Design With Crackers

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Web Development on the Eee PC

I never liked notebooks, I think they are too expensive for what they can do and also too big/heavy/fragile to be called mobile. But I needed one, so a choice had to be made.

I choose the Eee PC 900, from ASUS because it isn't expensive, or big, or heavy, or fragile.

So I guess this is why they had to come up with a new name (netbook) for devices like this one.

Before you call me crazy for doing all my work on an Eee, let me tell you that I do have a much bigger monitor at home.

Small as it is, so far the Eee has met and even surpassed my needs as a web developer. Here's why:

The 8.9 inch LCD has a wide-screen resolution of 1024x600 and a dpi of 133.3. This means that most websites will fit quite nicely on it, since most people out there still doing fixed-width layouts optimize either for 800 or 1024 horizontal resolution, and that they are also easily readable.

The keyboard is small enough to be ultra-portable and still is (at least for me) big enough to be quite comfortable while touch typing. In fact, it took me little over an hour to get used to it!

The Celeron M 353 Ultra-Low-Voltage processor (900 MHZ) coupled with 1 GB of DDR2 memory and Intel GMA integrated graphics (915 gm chipset) makes it more than fast enough to handle my LAMP development setup along with a couple browsers open and more (Amarok, Kate, Krita, OpenOffice, Inkscape, Gimp etc.). The integrated graphics actually run KDE4 desktop effects nice and smooth!

The SSD devices (4 GB and 16 GB respectively) have more space than I need to work. I've installed Kubuntu 8.10 along with all the applications I wanted in the faster 4 GB SSD and still have roughly 400 MB left on it to spare. The 16 GB secondary SSD still has more than 10 GB left even after I copied all my work and most of my personal files to it.

The Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections are excellent and I've also used an USB 3G modem (HUAWEI E156) for long periods without problems.

Last but not least, I've got mine with a 5800 mAh battery which gives me, usually, almost three hours unplugged from the mains.

All in all, I'm very pleased with it, and I think I'll be using this one for a long time.

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