Ask Lifehacker: How should I prepare for my new Eee PC?

Ask Lifehacker: How should I prepare for my new Eee PC?

Dear Lifehacker,
I was hoping I could put a question to the Lifehacker community. I know a lot of folks out there are Eee PC owners, and I’ve finally caved and ordered myself a 901 (it’s a 20GB Linux model — I may switch distro as I run Ubuntu/XP on my main rig). I’m curious about whether there’s anything I should do/gather in preparation, while I wait for my black beauty to be delivered. Essentially, it will put my waiting-for-a-new-toy-anxiety on hold, and I’ll be that little bit more organised when it actually gets here. I realise there are many Lifehacker posts that are Eee-centric already, however they’re mostly for taking it apart or using it, once you have it. Any advice? Cheers, Paul C

Dear Paul,
With luck, the Lifehacker community will drag themselves away from
their Eee addiction and share some wisdom with you. Part of the beauty
of the Eee is that it really does work out of the box — as you’ve
already got your main rig set up, the biggest challenge might be
remembering the passphrase for your wireless network. But here’s a few
suggestions to start with:

  • Make sure you’ve got a reasonable capacity USB stick to build a
    restore image for the Eee in case anything goes wrong once you start
    tinkering¬† — no great challenge when you can now buy them in Aussie
    supermarkets for $10 a pop.
  • If you’re planning on using a wireless broadband modem,
    familiarise yourself with the install process. Stocks of USB models can
    be variable, so you might want to order in advance — see our checklist.
    And perhaps purchase yourself some Command picture hanging strips for
    ease of attachment.
  • Do some reading on the Eee install process. Even for Linux users,
    the Eee involves a few twists and turns — knowing what you’re in for
    should make the process more fun.

  • Make a mental note of where you purchased it and how much it
    cost. Every time you use it in a public place, people will be asking
    this question. Really.

Any more suggestions for Paul? Share them in the comments.


  • I recently bought a eeePC 1000H running XP. It’s all pretty straight forward. I just had to take mine out of the box and turn it on. Everything was installed and ready to use.

    Just curious, what sort of programs do other eeepc users have installed on their systems?

  • The first question is where the hell did you find someone in Aus to sell you a Linux 901?

    All I’ve been able to find are the Windows ones with the tiny storage.

  • Grabbed a 1000H on the weekend, and a few extras:
    – Wireless router (I was previously on wired only ADSL2+)
    – 16G SDHC card for extra storage – not that the 1000H needs it, but the 901 might.
    – USB keys (16G, 8G, 4G) – as suggested above!

    The other things you might consider are a laptop mouse if the trackpad gets a little difficult, and a decent carry case – although with the 901 it’s probably small enough to slot in a tiny backpack or shoulder bag.

    The 1000H came with its own fairly nice case (no handle to carry it, mind you) which I think will be fine for me for the moment.

  • Thanks Molokov (:

    And, to the rest of you wondering where I got it… A Hong Kong eBay seller.

    After a whole LOT of searching for an Aus distributor, or a US one, ANY ONE I found that the only place they’ve been pushed to the market yet is… Hong Kong – and it only happened last week.

    Hopped onto eBay, found a decent price (paid retail value, inc shipping), quizzed the seller about it for a few days… took a deep breath… bought it.

    FedEx tells me it will arrive tomorrow. I quiver with excitement.

  • Sorin,

    Not necessarily. It’s very much dependant on what you want.
    I’m going to be carrying mine into classes for taking notes, and eventually into classes for referring to notes/lesson plans, etc, every day…. in the Czech Republic, far from home.

    So presumably I’m also going to be hop-skipping around Europe as much as possible.

    I wanted the smaller shell, I have small hands, so the keyboard isn’t a big issue, the insides of the thing aren’t much different to the 1000, and the battery life is reported to be incredible.

    For me, the 901 is better than the 1000.
    For you? Could be the other way ’round, or you may want an MSI Wind (if you can find one).

  • I’m seriously confused right now. I see the ad for the 1000H at JB, but there’s no word on the 901, could anyone tell me (If possible) if there are any places where I can get my hands on one in Australia?

  • AZN, currently it is impossible to purchase one in Australia. The ASUS website lists the 901 12gb XP version – but is out of stock. They do allow preordering though.

    You must go to eBay, this is doubly so (lunchtime?) if you wish to pick up a 20gb Linux version.

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