. /../My new PC. Surprise inside!/ 1
lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Dec 13, 2008 03:16
Ok, here's the new configuration of my desk. Since three months ago I switched to using an Asus EeePC 900 for... working. I attached a wireless keyboard+mouse set to it and began to use it as a desktop replacement. It sounds extremely nonconventional (that's also why I like this solution), but this particular solution was triggered by considerations on the noise the old computer's fan was producing. After trying the EeePC in other laptop-like circumstances, I noticed that it was running almost fanless. It then became constantly fanless after downclocking it to just 495 MHz using a program called "eeectl". It also brought the 5400mAh battery life to about 4 hours.

Here's the pics:

cd/jpgs/Alex/dec_08_desk (230 Kb)
cd/jpgs/Alex/dec_08_pc_closed (237 Kb)
cd/jpgs/Alex/dec_08_pc_open (908 Kb)

(whoa... the latter's a big file, I must have forgotten to halve the size of the last picture... patience)

The PC has a couple SSDs in place of mechanical hard drives, a solution which I find very cool: as such there's no noise from the spinning disc as well, ie. there's no spinning disc, just non-volatile memory.

And I can bring it around in a reasonably small bag, which I still occasionally do, so I can work outside when the weather allows that, or at some other indoor place other than home. The PC has been equipped with two external 2.5" hard drives (WD Passport), one of 60 GB and the other holding as much as 320 GB. This allows me backing up stuff in two extra copies and... compensates for the very little amount of mass memory made available by the PC on itself (only 12 GB, divided between an on-board 4-GB chip and an extra 8-GB SDD mounted in an expansion socket accessible from below). I've further partitioned the 8-GB one in two 4-GB portions, one of which keeps my data and documents, while the other keeps an exact byte-by-byte copy of the system partition, as a hidden partition. This last precaution was done for safety: if something goes wrong with the system partition, I can restore it in minutes, using Hactar's "mirror ISO copier". Ah, yeah, it can boot from pendrives, and in fact I'm using a slightly tweaked version of Hactar's bootdisk to perform partition copies.
journeyman
written by Stargazer on Dec 13, 2008 08:29
Surprise indeed, I never tought I would see anyone use a EEE for desktop replacement, but it seems to work just fine. Actually, it happens to be the completely opposite direction of what I'm doing for my next machine, but I certainly like your solution. Congrats on the new set-up Alex; as original as always.
lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Dec 13, 2008 13:55
Yep, I think I vaguely remember you were more for cutting-edge hardware. My solution doesn't imply I don't like powerful hardware, though... it was mostly to have a portable workplace that could encourage me more to work outside home, and because of the noise.

And because I like trying out such apparently crazy solutions
written by Onforty on Dec 13, 2008 16:28
One thing: O_O
written by Monty on Dec 13, 2008 23:40
My desktop replacement is to be a psion netbook (epoc version) for the same reasons - size and noise. Only problem is I can't get the wireless to work. Is a pain.
written by Mcwgogs on Dec 15, 2008 06:14
Oh look, a tissue roll.
night fth
written by Ferinex on Dec 15, 2008 06:23
Mcwgogs said:
Oh look, a tissue roll.
Shhh! Boys will be boys.
i do my own stun-- avatars
written by Albeyamakiir on Dec 15, 2008 08:17
Your monitor is way to small! I know that's the point, but I wouldn't be able to cope with that.
lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Dec 15, 2008 13:05
The monitor's alright, at least unless you were referring to the Eee's built-in one. That's 9", but the external monitor I keep it attached to while at home is 15" at 1280x1024 physical resolution. Not an expensive one, but for me it's fine for any purposes I could think of.

The external monitor (an Acer AL1751) has a beautifully reflective "crystalbright" surface (or so the manufacturers call it), while unfortunately, the Eee has one of those anti-glare filters diminishing the crispiness of the image while being almost useless in case of significant light reflections. "Crystalbright" and equivalents are fun, they're the greatest victory of anti glare filters over... themselves and common sense

mmh... I heard some modders managed to remove the anti-glare filter but... it takes guts to attempt that, it's risky, and would probably leave the LCD array too exposed to possible damage from dust and scratches.
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. /../My new PC. Surprise inside!/ 1
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