Topic: Hacking the Asus Eee • Show Guest: John Waller • Show Length: 25 mins
IT Manager, John Waller, show us how he “juiced up” his Asus Eee from a US$349 Internet appliance to a pretty full-fledged portable computer. Mods include adding 1gb memory, installing Windows XP over Xandros Linux, and adding more storage space for Windows applications (like Microsoft Office) using SD High-Capacity memory cards as well as MojoPak on his iPod.
While I’m a fan of UMPCs, they tend to be high-powered and very expensive. The Asus Eee is pretty dramatic, both in terms of physical size and price, for turning everyday consumers into hobbyists.
I was just telling John how I’ve noticed a trend where manufacturers are going into the long tail, tapping into the DIY, open-source niche crowd, by producing easily hackable consumer hardware. This courting of the hackers used to visible only for specialized devices, such as the Buffalo Kuro Box (a fully customizable NAS), or the Linksys WRT54GL (a Linux hacker’s router).
Now, besides accessible (low-powered, thus cheap) devices such as the Asus Eee, we have programmable devices getting mainstream, with prosumer choices such as the nifty Neo 1973 touchscreen cellphone running the OpenMoko Linux platform. I was just telling Dan Aiomi how I’d love to mod my cellphone to read barcodes / RFID so I can shop for deals more efficiently.