Sunday, June 08, 2008

BPN 1122 Small, smaller, smallest

I have been working with my ASUS EEE for two weeks now. And I am discovering all kind of details. Bit by bit I discover how the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) works. Internet by LAN was no problem. Internet by WiFi started to work fine, when my WiFi device got hooked up properly. And the first Skype session with the UMPC, linking to a relative, was a success. It has also given me the occasion to look back at my earlier mobile PCs.

My first portable PC was a Tandy-Zenith Model 100. For its time, 1983, it was great. It was a lightweight PC. Its specs were, according to the Wikipedia:
- Processor: Eight-bit Intel 80C85, CMOS, 2.4 MHz
- Mine had a 32K read-only memory, 32K static random-access memory.
- Display: Eight lines, forty characters LCD with 240 by 64 pixel addressable graphics. The screen was not backlit.
- Peripherals: The basic package included: Built-in 300 baud modem, parallel printer port, serial communication port (shared by internal modem), bar-code reader input, cassette audio tape, real-time clock.
- Dimensions: 300 by 215 mm by 50 mm, mass about 1.4 kilograms (3.1 lb) with batteries
- Power supply: Four penlight (AA) cells, or external power adapter 6V (>180 mA, tip negative configuration).
- The Model 100 was promoted as being able to run up to 20 hours and maintain memory up to 30 days on a set of four alkaline AA batteries.
Given the time frame the PC had some interesting aspects. The 1.4 kilograms was unknown in that time; lugables like the Osborne and KayPro were en vogue for early adaptors like consultants. In these days of Giga memories you would not believe that the machine had only 32K memory. Can you imagine that in 1985 I wrote the Online Handboek (a Dutch language pocket of 125 pages) on it; when I delivered it on diskette and on paper at the publisher, he had it retyped!

The real first UMPC for me was a Sony Vaio PCG-C1F, which I bought in 1999. Funny thing is that Sony called it a Notebook Computer. It was very portable, ad it had the dimensions of a lady’s purse. Just look at the specs:
- Processor: Intel Pentium MMX 266 Mhz
- Memory: 64MB, upgradeable to 128MB
- Hard disk: 4.3Gb
- Display: 8.9" TFT Ultra Wide XGA 1024x480
- Peripherals: modem 4 in 1 PC Card Modem
- Weight: 1100 grams
- Dimensions: 240mm x 37mm x 140 mm
- Power supply: PCGA-AC5E; PCGA-BP11
It was a fabulous UMPC: a real lightweight; had a good keyboard. With the screens I had problems; it was difficult to link it to a beamer (while this was the reason for buying it). It was also one of the first, perhaps the first one with a camera. I started to use this feature by photographing people present at meeting.

Now I am using the ASUS EEE (Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play). It is real UMPC, although some computer magazine still us the term sub notebooks (like the Sony Vaio). The specs:
- Type processor: Intel Celeron M
- RAM geheugen: 512MB
- Harde schijf: 4Gb
- Display: 800 x 480 pixels
- Intern modem
- Weight: 0,92 kg
- Dimensions: 4 x 22,5 x16,5 cm
- Webcam: built in
- Wifi
As I am text oriented, this PC is great. I can produce my blogs, transfer my pics get online via Land or Wifi. As a travelling PC, it suffices. So far I have not had any problems with Linux and the programs. The only small problem has occurred with exchanging files from USB sticks, which was a little bit laborious.

Blog Posting Number: 1122

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