Monthly Archives: October 2008

Asus Eee PC 1000H – USB Annoyances

The Asus Eee PC 1000H has 3 USB ports.  These are pretty convenient, expect when you’re trying to connect an external hard drive, such as a Western Digital My Passport 320 GB ($110 at newegg.com and free shipping).

Asus Eee PC 1000H - Western Digital My Passport

To my surprise, the drive would not spin when connected to the Eee PC.  It’s not a defective drive because it connects to my desktop just fine.  Yes, I have an old fashion desktop.  I’m not just a UMPC type of geek.  Here’s the problem.  If you’re not connected to the AC adapter, the USB are running on less power to maximize battery life.  Plugged in, the Passport drive powers up  just fine.

On another note, the Passport drives are nice.  For about $100, I can transport all my media files without carrying a huge hard drive with me.  The Passport drive slips in my Eee PC case just fine.

Asus Eee PC 1000H – Hard Drive Part 2

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been debating whether or not I want to install a Solid State Disk in my Asus Eee PC 1000H.  To maximize speed and battery of my Eee PC, an SSD would certainly help.

Asus Eee PC 1000H

But the price, $179 after rebates at newegg.com, is definitely holding me back from doing the mod.  SSDs suffers from memory cell loss.  Like a battery, the capacity of a drive slowly depletes.  For me, it’s not quite worth it to spend that much on an SSD.  Intel is supposedly developing their own line of affordable SSDs.  I think I’ll leave the Seagate drive in the Eee PC alone for now.

Asus Eee PC 1000H – Hot Keys

I cannot believe that I have not mention the Eee PC’s hot keys.  There are four Hot Keys to adjust the backlight, change the resolution, adjust the “Super Hybrid Engine”, and Skype.

Asus Eee PC 1000H Hot Keys

I have the backlight setting at the dimmest to maximize battery life.  So that button rarely gets used.  If you use the button to change the resolution on the Eee PC, everything looks ugly.  It stretches the display to 1024×768.  I prefer the native resolution at 1024×600, so that button is rarely used.  I removed Skype from the system because I don’t use Skype.  This is very handy if you are a Skype user.

So now that leaves the “Super Hybrid Engine” button.  This button is a little more interesting.  It toggles between Eco mode, High Performance mode, and Super Performance mode.

In Eco mode, the Atom process is throttled back to 1.2 GHz to save and extended the life of your battery.  The lag is hardly noticeable when running single applications and doing simple tasks.  In my experience, I only ran into a little lag with watching videos online (YouTube).

In High Performance mode, the CPU is running at the normal 1.6 GHz.  The performance increase is noticible when multi-tasking.  I normally shift into this mode when using Works, Firefox, and listening to music.

In Super Performance mode, the Atom CPU is overclocked to 1.8 GHz.  There is no lag in this mode and applications launch almost instantly.  I only recommend using this mode if you are plugged into a socket.  Battery life dramatically goes down in this mode.  The little system fan is constantly running to help cool the CPU under load.

The hot keys are really easy to forget, but their function is tremendously convenient.  I would play around and customize your Eee PC 1000H to fit your needs.

Asus Eee PC 1000H – Optimize for Speed

I have no complaints with Eee PC 1000H’s performance.  The Intel Atom processor is quite capable of handling heavy loads.  Again, Diablo II runs smootly on my Eee PC.  However, I’m all for tweaking Windows down to the bare minimum to extract every bit of performance out of the Eee PC without sacrificing much.  This will be a series of posts about this subject because there’s always something to change or  tweak to make your Eee PC that much faster.

So for Part 1:  Let’s do the easy tweak.

Disclaimer.  Everything presented on this site is my opinion and my own personal experience.  I am not responsible if you perform any of my recommendations that may result in damaging you or your property.

1.  Click on Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System

That should open up the System Properties window.

2.  Click on the “Advanced” tab and click on the “Settings” button under the Performance section.

3.  Under the “Visual Effects” tab, select “Custom”.

4.  Make sure everything is unchecked except:  Use common tasks in folders, Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop, and Use visual styles on windows and buttons.

Asus Eee PC 1000H Optimize Performance

More performance tweaks to come.

Unboxing: Canon SD880IS

Last week, I posted about buying the new Canon SD880IS from Amazon on a pricing error.  I was nervous about whether they would ship the camera or not.  Turns out, they honored the deal and it arrived today.  This is why I love Amazon.  I’ll do an unboxing first.  A full review will follow in a few days.

