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Happy Endings

Being an avid reader of the Consumerist, whose daily fare consists of horror stories caused by hellish customer service, when I finally decided to send my laptop to Gateway to have it serviced, it was with much trepidation. (Another side effect of reading the Consumerist is also an uncontrollable urge to laugh whenever you hear the phrase “taking it seriously”.) However, given that one of the two hinges on my computer that had been slowly cracking for some time was dangerously close to detachment, I thought that the choice had been taken out of my hands.

Well, I did feel I had a bit of choice. For many months now, I’ve ogled the Asus EEEPc, for reasons I find hard to pin down. It’s small and has a cramped keyboard, hardly suitable for the kind of loquacious writings I find myself so often inscribing. I think, however, it was an admiration for the founding principles of the EEEPc: a cheap, ultra-portable, computer that used Linux and a solid state hard drive to bring it into uncharted territory.

Sure, there have been dabblings with cheap Linux-powered computers, and there have been countless ultra-portable computers made. But the EEEPc brought these two things together into a product that at times consumed my entire thoughtstream.

So when I had the choice between paying about $200 to have my computer fixed and $400 for an EEEPc, it was neck-and-neck at first. But then the realization came that the 7″ screen just would not do for the kind of power-using and multi-tasking that I have come to expect. Sure, I could theoretically write papers on it, but such a foolhardy endeavor has been roundly discouraged in all talk I’ve heard about the product.

Where is this all going? Well, I just got my laptop back from the service center, and it is, externally, as shiny and new as the day I got it, while the hard drive was maintained, so I didn’t have to do anything to get it back to working condition. And once it was booted, I began surfing the net, which is also technically feasible on the EEEPc, however it certainly looked better on a 15″ screen.

But the real kicker to it all is that I then proceeded to install the Eclipse development environment on the computer, and begin working on an assignment for class. I feel sure that such a thing would be patently impossible on the EEEPc. And yet I keep having to justify my non-purchase to myself, as this post can attest.

What is it about those smooth lines and delicious bits of Linux that have me so mesmerized?

Afterthought: I actually installed Eclipse at the urging of my computer science teacher, as it will be the class standard. However, due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, I didn’t actually make it to the class where he covered how to install and set up Eclipse. That’s for the best, really, as I would have been bored out of my mind given that I’ve been using Eclipse for my job for some time now. Funny how that works.

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