My new baby, Azusa

Ever since Asus’ announcement of the Eee PC, I was interested to buy one, since I really need a replacement notebook for my display-dead Compaq Presario v2000, which is now on desktop mode connected to a much cheaper (PHP 10,000) external Samsung 19″ wide-screen LCD than a replacement (PHP 13,000~20,000) 14″ built-in one.

I actually bought one the moment an 8G galaxy black model came out on the US. That was early April this year, but my aunt who lives there had filled up the box meant to be sent here just about the end of May. Anyway, I’m just glad I’ve finally gotten a hold of my new baby I named Azusa the 23rd of July. That was almost 4 months of waiting. The Eee PC 90x is already out in some parts of the world. T_T

Final set up

She was so named from being an Asus laptop and a certain fictional high school teacher from a 1998 Japanese television drama played by the beautiful Nanako Matsushima.

I was planning to experiment which operating system I could use to replace its custom Xandros-based Linux distro that I find a little bit restrictive. I’m thinking Ubuntu Eee, but suggestions are very welcome.

Right now, I’m making this entry from Azusa herself. I hope, now that I’m confirmed as a camper for the upcoming WordCamp Philippines 2008, there would be free Internet access that I may enjoy on-site blogging.

I guess I’d review my Eee PC experience during the past 3 ½ days:

I was actually surprised how well it receives Wi-Fi signals from my router about 15 meters away from our living room, even my uncle is having a hard time with Wi-Fi on his Toshiba Satellite.

It is actually not so hard to type on this little keyboard, I just hope I could find a way to convert the input method to Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout (one thing that makes me want to get rid of its custom Xandros-based Linux). It just bothers me with the lack of independent Home, End, PgUp and PgDn buttons, which are mapped to Fn+, Fn+, Fn+ and Fn+, respectively.

I couldn’t actually feel I’m on a sub-GHz Celeron processor right now—it boots up really quickly. Probably, if I’ve loaded this with a Microsoft OS, it would be a bit more sluggish.

Certain applications are somehow hidden from normal view, I wish I could create shortcuts for the text editor, terminal/console app, and a lot more customizations and settings.

Well, that’s it for now. More reviews later when I finally have time to experiment and do more stuff with my first ever product of blogging for money. Next stop? A digital single-lens reflex camera. 🙂

No Windows, No QWERTY

After more than a decade of computing experience, and being stuck with Microsoft Windows along with the QWERTY keyboard layout, my non-conforming self just wanted to be different.

I’ve learned about Linux[1] years ago (ca. late 1990s), but, even though I was interested to see one running, I was hesitant to try because I was neither a programmer, nor a techie back then. So, open-source applications you compile before you execute, command line interfaces, and gzipped tarballs, among others, were still some things I fear to tinker with.

Now that easy-to-use Linux distros, such as Ubuntu, have been available, nothing could stop me anymore. Besides, with a more secure system, a much cooler desktop environment, and a free[2] license, who could ask for more?

The transition to Ubuntu was painless, except for the loss of my favorite text editor, EditPlus, which probably is the only software besides Mozilla Firefox I’d die without. But, I’m trying to learn GNU Emacs anyway. Hopefully, I’d feel more geeky using it. I’ve also tried command line installation of some software,[3] but I must admit Synaptic Package Manager is easier even compared to Windows installers.

On the other hand, I couldn’t remember when I’ve learned about the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout since I love reading about a wide range of information almost anytime I am not busy with anything. I didn’t care much about it back then, because I thought I did not have the proper hardware. After reading much about health, world records, language, and technological history, as well as software developers (all those topics are related, btw), I became interested with the DSK.

When I said those topics are related, I meant it. On the subject of health and RSIs, DSK has been said to minimize, if not eliminate, hand discomfort by incorporating a layout designed to lessen hand/wrist movements, which I hopefully experience once I get used to it. World records show that the fastest typing speed of 212 wpm is being held by Barbara Blackburn on a DSK. I’ve measured my peak on a QWERTY at 59 wpm,[4] and I aim to reach higher speeds. Dr. August Dvorak, the inventor, researched letter frequency on the English language to make a more efficient keyboard layout. History proved the (almost) one and a half century old typing layout, QWERTY, difficult to displace, but two famous software developers, Matt Mullenweg and Bram Cohen, whose products I use and love,[5] use DSK.

So, I made mine DSK, as well. And, it’s hunt-and-peck all over again! Oh, I so love challenging myself.


  1. ^ And, Tux, its cute penguin mascot.
  2. ^ As in freedom.
  3. ^ Just for experience, and the fun of it.
  4. ^ Measured using Typeonline Speed test without mistakes.
  5. ^ WordPress and the BitTorrent protocol, respectively.


I actually tried to remember my own history with computers as I write this blog entry. Though it remains unclear, I still remember using the Norton Commander text user interface to play DOS-based games probably even before I’ve been to Windows 3.1x—and that was a long, long time ago. I typed this entry using DSK within the span of 48 hours. Tedious, but I’m starting to forget QWERTY, which I don’t know whether it is a good or a bad thing. Heh.