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Asus Eee anyone?

Okay, I know I've never given my Asus eee a glowing review anywhere. I can't figure out how to install software on it. It gets hot. OpenOffice crashes. And whenever my fingers or palms brush anywhere in the remote region of the keypad, the cursor hops to a random point in my document and starts deleting things.

That said, it's a cool machine for travel. When we went on vacation in San Francisco, we really got our money's worth out of it. We watched a lot of YouTube, and I was able to keep up on my email. I think I even did some editing. I imagine if I travel with it anywhere else I'll enjoy it just as much. I also changed the tap-time on the pad to "long", which might alleviate my cursor-hopping problem.

Anyhoo, it's $150 on Woot.com today. I think mine was closer to $500 or $600 when I got it.


It might be good as an emergency computer, or a my-kid's-always-on-my-computer computer.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 18th, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)
I took mine on holiday too, and it was a godsend for keeping in touch with the "real world"!

It does tend to get hot, but I have found it to be very robust.

Great wee machine.
Apr. 18th, 2009 09:13 am (UTC)
I read about a text editor called Cream I'd like to install, but again, I have the eee in simple mode and I'm clueless about Linux. Here, I thought that because I switch between Windows and Mac, a third OS would be no problem. Ha ha, silly me!
Apr. 18th, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
I just got my Sony PRS700BC in the mail yesterday. I went with an e-Reader instead of a netbook because of battery usage.

Now, my wife is talking about getting a netbook. I'm thinking of picking one up, but I might go for a slightly more modern model.

This one only has 4GB of storage, which would be fine for e-books and writing, but wouldn't work nearly as well for photos. :)

Jordan, have you done an episode on e-book/e-book readers yet?

I'm still only on the first 20 or so episodes. They have been very helpful in my writing so far.
Apr. 18th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)
I haven't done anything specifically on ebook readers because I don't actually own one! I tend to read my ebooks on my iPod Touch, or if I only have the ebook on PDF, then on the computer.

No, this little eee would definitely not do you much good with photos. And I agree on the battery life; it's pretty lousy. I definitely want some kind of ebook reader someday, but I'm waiting for them to become less proprietary.

If I were to do a cast on ebooks/ebook readers, what would you hope I'd cover? (Maybe I could do one on file types -- at least I know a little something about that.) You give me so many good ideas :D
Apr. 18th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
You've already got a good start on it. Topics I'd like to see would be the utility of the different e-readers (Sony, Kindle, iPod Touch/iPhone), the different file types, and the thing that I think is often overlooked, is formatting for e-readers.

If you need a review on the Sony PRS700BC I can happily provide you with one (audio or text, if you're interested). Unfortunately I don't know of anyone with a Kindle. But you have two platforms you can review, a Netbook and the iPod Touch.

Formatting for the e-reader is very important. And I think that authors/publishers who intend to market towards the e-book market would definitely help themselves by trying out their books on e-readers. I'm reading a PDF e-book right now and from what I can tell, the formatting has been trashed by the Sony. It makes reading dialog very difficult because it has removed the newlines and white space between the characters back and forth dialog. That's partially a problem of the Sony, but something I think publishers would want to be aware of also.

Those are just a couple of the things I wish I could have found out about e-readers before I purchased mine. Don't get me wrong, I really do like it (in fact, it's pretty darn awesome), but more information is usually a good thing.
Apr. 20th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
It really looked like PDF was the way to go with electronic documents a few years ago, but it's much better suited to print. Electronic files need text that can move and wrap. HTML is much better suited to that. You've convinced me, I'll do some kind of show or series on it. Maybe next month :D
Apr. 20th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
Jumping In
Greetings Jordan,

I am a long time lurker/reader/listener to your podcast, who truly enjoys your work. (I've been a fan since your first Psycops novel was published.)

In response to this thread, I currently own a Kindle 2. While the device has some limitations, there are not as many as I was expecting, and I actually adore mine. Mind you, I was a long-time member of the "I love the sensual experience of books" club. While I still am, as you said in a recent podcast, it's us women who are really investing ourselves in the e-book market. Much of the subject matter I am interested in is only available in e-book format. For that, I think the Kindle is brillant, as you can download books from where ever you choose and have an easy-to-read portable version. I've tried using PDF, HTML and mobi-pocket files, and find that the mobi-pocket format work best in terms of conversion. Transferring and converting is as simple as can be, and the e-ink and Kindle screen really are easy on the eyes.

