Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There's an extensive review and guide to hacking the Eee PC on Ars Technica.
There was also a discussion on TWiT 121 with Patrick Norton being the skeptic and Wil Wheaton Harris willing to give it a chance. I think it's the most interesting (new) computer $400 can buy.

I haven't had the opportunity to explore it any further, I went to the SIA dinner with John Cleese as the guest comic. Rather funny guy :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New gadget in the house! I bought an ASUS ~$400 Eee PC. I was fighting the urge to buy it for two weeks now and finally it won. I could have waited for the 8GB model or the black model, but in a moment of weakness, I succumbed.

I've go the wireless set up for home and started to try out the various features. The mike is reasonable, the video is pretty crappy, the speakers are weak but sufficient, the keyboard is small and easy to hit too many keys (my typing sucks anyway), and the 7 inch display (800x480) is very small but it is bright enough for indoors (haven't tried it in daylight yet).

We'll see how it goes, but so far I like it despite its shortcomings.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My response to TWiT 120

First, I told Leo that I couldn't make the show for two reasons: one, was that I had a friend from Chicago coming into town; and, two, was that I didn't think there was anything I could provide an interesting comment on as the preceding week's news was more about software/Leopard and Internet business related.

As it turns out, I was wrong on both counts. My friend and I didn't connect on Sunday afterall and this TWiT ran into some interesting questions on phones and PCs. I should have joined, but then I would have missed the Patriots and Colts game, and as much as I am a techie, I still wanted to watch that game. Yes, I could have recorded it and watched it later (fast-forwarding through the commercials), but I just don't enjoy football that way. While I was watching the game, I also found time to move my game PC into a new case with a new power supply. The case is the Antec 900 gaming case which was on sale at Frys for 1/2 price, too good to pass up. But I digress.

Despite not being there, my name did come up with regards to NVIDIA's participation in the Google's Open Handset Alliance (Android) project. My decision to not participate in TWiT 120 had nothing to do with this announcement. Google's announcement was not a big deal for us as we don't have a lot of handset sales right now. And, the announcement was all about the software stack, not about the hardware, so I stand by my statement to Leo that there wasn't much hardware news.

Where I would have liked to interject were on the discussion on the PC dying as a platform. Dvorak would have also been a good foil for this debate. The most dynamic, transformational platform is still the PC (and I include the Mac here). A good example is the new Asus Eee PC. It's really small, and not real fast, but its only $400, runs a robust and lean Linux desktop, its very light, connected, and portable. And it's selling like Wiis. The PC will continue to evolve and reach new markets. I still think it's the best gaming device (well maybe that because I never mastered the game controller). I won't deny that many millions of people will access the Internet first through their cell phones, but I believe they will still prefer the PC (as primary Internet access device) if given the choice.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Here's the update on the Vista game PC. I ditched Microsoft technical support and decided to start over again. This time a bought a 10,000RPM boot drive and installed the O/S on that drive, saving the 500G RAID 0 drive for applications (games). I first installed the OEM copy of Win XP MCE I had originally build the system with. I didn't bother to install any of the service packs or even authenticate it, in fact I disconnected it from the Ethernet to make sure it didn't phone home or get infected. Then I immediately installed my Vista Premium upgrade edition. Everything went smoothly. I then installed all the latest drivers. And it's doing very well. The only problem I've had has been standby issues with the ASUS motherboard and Vista. Occasionally the motherboard hangs in an ACPI state. I've also noted that the motherboard occasionally won't cold boot until I reset it or power cycle it. That is definitely a motherboard issue.

Now I've got some of the best new games installed: Bioshock, Valve's Orange Box, World in Conflict, UT3 demo, and the Crysis demo. My favorite "old" game, Battlefield 2, won't install though. I need to figure that one out.