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Up close with the Eee PC - part 2: Installing unsupported programs


Sure, the Asus Eee PC comes with a cool new user interface that makes the tiny laptop with the 7 inch screen easy to use even if you know nothing about Linux. But can you play Doom on it? Well yes, we're pretty sure you can, but we didn't try.

What we did try was adding unsupported Debian Linux repositories that let you install a whole slew of applications beside the 40 or so that the Eee PC ships with. In part one of our series we looked at the "easy mode" interface. Now let's take a look at some of the hidden goodies Asus packed into this little box.

For example, you can pull up a terminal, open Konqueror, and use the Synaptic package manager to install programs. Since the Eee PC is based on Xandros Linux, you're probably best off installing applications from Xandros repositories, but you might have some success installing any Debian based packages. For example, I added "deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ stable main" in order to install Audacity.

For more tips on adding repositories and making advanced changes, check out the EeeUser forum and Wiki.

If you have any more questions about the Eee PC interface, feel free to leave them in the comments. In the meantime, here are a few notes:
  • The VGA-out port works like magic, and can even power a 1280 x 1024 pixel monitor with ease
  • Web applications like Picnik and Snipshot work great in Firefox.
  • The battery seems to be good for the stated 3.5 hours.
  • The keyboard certainly isn't as comfortable for typing as a full sized keyboard, but it sure beats a Treo/BlackBerry/Sidekick/iPhone thumb pad.

Tags: eee-pc, linux, osupdates, repositories, Xandros

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