» Eee PC
By ivc at 18:07, December 31, 2007
The Asus Eee PC is a lot of fun. Mostly because of the size and the room for modifications.
It’s in the same realm as the OLPC/XO machine, sub-$400 market. By default the Eee PC sports a Celeron M 900 MHz processor, 512 MB memory, 7-inch 133 dpi 16:9 display, 4 GB Solid State Disk-drive, wireless networking, ethernet, webcam, SDHC card reader, 3 USB ports, and a 5200 mAh 4-cell Li-Ion battery.
Opening the machine reveals a exhaust fan, only mechanically rotating part in the machine, and an empty Mini PCI-Express expansion bay (header only installed on initial machines). The expansion bay can be used for internal upgrades like Bluetooth and flash drives.
I wanted to see how much and how far I could take the Eee PC. After a few weeks of planning and researching devices, I can up with a this list of internal upgrades:
- USB hub (2x)
- GPS module with gain antenna
- Internal card reader
- Fast flash drive
- FM transmitter
- Draft-N wireless adapter
- Switch for power management
Everything fitted and works perfectly after some initial tweaking. Although the battery time is cut with an hour when all the devices are powered on, I can easily disable the ones I don’t use through a DIP-switch in the expansion bay.
Update: During my trip to Newcastle I was checking Digg.com and noticed that my wiki page about the Eee modifications was promoted to the front page. That was a nefarious and cool moment. A week and a half later, Slashdot picked it up too. Found one of my favorite sites, Ars Technica, found time to post an article about the Eee modifications.