Ok, if the local Best Buy has an Asus Eee PC tomorrow, I’ll get one. I’ve done a whole lot of reading this week, and for the price, and what you get, it’s a good match for what I need.
As I mentioned, I want a very portable device, that does not cost too much, and lets me connect to the net and do basic things. Even if I pay $400 for an Eee PC, a new MacBook would cost more than twice that, be more than twice as heavy, and probably break. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iMac, and all the other Macs around me, but I’m comfortable with Linux, and a portable internet appliance is just what I need. If Apple could make an under $500 small laptop (think Mac-mini + iBook) they’d probably sell a zillion of them, but until then, Asus is the one to watch.
Still, there are questions… If the system gets mucked-up, can you do a reinstall? Can it do it over the net somehow? Does it come with install disks? It has no optical drive, so would you need a USB optical drive? Could you backup the entire system to a USB device or SD card for re-install? What can you install on the Eee PC? On the internal storage versus an SD card or USB stick? Apache? MySQL? PHP? Is gcc on there? Can you easily add it? Many of these questions don’t have answers yet, but might in the next week or so.
I ended up calling Best Buy yesterday and asking about the Eee PC, and they suggested calling back on the 1st or 2nd, since Thursday and Friday are when new shipments come in. I’d prefer to just go buy one rather than order online, but if that’s not an option (I’ve read somewhere that Best Buy may not be selling them now?) I’ll figure something else out…