Saturday, December 5, 2009

Coming up...

In the next posts I will:
1. Review Folding@home running on Asus Eee 901 (Atom N270 1.6ghz + 2gb ram) - slow? fast? worth running?
2. Play Snes games on Snex9xw emulator (Please note that you need to own original game to run it on emulator!). Does it lag? Can I run it at external display 1920x1200 resolution?
3. Compare Asus eee 901 to 1005HA. Main difference is bigger screen and keyboard and HDD on the board. Is it faster? Better screen? Keyboard?

NOTE! You can't buy new Asus Eee 901 anymore but you still can get it on Ebay as used or if some company is still getting rid of their stock.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

External battery update

As I wrote earlier Whitenergy's External battery is not that good for Asus eee 901... As it charges it 5% and jumps from battery to external to battery and so on - that may damage your battery or power socket! But lately i discovered that it can actually work well with my Netbook but it needs to be fully charged. When internal battery is fully (or almost, 98%) charged it can easly give enough power to use it on super high perfomance mode with unblocked multiplier and wifi on for 2-3 hours. Also it can be used to switch batteries when your are on move. WARNING! External bettery must be fully charged to give enough power to switch batteries (since the power drain will jump to 30 Watts when you still have internal battery at lower than 80% inside to switch it).

After 2-3h you would need to unplug external battery or when it starts to show you Battery power, external power messages spam. DO IT IMMIDIATELLY SO YOU WON'T DAMAGE YOUR EEE OR INTERNAL BATTERY! DON'T GO AWAY FROM YOUR NETBOOK WHEN YOU HAVE EXTERNAL BATTERY PLUGGED IN!!!

New Battery

Unfortunately old battery had 50% wear and it was lasting 4h at most... That was really a pain (as it is power saving netbook, it should last 7-8h). So i bought myself 8800mAh that costed me ~$100. Now netbook shows even 14-15h! (when it's really IDLE! That means it's taking ~4W of power! - turned off usb, wifi,lan,card reader etc). I bought this one cause I had problem getting whitenergy's (4 world) 11000mAh (as 12000mAh on some webpages) one. I hope to get the 11000mAh one on monday next week.

[In the picture, original battery on the right, 8800mAh replacement on the left]

8800mAh when fully charged has ~8h of use with wifi turned on and unlocked multiplier in power saving mode (? not sure, maybe it was high performance mode). It's not that bad but when adding 2200mAh (the battery im waiting for) it should make it 10h... That's good!

I will do some more tests when i get it =)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today as always I'm going to work with bus. This time with Solaris Urbino 18 (hybrid bus)... Most of it is packed with women, like 75% and 75% of those 75% are young ones =P

Lately I'm not testing any device, that's why this blog went a bit silent. Since last sunday I'm again playing on Ragnarok Online private server, Quality Ragnarok Online Galaxy (renewed version of old qro that was closed down due to unknown reason).

The game works well in 800x600 even on power saving settings, though you will notice your Asus Eee going a bit hot (about 65-70*C on cpu with fan turned off ). Of course you will get a bit of frameskips, it's not like your computer at home running on 8800GT or similar graphic card; if it bothers you try /skip command.
The server is open to public since 23 march 09 so there are not enough people yet to run WoE (War of Emperium) and test how much it sucks on this device (or rocks, but comparing 100 on screen players, where 25-50% spam skills, to empty field with few monster you kill with fire bolt, it will be the otherwise), you get the idea...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

1GB not enough?

There are few people (including myself) that would want to get two times as much ram you have by default. I recommend getting DDR2 so-dimm clocked @ 667mhz, just to be sure it doesn't fail on super performance mode. I picked Kingston DDR2 667 cl5.

First you need to turn your asus eee upsidedown. Then on the bottom side you can see two screws. Take them out and open the cover. There you can see memory (top of the pic), wireless module (left side), and your asus SSD@mini pci-e, the D: one (right side).

Before taking you memory out be sure to disable boot booster in BIOS and turn off your asus eee by taking the battery out. Now you are free to replace your ram with bigger one (please note that A-data module is rated 1.5V. If you use module rated 1.8V you may notice a little higher power usage). You close the lid, put the battery in the right place, power on your netbook. Go to bios, enable boot booster, let it load to Windows. Now you will see 2GB of ram. It is necessary for people that want to run 300MB+ ramdrive to store firefox cache, so the webpages are loading faster.

