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EEEPC and emacspeak Quik Summery from lots of questions



Hi Folks,

I have received a bunch of mail on this, and this is an insanely bussy
time for me, so let me try and answer a few questions quickly.

My "standard" machine is a sony UX 280P.  It needs to head to the shop
for a covered repair and sony says it will be gone for at least 2
weeks.  I got the eepc to fill the gap and hopefully be something to
use in places/times I don't want to risk the more expensive sony.

I got the eeepc with 4gig of internal flash and 512meg memory.  It has
the hatch on the botom for changing the memory.  I have a 1gig stick
of ram coming that will replace the 512.  You can put in one stick.
It will take up to a 2gig stick but that seemed like over kill.

It has an sd flash slot on the side and once inserted the flash
practicly flush with the case.  I'm thinking a small peice of tape may
ensure it doesn't get sprung out sometime.  I have a 4gig flash card
in there that I am not using yet.  

Cost was around $350 US for the eee, around $30 for the 1gig memory
and $20 for the additional 4gig flash.  So total cost came in at
$400.  At this point though I think I'd go with the 8gig flash card. 

It is now running xubuntu 7.10, with emacs 22 and espeak from the
ubuntu distrobution and emacspeak 27 and ttsynth installed and built
on the machine.

I did the install with a usb attached dvddrive from a live eepc
specific cd and it went fine.  It is not a fast install and there are
updates that have to happen after for everything to work.  I would
suggest using wired ether for the install process if you have it, though
wireless is supported by the eeeXubuntu live cd.

After the install and updates and following the instructions on the
wiki (url in my last post) you have an xubuntu system.  Getting
emacspeak running was standard set of expected steps for that system.

Now the good news:  I built it with swap space so I could use
hibernation.  Hibernation works great.  The unit works with the lid
closed.  So, with an external keyboard attached you can plug in
earphones and have a nice little music player, internet able,
emacspeak box.  So far it does look like you need to lift the lid to
turn it on and off though.  It would be nice if you could do that with
the lid closed.

I will post battery life for operation with lid closed and emacspeak
running once I have some data.  So far best guess would be about
3hours.

Also, I don't have the 1gig memory in yet and 512 is doing nicely so
you don't have to upgrade the memory.  Perhaps that money would be
better spent on the larger flash card. Once I get the 1gig in I'll let
you know how much that slows down hibernation vs how much is makes the
machine feel faster.

So far the biggest hassle is the the built in keyboard.  It is better
than some tiny keyboards I have used but not as good as the one on the
old 486 gateway handbook I had in the early 90's (my first portable
emacspeak running rig).  The feel is ok, but the placement of the up
arrow key is bad.  I use my usb chording keyboard but if I were going
to use the built in I think it would be much less frustrating if you
remap the uparrow key to be an additional shift.

Ok, back to pre-passover cleaning.  I will be traveling with the eepc
and using it as my primary machine while the sony is out for repair,
so in a few weeks I can give many details.

If you have questions, send them, but it may be next week before I
answer.

-Greg
-- 

 Greg Priest-Dorman
 priestdo@cs.vassar.edu


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