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Re: eeepc (was: custom install)

El vie, 30-05-2008 a las 18:33 +0900, nigel barker escribió:
> José L. Redrejo Rodríguez wrote:
> >> 2. Does anyone have experience of debian edu on an eeepc? (or cloudbook, 
> >> etc.) As a workstation I suppose, but maybe standalone. Does anyone 
> >> advise me for or against buying a set of eeepc for my school?
> >>     
> >
> >
> > There is a project on Debian for eeepc:
> > http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEeePC
> > There you should find all the needed docs to make it run smoothly in
> > Debian.
> > I've had an eeepc in my hands and player a little bit with it. I think
> > it's fine for geeks or for little children, but, in my opinion, the
> > small keyboard makes it a bad option for children > 10 years. The small
> > screen might be also a problem, but I'm not so sure of it, as children
> > have usually better view than adults, and the laptop is going to be very
> > near to the eyes.
> > Anyway, there are more options around [1] that might be, at least, as
> > attractive as the eeepc. I had now on my desktop a hp mininote 2133 [2].
> > It's also a small laptop (1.090 gr weighted in my kitchen scales ;-),
> > but with a full sized keyboard and a bigger screen.
> > The worst part for all these laptops is obviously that their perfomance
> > is pretty bad, even with 1 gb of RAM (as the mininote has), it's really
> > slow, not only with OpenOffice, but also when watching youtube videos or
> > playing flash games. I know that's not the goal of these laptops, but it
> > will customize the opinion the students (and their parents) have about
> > where we spend their money.
> >
> >
> >   
> Thanks for those links and advice Jose. I don't actually need 
> ultra-mobility so much - it was the low price of the eeepc (esp. without 
> camera) and its supposed robustness for class use that made me consider it.

Most of these small laptops are cheap and have very similar prices. As
an example, hp mininote is also cheap:

and it's keyboard and screen are much more robust (appart from the
important fact of having a full size keyboard)

> You are saying that performance is poor, but is it acceptable if I can 
> get twice as many computers for my money? (I know unanswerable question)
> Isn't there a wow a factor, also - that kids would find it cool?

In my totally personal and subjetive experience (leaving the laptops in
my daughters' hands) kids see it as a natural thing. The wow factor is
from adults, but not from kids. As an example, my daughter complained
for the mousepad, and liked the brightness of the screen, but didn't
think that the size was surprising.
On the other hand: educative applications, web browsing (including
youtube and some flash sites), or even openoffice work in a very
acceptable way. It only takes some seconds more to start, but then there
is no problem. But, forget about games with intensive graphics, 3D
acceleration is poor or just does not exist. Also, flash based games,
specially those with physics engines as
http://www.miniclip.com/games/dune-buggy/en/   , work veeeery slow.

> I will keep searching and try to decide what to do. (I may end up 
> getting another set of no-name, no-OS laptops instead)

> In principal, if Debian can run on an eeepc, so can a skolelinux 
> workstation, right?

Sure, I'm testing some of these small laptops from different brands as
workstation and thin clients, not having more problems that those you'll
find with any other standard laptop.

Anyway, if you're not in a hurry, I'd wait some months. In June, Intel
will deliver massively the new Atom chipset. Most of these laptops use a
via chipset that's not fast and it's pretty hot. There are already some
samples of laptops using that chipset and seem to be very promising.
It's not a dual core, but it's perfomance seems to be good. I hope to
test some of them soon, up to now I've only read some analysis. So after
the summer you will see a lot of these laptops using a better chipset,
with similar prices.

José L.

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