Also you are free to upgrade your SSD (right side on the pic). There are two modules available on the market (or more, but those two are worth mentioning). First is
RunCore 128GB Pro SATA 70mm Mini PCI-e PCIe SSD for ASUS EEE PC 900 900A 901 and S101, IT'S 128GB, 125MB/s read speed and 95MB/s write speed. Very good if you want to install a lot of games, programs or just take a lot of movies, music. The second one is Patriot Lite Series 32 and 64GB. This one has half as much storage, too bad its read/write speeds are almost 10 times slower than RunCore's.
As for me, I didn't buy any SSD yet (they cost a lot), so I can't give you much review. I leave it up to you. =)

Friday, April 10, 2009

External Battery fully tested! [post obsolete]

WARNING! This post is marked as obsolete. Reason: The external battery and Access Point died some time ago.

I did some more tests on external battery mentioned earlier after second full charge. Too bad it's not really suited to charge asus eee or, i suspect, any other notebook. The power of 10Watts is not enought. The switching between batter/dc mode on asus eee not only lags it, also makes your battery discharge faster (or at least the same speed) - even when your battstat shows charging of +4Watts, the battery remaining charge percentage drops. Maybe when someone tries to buy two or, if it works that way, three of the same batteries and connect one to another setting 16 or 19V output (this battery has 14V charger and accepts 14-24V for dc input) then maybe Asus eee will charge normally, just maybe...

Anyway, the battery was fully tested on Creative Inspire T3100 having 12V 2.8A power supply. Playing music on medium volume with full bass on wasn't interrupted with any voltage drops, or as far as i tested. It can be useful for playing your music on 2.1 speaker system in your garden =)
As you can see on the picture, the battery being connected to Edimax EW 7206 APg wireless access point that requires 12V 500mA power supply, also no problems here (no wonder it's 6 out of 10Watts maximum battery drain). That helped me a lot cause i can't power it there using normal power supply.

As for charging notebooks. To be exact it charges it for a while, mine works for 5% charge giving out full power potential my asus eee needs, some people said other external batteries, supplying max 10watts of power, work for 1 hour or, till battery meter shows 85% or 75%. I think it really depends on how lucky you are =)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New External Battery from Whitenergy [post obsolete]

WARNING! This post is marked as obsolete. Reason: The external battery died some time ago. It wasn't good for anything that powering the tablet/phone with USB. On 12V it couldn't provide enough Ampers to properly power netbook but surprisingly at 16V or 19V it worked fine (if You don't take battery overheating problem into consideration).

External battery from Whitenergy good for people for whom internal 6600mAh just isn't enough.

This thing weights 620grams, that's a bit. You get 20000mAh at 3.7V so if you do a simple calculation (20000/1000*3,7=) you will get a value of 74Wh. Yes! It's 74Watts of power at full charge (just wanted to mention that asus' internal battery has 54Wh).

Whitenergy gave you a few voltage options so you don't have to buy aditional converters for, let's say, netbooks that need only 12V chargers. You can set 12, 16 or 19V on DC output and you have an additional USB port with 5V supply for charging your cell phone or MP3 Player.

So how efficent it is?

According to distributor's site it has (only) 10Watts of maximum output power. That's not a lot and can be a problem when you charge your netbook (too bad it doesn't want to stop charging when it detects unstable or low power external power supply). You may get OSD spam telling you that it's either on DC or battery power. When 10 minutes passed, it stopped spamming and battstat showed charging status of +4Watts, though I heard a weird noise from my netbook =)

I did a few tests with other external devices like access point that requires 12V/0,5A power supply or Creative speakers - 12V/2,8A. Both worked like a charm, especially access point. Everything that can work on 10Watts and below will do the job just fine and anything above may result in power drop spikes on DC output.

The battery fully charges in 6 hours...

Monday, April 6, 2009

How long does it live?

Lasting on battery, power usage, charging time.

AFAIK Asus 901 has battery with highest capacity out there. It's 6600mAh/7.4v, huge, heavy one, letting you use netbook for quite a time.

