as a netbook depending how I'm feeling. It is feature packed and runs on Android 3.1 (since a recent update), Google's optimised operating system for tablets. There is also a possibility that a lot of people might find it is the only machine they need.
*** Please note that this post is now out of date. Ubuntu Netbook Remix has been updated and now works on the EEE 701 without the need for the modifications detailed below. See: http://www.greenhughes.com/content/quick-peek-ubuntu-netbook-remix-910-… ***
If you have recently been studying a course on OpenLearn you might have noticed the link to "Knowledge Maps" at the top left. This takes you to a page with resources for a special version of the Compendium software adapted for OpenLearn. The Compendium-OpenLearn software is explained more fully at http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?name=KM.
The Asus EEE is without doubt an excellent machine, it may also hold some wider lessons for the future. It is lightweight, a convenient size (about the size of a book), lightweight (about 900g) and extremely versatile (see my previous posts). It feels very solid and would be perfect for someone who might have to travel a lot or attend a lot of meetings.
Admittedly, I didn't actually try to put the EEE into a handbag, but a couple of people very enthusiastically mentioned that such a feat would be possible. Now of course as I'm sure you know there are few subjects more serious than servers, this is the impression I have got over the years from sysadmins suspicious of developers! So we ought to see if some serious technology works on the machine, could we really use it as a web server? Or a database server? Maybe even for Drupal?
The EEE does lots more fancy multimedia stuff. One great program that is on board already is Amarok (although it has been renamed Music Manager here). This has got to be one of the greats of the open source world. Through this application you can listen to your music collection, listen to internet radio, subscribe to podcasts and it integrates with last.fm (so you can listen to streams and scrobble tracks).
I've just had the good fortune to have been able to borrow one of these magnificient little machines for the weekend. For those of you haven't heard the Asus EEE PC is an ultramobile laptop. Think "Honey I shrunk the laptop" and you'll have a good picture of it.