If you want a super-light laptop, you have to pay for it, and you have to use Windows. That's been the (frustrating) conventional wisdom—at least until late last year, when the Taiwanese company Asus rolled out the Eee PC (pronounced as though it were a single long "e"), a two-pound, seven-inch laptop starting at a mere $300. The tradeoff: It comes with just two to eight gigabytes of flash memory instead of a conventional, larger hard drive, and a simplified Linux operating system that essentially is usable only for e-mail, Web browsing and typing.
But then the hackers got hold of it. Within days of the Eee's release, forums on a fan site, eeeuser.com, were buzzing with homebrew upgrades to remedy its shortcomings—users discovered ways to solder extra memory inside, attach additional gadgets, and install other operating systems. If you're willing to do a little tinkering, you'll find that big things will come from its small package.
Basic: Install more RAM
If your Eee PC comes with a sticker on the bottom panel covering the RAM slot warning that breaking it is a warranty violation, don't worry: Asus reversed that position shortly after putting the Eee on the market. So open up the panel and replace the existing 512-megabyte stick with up to two gigabytes of RAM. (Note: The Eee's operating system will recognize only one gigabyte by default.)
Intermediate: Swap the OS
For more details, go to wiki.eeeuser.com.
- Linux: You can unlock the full version of the OS that comes on the Eee, and switch between it and the default simple mode, just by typing some basic commands and restarting.
- Windows XP: Asus supports installing XP; just load some drivers from the included DVD first.
- Mac: Some users have reportedly installed OS X 10.4 and 10.5 on the Eee PC. See uneasysilence.com for further information.
Advanced: Install Hidden Gardware
If you don't mind pulling the Eee apart completely, you'll find spots on the motherboard where you can solder a Bluetooth adapter and extra USB ports. Then simply remove the RAM panel on the bottom of the computer later if, for example, you want to add a hidden thumb drive to upgrade the memory. For more details, head to forum.eeeuser.com.
H2Whoa!: Some Asus Eee PC hardware and software hacks may void its warranty. Installing an Apple operating system on non-Apple hardware is a violation of the End User License Agreement, which is legally a breach of contract.
Note: This rough guide from the May 2008 print issue will be followed shortly by an in-depth, multi-part guide to modding your EeePC—leaving no component untweaked! Check back at popsci.com/category/tags/eeepc for future installments starting soon and to subscribe to our EeePC-specific RSS feed.
From next time onwards just sell parts like motherboard, ram, cdrom, "laptop shell(if u can make any standard version)" etc and we will make our own pc, how bout that?
From everything I've read, Apple is unlikely to give anyone trouble for installing Mac OS on non-Apple hardware. As for it being a violation of the EULA, Apple words it, "This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time." That being the case, legally, slapping an Apple sticker on and removing the Asus label is ok. I don't think the Apple legal team is dumb so one can't help but wonder why they would leave that loop hole.
The Asus EeePC is the most easily modded notebook available. I have transformed my 4GB Eeepc to a 68GB beast with 48GB of it removable. I added a Touch Screen and jumped the memory from 512MB to 2GB. Overclocked it from the stock 630MHZ to run from a range of 360MHZ to 990MHZ. Some people have reached over 1,180MHZ. I have boosted the resolution from 800 x 480 to 1024 x 600. All from the help of the 27,000 members at EeeUser.com. One of our members in Canada has $2,200 in their EeePC. Another in SanDiego sold his last week for $1,500. It had added storage, GPS, Touch Screen, FM transmitter, and a lot more. Not bad for a $399 computer.
I have never had so much fun with a notebook as I have with my EeePC, In fact it has been so much fun that I'm going to sell my 68GB EeePC so I can start modding my new 20GB EeePC Model 900 and do it all over again, but with the knowledge I have gained from the last 9 months I have a whole new plan.
I look forward to your next article about modding the EeePC.
I dont understand why you would want to solder a bluetooth adapter to th mother board when you can just get one for $15 and stick it in a USB port.
If you are reading this, you have been BURNINATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
wheres the hard drive
Great info, i appreciate your way of writing and knowledge sharing..
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It doesn't have a conventional hard drive (The one with platters and such), it uses internal flash memory. Its the equivalent of sticking a 2-8 GB flash/thumb drive in your computer and using it as your hard drive. To me this is pointless because of the 500 GB hard drive I use in my computer is filling up very quickly...
lol, that is really brilliant
Wait...The Asus Eee PC uses a TUNED OS, not like the general OS which can use at least 1.44 - 20 GB of memory. And why does the HDD have to be so big? 70GB is enough, I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw that 1.5TB for a HDD. Really, their choice of small memory is great, but KEEP IT CHEAP!
P.S. They do.
Some Asus Eee PC hardware and software hacks may void its warranty. Installing an Apple operating system on non-Apple hardware is a violation of the End User License Agreement, which is legally a breach of contract.
Wow. This Blog is truly a gold mine. I will actually try these tips and let you know how they work out! Thanks again mate.
I admit, I have not been on this webpage in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. Great stuff as usual...