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Wind.dk - the site of lunacy

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Wind.dk - the site of lunacy

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t2 - 日本語

Pronounced "bokko-chan," I bought this Eee PC 900 in the spring of 2009. In August of 2012, I installed a new screen in it, because I had accidentally put my knee on the old one in the dark... But now it works just fine again, though it may not see as much use, now that I also have Ropponmatsu.

It came very cheap, yet it had everything I needed for the intended purpose. It is running Linux, but instead of the supplied Xandros with too many omissions, I intalled the Easy Peasy variety of Ubuntu.

Unless you like the bundled very simple user interface, and it does what you need, I am not sure there is much point in installing an OS specifically for netbooks - I very quickly deactivated most of the netbook UI features even of the Easy Peasy distribution. Of course it may have more adaptations, for instance I assume they may have cut down on the server daemons, but still, I think I'd be just as well served with a standard end user install.

I expanded the 1GB RAM to 2GB, which I think may have made powering on a little unstable, but the 16GB solid state "drive" should be plenty for my reports, projects, notes and translations, so that will not be changed. For music and such, I use extra SD cards, currently I have an 8GB one in the slot. I got a very very small mouse with a roll-up cord for it. It was so much better than the trackpad, not that the trackpad is bad, it is really quite good for a trackpad, but it is a trackpad. But the mouse is long ago broken by use. Well, it was cheap.

I have set it up with Japanese input and OpenOffice. I also added Itadaki to OpenOffice. Itadaki makes it wonderfully easy to add furigana to Japanese text and to look up words, and it has been of great use when reading Japanese stories for class and preparing translations. I have also installed Bluefish for web editing - and some graphics applications that I do not have much use for on it, but they can be useful to have around.

I succesfully used Bokko-chan and OpenOffice to write my report on Western influences in Sōseki's literature for the spring semester's literature course, as well as the shorter report on grammatical categories for the language history classes. Basically that means it has already given the full expected return on the investment - I think I spent more on books for the literature course than I did on this computer - so from now on it is so to say free, and I expect it to last at least for another semester or two as well as a trip to Japan and maybe a few other places.

When it is available, wireless network is rather nice. Now I even have it at home, thanks to a surplus router from Christian. I think I got it mostly so he can use his Eve more easily when visiting, but I've been making extensive use of it too. When the router from my ISP broke down I got a new one with wireless, so I think the old wireless bridge will go on loan to a couple of nice girls who are just getting their own internet connection.

I have also set it up to synchronize the documents with an account on V'ger set up for the same purpose. Configuring Unison was very easy and so was adding synchronization at login, but synchronizing again at logout is more tricky, as Gnome offers no easy way to run a user script at that point. I finally stumbled upon this little Python script, which supplies the functionality I needed by listening for Gnome's save-yourself message. I added a little ping check before running Unison, and it works beautifully. I now have my documents on Bokko-chan available for editing on my desktop computers at home, and synchronized as well as I could expect. I think I ought to get to know Python. It seems to be a very nice language for scripting, and maybe also useful for slightly larger projects.

The only real shortcoming is, it really does not run long on a charge, and I always bring the power supply. A slightly larger battery and a more modern power saving processor would be great, but that Eee cost 60% more and was not in stock. A 900 in the hand is better than no 901s in stock.

And the keyboard? Well, it is very small, and it takes a little getting used to, but it is not as bad as some of the reviews could lead you to believe. Maybe it is because I do not use touch typing. Generally the computer does not feel like they have cut any corners in the construction, but of course time will tell. And of course it could be nicer, it could have genuine hardwood coverings and eye controlled pointer movements, but for the price I think I have got a lot of computer, and in a package of just the right size. I can even dream of running Mac OS X on it, it is possible, though probably not practical, but at least it does not have Windows, I dare not imagine the horrors of XP on a 1024x600 screen.

ボッコちゃん or "Bokko-chan" is the gently homicidal robot girl in Hoshi Shinichi's (星新一) short short story of the same name.

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