The wonderful ASUS Eee PC

I got my ASUS Eee PC as a gift for myself around christmas time of 2008. It was one of’s marked off items for that period and I got it for a mere R1000, what a bargain!

The first thing that people comment on when seeing this piece of hardware is its size. It’s tiny! (Measuring at 225 × 165 × 21~35 mm), but ultra portable! Weighs a mere 922 grams! Here is a full list of specifications for the 2G Surf model that I am writing about:

  • 2GB SSD hard drive
  • 900 MHz Intel Celeron-M processor
  • 512MB DDR2 RAM
  • Integrated Intel GMA 900 graphics
  • Realtek ALC662 Hi-Definition Audio
  • 2h 45min battery life
  • 10/100 Mbit Ethernet and 802.11b/802.11g wireless LAN mini PCI-E card (Atheros)
  • 3 USB 2.0 ports, SD card reader, Ethernet port, Modem port , Microphone input, Headphone jack, AC power jack, VGA out and Kensington lock slot

The default OS that comes with the 2G surf is Xandros Linux with a custom interface specially designed for the Eee PC. I wanted to have XP as the OS on my Eee Pc so I did a nLite deployment of Windows XP with SP3 and removed some unnecessary features, bringing my XP’s size to about 275mb. The default XP size is about 700mb, so this shrinkage is perfect for the computer’s small hard drive! Doing a XP install on the Eee PC is covered in this post.

My XP setup consists of the following applications and configurations:

  • 7-Zip for all file archiving needs, handles all the popular archiving formats.
  • CCleaner, Freeware program to clean the registry and other temporary files on the computer.
  • Custom XP theme that looks nice and also preserves some screen space (Watercolor Emico: Black)
  • FileZilla for FTP’ing
  • Google Docs for a Word, Excel and PowerPoint alternatives, and no install needed!
  • IrfanView for all image viewing and modification needs.
  • K-Lite Codec Pack, video codecs to watch any kind of format with Media Player Classic. VLC would also be a good choice.
  • KVIrc for chatting on IRC
  • Notepad++ for general programming and text editing.
  • Opera, which lets you use the Eee PC’s screen space the most efficiently. In its default state the interface is a bit bloated. Follow this guide to set it up more optimally.
Playing Scrabble on Opera
Playing Scrabble on Opera

The Eee PC is also suprisingly a great system for playing games! Games like World of Goo, Age of Empiries 2, Diablo 2, Fallout 2 run flawlessly! (List of games on the Eee PC). As a big fan of emulation I can just plug in my USB controller and I have a Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, GBA, Neo-Geo, CAPCOM systems and more!