Anyway, the point being is, if you have any questions or are interested in learning more about Kindle, please feel free to contact me. Harvey (my Kindle) and I are always up for answering questions.

Apr. 20th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Jumping In
Oh, awesome! Thank you, Blue! Now I've got a sony user and a kindle user. Okay, you two have convinced me. I'll do some kind of thingy. But probably not this month -- maybe in May. Let me know if you want to do an audio thing, or if you'd rather write something out and have me read it. (I could call you and interview you, for instance, if you're not handy with recording your own audio.)

I'd love a blackberry user, too.

(I adore that you named your Kindle. My iPod's name is Slick. Nothing dirty, I just thought it was pretty nifty when I took it out of the box! And you're supposed to name it so you can plug it into iTunes.)
Apr. 21st, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Jumping In
Hey Jordan,

I would be glad to do whatever you like. Like ptah below, I'm not so sure about my own audo capabilities, however I'd be willing to do whatever is easiest for you. Perhaps a call might work, because then you can hear Harvey read aloud a scene from Camp Hell (which was one of the first things I downloaded.) Let me tell you, nothing inspires giggles like hearing the automated Kindle voice reading a m/m scene.

I think what you said about e-readers allowing for the expansion of self publishing to be spot on. While I purchased my Kindle from Amazon, the majority of the reading material on there I've downloaded from other sites. There's a huge market out there, and Kindle just makes accessing that market that much easier.

On a separate note, your un-birthday gift of the first Psycop story seems to have been a pretty big success. I follow the community for another m/m series, and it was recommended there with a lot of positve feedback. (Link is below in case your curious.)


Anyway, let me know how you want to proceed. Harvey and I are pretty flexible.

Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Jumping In
I noticed that Team Templar was really visiting my site a lot! That's so awesome. And they continue to drop by!

Do you have any quick & dirty way to record audio as a wav or mp3? If so, I'll send you a few questions and you can record a short segment (featuring Harvey!) and email it to me. If not, we'll schedule a call sometime in June...or maybe July, depending on how crazy my preparations for WisCon are.

Thanks so much for being willing to do this! I suspect podcast listeners in general are more willing to embrace technology than the average person. I was surprised how many of my day-job colleagues had just now heard of the Kindle and acted like it was really far-out and something they'd never use in a million years.

In terms of newspaper/magazine content alone, ereaders make so much more sense than paper!
Apr. 22nd, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Jumping In
OK, after your last post, where you said you suspect podcast listeners in general tend to be more embracing of technology, I feel like a big dork admitting that quite honestly, I don't know if my computer even HAS a microphone or not. Whoops? I've never had a need to record anything digitally either, so I wouldn't even know to begin. Whoops again.

That said, I don't want to take up any of your valuable time, so if you want to write out a list of questions, I'll be happy to supply written answers. Or, once more, a phone call would be absolutely fine, either in June or July, whenever is most convenient for you. As I said before, I'm pretty flexible.


(I'll have you know, Harvey was pointing and laughing at me while I typed this.)

Apr. 20th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to say that I have not named my Sony e-book. :)

Jordan, I'd be up for audio or written your preference. I can do my own audio review, or we can do a phone or Skype interview, whatever works best for you. I can send you a sample of my audio if you need to see if it fits your audio requirements for the podcast.

I am really enjoying my Sony. I've been using it for the last couple of days and I've been burning through material. Not sure if I'm able to read faster on it, but I seem to be reading a lot more (could be because of increased usage/exposure). Anyway, I'm very happy with it so far.

My company's internal newsletter is doing a segment on the "green" movement and I suggested they look at e-Reader's as an alternative to books. We'll see if they take the bait.

One strange thing about an e-Reader is that I still find myself moving my hand to turn the page!
Apr. 20th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
OMG, I'm sure your audio is fine...I'm torn because I think a Skype interview is probably the most interesting thing to listen to from a listener's POV, but probably takes 5x the amount of production time.

This is exciting in that maybe it'll encourage more newbies to think about self-pub as a viable option. I think self publishing's gonna turn the industry on its ear.
Apr. 21st, 2009 09:48 am (UTC)
I borrow my partner's eee when I'm out and about, and apart from the kind of heavy mouseclick, I've had no problems (I normally use AbiWord, but he's running full-cream linux, which may make a difference.)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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