The Box

Canon SD880IS

The Manual and CD

Canon SD880IS

The Hardware

Canon SD880IS

The Camera

Canon SD880IS

Canon SD880IS

Canon SD880IS

Canon SD880IS

The SD880IS is a 10 Megapixel camera.  Each picture is about 2.5 MB.  Canon only included a 32MB SD card.  32MB!!!!.  12 pictures.  That’s it.  I don’t know if you can buy a 32 MB SD card anymore.  Thank goodness that Amazon sweeten the already sweet deal with free Kingston 4GB SDHC memory card.

Canon SD880IS

The free Kingston 4GB SDHC memory card.

Kingston 4GB SDHC

More Netbooks

In the past two weeks, there have been a slew of new netbook releases.  I won’t bore you with the Eee PC or Wind clones, but Asus and MSI released a new version of their popular netbooks.  Let’s start with MSI.

MSI Wind U120

MSI is releasing a new Wind, model U120.  The price of the new model will be around $600.  The look will be a bit edgier with minor design changes to the case.  The one major difference than the original U100 is the built-in 3.5G Modem with a SIM card slot.

MSI Wind U120

ASUS Eee PC S101

If you combined the Asus Eee PC 1000H and an Apple Macbook Air, you’ll get the Asus Eee PC S101.  The price is between $600 and $700.  At this price point, I would suggest getting a full size laptop.  You’ll get more power, more screen real estate, more keyboard, more features, and more functionality.  The Asus Eee PC S101 has exactly the same internal hardware as the Eee PC 1000H.  There’s a few choices with the hard drive, i.e. SSD vs 2.5 inch drive.  The only major difference is a new 10.2 inch WSVGA LED Backlit screen, a thinner and lighter unit, and a non-removable shorter life battery.  Asus is call this a luxury netbook.

asus eee pc s101

My recommendation is the just get the Asus Eee PC 1000H or the MSI Wind U100 (with the 6 cell battery) if you’re in the market for a netbook.  Otherwise, with the money you’re going to spend on either of these two, you can purchase a really capable laptop.

New Digital Camera Update

I posted about getting an Canon SD790IS a few days ago.  Well, deals come and go but I couldn’t resist jumping on this one.

For a limited time, you can get the New Canon SD880IS Digital Camera for $229.99 with a free Kingston 4GB SDHC Memory Card.  This camera retails for $300.  It’s rare to find new Canon Cameras on sale when they first come out, but you also get a free 4GB Kingston card.  I got this price at 7 PM PST on October 8, 2008.

UPDATE 8:00 PM PST – The deal is dead.  The price is now $285.

Here’s how you get the deal:

Click Here to go to the Amazon product page.

There should be a link to the Kingston card.  If not, click here.  The price of the Kingston card should be automatically removed at checkout.

Review on the camera when it arrives.

Canon SD 880 ISKingston 4GB SDHC

Buying a Digital Camera

It’s time to buy a digital camera.  My old Canon SD600 Powershot is ready to retire.  Actually, it goes to my parents.  I considered a Digital SLR, one of those professional awesome cameras, but I think it’s a little too much for me.  I still maintain that point and shoot cameras are pretty good for me.

The Canon SD 790IS probably the camera I’m going to buy.  It is small, takes good pictures, and has an Image Stabilization system.  I have shaky hands.  Canon makes incredibly good little point and shoot cameras.  They take good pictures and fairly inexpensive.  You can probably find a decent model for under $200 or a feature-packed model for under $300.

Gadget Canon SD 790 IS

canon SD790IS Back

Asus Eee PC 1000H – How to Upgrade the Hard Drive Part 1

The Asus Eee PC 1000H comes with an 80 GB Seagae Momentus Drive that spins at 5400RPM.  That’s okay, but if you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease, you can have a faster computer with more storage. This require advance computer skills because you’ll be changing hardware and re-installing Windows.

So here’s part 1.  Let’s go shopping.

You have several brands to choose from, Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and etc.

I’m not a real fan of Seagate drives.  I had an external drive that failed on me.  More about that in another post.  I would choose the Western Digital Scorpio Black WD1600BEKT 160GB 7200 RPM drive.  It’s currently $79.99 with Free Shipping at Newegg.com.

Asus Eee PC 1000H Hard Drive Upgrade

The current Seagate Momentus Hard Drive in the Asus Eee PC 1000H run pretty warm already.  With the Western Digital, expect it to be a little bit warmer, but nothing to be concerned with.  In my opinion, the benefit of the additional speed out weighs the additional heat produced.

For $80 bucks, it’s well worth it.  Now, you can splurge and get a Solid State Drive.  The price starts at $300 for a 64GB model and goes way up from there.  Go with the WD drive.

Stay tuned for Part 2, how to install.

Click here for the WD product page at Newegg.com.