As I type this a copy of Windows XP is now humming away on the tiny eeePC next to me. After many exciting, educational, but ultimately frustrating encounters with the pre-installed Xandros OS I decided that the allure of solid support for Bluetooth, GPS and other functions I consider vital was just too tempting. The Evil From Redmond is there. Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Initially I got carried away with the power of nLite and slimmed down my install to 580mb, but this proved unstable. After a quick restore, I’ve slimmed my current Windows XP install to 701mb and I’ve yet to encounter any major difficulties with this optimization. Initial boot time was under 30s but that later rose to around 40s after I began installing various necessary third-party applications.
Tested so far:
- All Asus eeePC drivers (Asus supplies a handy DVD)
- Recognized & activated Bluetooth Receiver flawlessly.
- Recognized and communicated with Blackberry (tethered and Bluetooth, had to copy 110kb mapi32.dll file though)
- Connects to WEP and WPA wireless networks (Window’s built in WiFi manager FAR superior to Asus’)
- Connects to wired/ethernet networks fine
- Skype (runs better in 800×600 but acceptable given the quality of the native camera and Skype video in general)
- Firefox (with AdBlocker) runs great. Will not be installing any flavor of Internet Explorer
- Open Office runs perfectly. No plans to install Microsoft at this time.
- Web video runs acceptable. Not quite desktop levels but more than adequate for portable entertainment.
- SDHC card is very fast and stable. No duplicate mounts like under Xandros.
- Battery life drops to 2:30 with Bluetooth and Wifi actively running. I imagine it would hit near the 3:30 promised by Asus without these power hungry features active.
- Spybot Search & Destrory, PeerGuardian, AVG, CCleaner installed and just fine.
- Having to occasionally switch to 800×600 is slightly tedious but tolerable.
Still to do:
- Test GPS reciever
- Test GPS software
- Test iPod/iTunes performance
- Various Firefox add-ons
- Some sort of alternative menu system (Launchy, etc)
- Alternative charger testing (solar, kinetic, etc)
Disclaimer: This is a for fun project. The eeePC is a mobile solution for me when I’m between desktops and full-sized laptops. That being said, I still require that it fill a few more roles than its out-of-the-box designation.