Asus EeeTop PC

So everyone knows about the Asus EeePC Laptop, but I found out today that they now have a range of Eee products. There is the notorious laptop, a desktop tower-esk device and most interestingly the Top which is iMac-like working on the idea of everything in a single box, but with Asus they have added a touch screen to it. It seems the device has been around since December, but I did not know about it until today.

Information is available at: but I’ve so far only seen the touchscreen working in Windows XP, so I’m not sure of the other capabilities of it. There are some nice swishy gestures you can use with Asus’s custom software on Windows, but presumably this is just done in software and is nothing to do with the hardware. I am slightly dubious of the power of the device as it only has an Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz) and the graphics looked as though the 3D was lagging even with their custom software. Although the 26dB operation seems brilliant since I like silent things, but my far more powerful iMac is barely audible even when the processor is being hammered.

There is included a 802.11n wireless device though which makes it an ideal device to shove in a corner of the house where you want a computer for basic tasks but without consuming too much power or needing ethernet wires trailing over the floor.

The touch screen is single touch only which means that there will be no fancy gestures to zoom or such like as have been implemented on many modern devices, notably the iPod Touch/iPhone.

After some research it seems that fixes are dripping into the Linux Kernel for the hardware, but I would not recommend buying one just yet. The backlight on the display should be working about now on Ubuntu according to the bug report, but I would not guarantee it until the next release. As for the touch screen it seems to be working fine using the evtouch driver.

New iPod Shuffle

Apple have released the new iPod Shuffle today, which I found out by complete fluke. It seems to have some very clever technology, but then I realised it was just semi-clever engineering.

The new iPod Shuffle has got a Voice Over feature where it can speak to you about what track is currently playing, and also which playlist you’re listening to. That’s very good, and I was impressed that they managed to get the software onto the tiny little thing, but then the guided video went on to mention that the voice changes dependant on the machine you sync it with. All the voice overs sounded great until they showed you what it was like when sync’d with Windows and then I heard Microsoft Sam. It seems to me that all they do is render the names of the tracks and playlists on the computer and store them in the database when syncing the iPod. This is not so impressive.

However, I notice that they have a new remote which uses the same style connection as the iPod Touch and iPhone for their headsets, but this remote has a volume control on it. This is an interesting development because that’s what really annoys me about my iPod Touch remote, the fact I can’t change the volume without getting the iPod out of my pocket. I’m hoping this is a backwards-compatible technology and that someone like Griffin will release a remote with it on that allows me to use decent headphones which does rip my ears to shreds.