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My little eeepc 701 lives!!

ComTech: IT Support Stirling

It lives!! About a month ago my trusty Asus Eee pc701 developed the ‘click of death’ – bugger.  Initially I thought the hard drive was the soldered SSD type which would have meant game over (new motherboard required) but after checking I realised it wasn’t.


Next stop was ebay and I managed to find a new SSD hard drive (16 Gb) for the lovely some of £25 – not to bad.  It arrived the next day and after much rejoicing was fitted.  Now what software to run on it? Initially it had a mighty 8Gb SSD so Windows XP fitted but Windows 7 was a struggle.  Turning to Linux I settled on Lubuntu and it ran smoothly until the hard drive started to fail.  This time around I wanted to see how it would cope with Windows 7 installed so I installed Home Premium first.  With only a 900 Mhz processor under the hood the eepc 701 was never going to be a speed freak but it does run Windows 7 smoothly enough (it is upgraded to 2 Gb RAM) but it is restricted to a resolution of 640 * 480 which is not great.  Due to this limitation I turned back to Linux and currently run it on Linux Mint 13 with the XFCE desktop.  It runs quickly enough for the tasks I need to use it for.

Now why would I go through all this hassle for a netbook which is now 5 years old? A couple of reasons:

1. I hate throwing out old kit.  If I can reuse a piece of computer equipment I will.  The Eeepc 701 still has life in her yet!!

2. Configuring routers and troubleshooting wifi issues.  This is the mainstay for the eeepc 701.  It is great for configuring routers on existing networks and troubleshooting wifi issues. As much as I love my Blackberry Playbook this is one area the netbook trumps it.

3. Sometimes I just want to type.  Surfing the internet on a tablet is great but sometimes I just want to type instead of using a touchscreen keypad.  Yes my Blackberry Playbook has a bluetooth keyboard which is great but it is not the same is it?

4. It is very portable, light and has very good battery life.

Now I could use a laptop but since I don’t own one I would have to go out and spend hundreds of pounds to get one.  The eeepc 701 cost me £25.  No contest is it?

Do you own one of these wonderful little machines?

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

5 thoughts on “My little eeepc 701 lives!!

  1. Love Linux. Been a Linux user since ’93. Great on these small devices.

    I just popped Ubuntu 16.04 on my 701 to bring it back to usable life :-) (Used the mini iso to boostrap it – loaded other packages as needed). Stuck 2GB in it that I had laying round too.

    Great ultraportable for coding on. Have PostgreSQL and emacs loaded. Running Xfce. Even have OnePlay DVD player working (with a slimline external DVD player of course! )

    Having an issue with recharging though. Not always showing the orange LED full on. Flashing, not charging. Seems to happen particularly after closing the lid to suspend.

    Had to do the “remove-battery-and-PSU-hold-power-for-40s-reinsert-power-reboot-shutdown-reinstall-battery” trick several times to fix that.

    Come across anything similar happening?

    Regards

    Derek.

  2. These Eee PC 701 machines still have a niche. One advantage is that they run on 9V DC, which you can get direct from a 12V solar system, without needing an inverter, and at the 17 watts they normally draw running (unless the CPU really fires up, when power goes up to 24 watt), they are fairly efficient — all of which makes them great for taking to remote parts of the world for fieldwork with minimal equipment. And at 920g, they weigh less than most laptops. I have just rejigged a Eee PC 701SD (has a replaceable 8GB SSD drive) with Xubuntu 14.04 and Wine, to run specialised Windows linguistics software for documenting remote tribal languages. I also replaced the meagre 512MB RAM with a 2GB DDR2 RAM module from a dead laptop. Works great. Recovering old tech like this and making it viable and right up to date has a special feel about it.

  3. Currently running Xubuntu 1204 on my 701 model with 2GB Ram which is primarily used for accessing Cisco routers during installs. Could do with a new battery but still going strong!!

  4. You are right.

    The original Asus eee pc 701 is still useful for quite a lot of jobs.
    I have two: the original one with Andros and 512 MB of RAM, and the second one with Windows XP and the RAM memory upgraded to 1 GB.
    Both are still running very well, though the software is, naturally, downgraded for the today’s standards.
    For writing short or even long texts (I love the small keyboards) with openoffice / libreoffice, they do the job honestly. I may also do a variety of other stuff, either connected or unplugged.

    Recently I tested Puppy Linux on both of them (Slacko Puppy) on a pen drive.
    It’s really amazing how well run this distribution even on the original 512 MB of RAM.
    With the system running, Libreoffice write and calc open, and navigating with Firefox, perhaps you reach 300 MB of RAM used. And you don’t even need any HD installed, just the basic system functioning and that’s all, as all the varieties of Puppy Linux run on RAM (PAE and non PAE)

    I’ve also tried Precise Puppy 5.7.1 with full success.

    I totally agree with you: why retire a machine that still is full of life?

    It’s for this very reason that I have (and keep running) 2 eee pc’s 900 (one first hand, the other second hand) and two 901 (also one f.h. and the other s.h.)
    The Asus 8.9″ are my favourite pcs ever. And I hope that I’ll be able to still use them for along long time.

  5. I actually got one of these out of Singapore – when they surfaced.
    The machine is “very Limited” but not impossible, my wow experience came when i did apply Android to It, behold – it suddently became useful.
    You are quite right, Linux and Terminals are good on this; mine has gone beyound “life and usage” – and has recently been replaced by the Acer Aspire i aquired a few years back (Atom and 2GB on Board) – which are not bad either.

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