These new little PC thingies

I have blogged before about the eeePC I got and used for deputation. It worked beautifully. What I wanted from it was :

1) to do Powerpoint presentations, which it did via "Openoffice Impress"

2) to show the Bordeaux, Brittany and beyond video, which it did via VLC.

3) to keep on top of emails, especially when some people contacted me by email about visits etc. This it did via Firefox, Gmail and Macdonalds free wifi.

4) to Skype the family, using Macdonalds free wifi - we never did this because I never caught them online but I am pretty sure it would have worked fine.

5) to be light and easy to carry. And it is.

The machine does have two drawbacks - the small ( 7 " ) screen and keyboard.

However it remains incredibly useful. For example I take it on the tram to the student centre. It fits in my sacoche together with two or three paperback books, my diary, my notebook, my Gideons New Testament and other bits and bobs, and it is fine for the English class, for example, where we sometimes listen to MP3 files or use the BBC Learning English website. Also at the centre I can plug in a standard keyboard and just work on it. I could even plug in a bigger screen if I needed.

Now Asus have released a version with a 9" screen which you can get with either Windows XP or Linux. However I would suggest that unless you need something quickly you wait a while because there's a whole batch of alternatives about to come out, from Dell, Acer, etc. etc.

These little machines are light, portable and should be much cheaper than you'd normally pay for a laptop. I think of all those churches paying out for a laptop which will basically do one job - project Powerpoint files. One of these mini-jobbies would do the job much more cheaply and just as well.


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