Main menu

"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

The Blue Dolphin Splashes Down at Nuketown

by Ken Newquist / July 31, 2009

This is my first-ever post written on my family's spiffy new Asus Eee PC netbook, aka "The Blue Dolphin", so named because it's small and blue, which led my wife to describe it as a baby blue dolphin on Twitter.

Anyway ... we decided to get a netbook as a direct result of our summer vacation; I could have used it at Origins, and it would have been handy to have for writing on Butler Island on Lake Champlain (where we spent a week hanging out with family friends).

It's a cute little machine -- it ships with a 160 GB hard drive, wireless N support, a 4 cell battery capable of up to eigth hours of use (assuming you use the Asus power management tools), three USB ports, an SD card reader, an ethernet port and Windows XP.

I'll forgive it for that last bit; I don't have the energy to hack this thing to run Mac OS X, and if I have to run Windows, XP isn't too bad (though I am curious about trying Windows 7 on it). The whole thing cost about $300 from Amazon. which made it a fairly inexpensive experiment.

Our plan for the netbook is to take it on road trips, and for Sue to use it around the house. It's much, much smaller than her Sony Viao, which is a huge monster of a machine whose battery has about 30 seconds of life and sounds like a hovercraft when plugged in. The Blue Dolphin should be easier for her to juggle (especially when trying to herd kids/cats/dogs) and once I extend the wireless network to the back porch, it should be perfect for her to blog with.

The only problem we've encountered so far is that the power cord for the Asus needs to be seated firmly to charge; if you jostle it at all, it stops charging. Based on some quick Google searches, this appears to be a known defect, so we're going to need to get it fixed. It is able to charge though, and given that the battery lasts so amazingly long, this isn't an immediate deal breaker.

It's a pain that it wasn't at 100% out of the box, but from what I hear Asus is a good company to work with, so hopefully it'll be easy to get fixed.