BattStat shows capacity of 55272mW. That's a lot! Taking 55Watts of low profile computer system everywhere. Charging this baby takes up to 2 hours (or 3 if you stress it while charging).
Let's take a look how long it lasts fully charged.
First overclock it to 1680mhz with Asus' Super Hybrid Engine and play some game like GTA2 or Ragnarok Online. It lasts about 3-4hours on battery taking about 15Watts, that's not bad for running 3d games (of course you can try to underclock it and play games, maybe you will reach 5 or more hours =).

The lowest power usage i got was 5-6Watts(!!!), yes, no mistake here! But you need to turn off display or set the lowest brightness, underclock it to 1200mhz (or even block multiplier raising with SpeedSwitchXP), turn off any devices like camera, wireless or bluetooth. Now your netbook lasts 8-10 hours =)
Of course nobody wants netbook that does nothing, so let's find some lan wire and surf the net. If you leave it underclocked, it will take 7-10Watts, so 7 hours on battery if you are lucky. It takes about 1-2Watts more on wireless, and 1-3Watts more when overclocked.

If you run utorrent at night (of course downloading legal software =) while making it as powersavy as you can you will notice battstat showing 6-8Watts! That's nice for your power bill.

Watching movies eating your power =)

So let's see what video formats you can choose to watch on this smally.
As far as i tested Xvid works fine in SDTV resolution as well as in HDTV one (720p). Even AVC (h264/x264) works like a charm, of course SDTV one. The HDTV may bring you some problems especially when using softsubs (forget about o/cing to 1680mhz fixing your problem, you may still get frameskips).
So let's play some SDTV Xvid movie, now underclock it, wow no frameskips (no wonder it's just good old xvid), so fully discharging it will take some time. That said it's a good solution for long time watching on picnic or in school =)
Using AVC on powersaving mode may be a good idea as long as it is SDTV version. You may get a little more of your battery drain, but the quality is better.
As for HDTV, I didn't test xvid, but you may be able to play it in powersaving mode on unblocked multiplier. HDTV AVC as said above may be a bit of pain to play on this baby, as well your power usage will jump up a lot.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Surfing in the kitchen

INFO! The device still works (19th of July, 2015) but SDDs in it degradated so much it's mostly useless unless booted from external USB device. The original battery was replaced long time ago but extended Whitenergy battery is still ok, having 20% wear level. Though I don't use it much. Moved to 8 inches Windows 8.1 tablet that was 1/3th of this netbook's price and even with 1GB RAM it's working pretty awesome.

Everybody knows what laptop is. But do they know what netbook is?

Netbook is a small computer that you can put into your small bag (like 250x200) and carry it everywhere like people do with other notebooks. It's not as powerful as workstation or any other laptop but it's easier to carry and lasts longer on battery, providing quite fast internet access, document editing or ability to play some older games like GTA2, Traffic Giant etc.
It's something between pocket pc and laptop, doesn't have internat DVD (CD) though so it may be a bit of pain but you still can use virtual cd.

Most netbooks are based on 1.6ghz Atom processor and 1GB RAM. What does that mean?

That means it's not as powerful as Pentium M 1.6ghz (Atom doesn't support out of order commands), you can compare it with 1.1 or 1.2ghz one. But it does support Hyper Threading technology far better than Pentium 4 did (big plus for this - you can compress files and surf the net at the same time without much slowdowns!).

There are two versions of storage type used in netbooks!

Do you know what hard drive is? It's a storage drive with magnetic plates using mechanical parts to store all your files. It has nice, fast file access but may be easy damaged when you accidentally drop your netbook on the floor.
What's the other storage type? It's SSD, aka Solid State Drive. It's like a pendrive stored inside of your netbook providing slower reading/writing but takes less power and is almost immune to any vibrations... The bad news about it is that it has far less storage space and sometimes is slows down so much that your firefox hangs for 10-30 seconds (THAT'S REALLY BAD!).
"If I can't surf internet well then i would rather buy hard drive one since there is no other way around" atually there is, all you need is ramdrive: you need to install RAMDISK by lyh728 the same way like you install any other hardware in your windows XP.
You then run ramdisk.exe and set ramdrive letter and size, copy your firefox profile from your document and settings to ramdrive (or if you don't know where it is just leave it there, you will create new one), run "somedirectory\firefox.exe -P" w/o "" and create new profile, name it ramdrive profile or something else then point it to drive letter of your ramdrive (R: in my case), select that it's your default profile (unless you want to run firefox with -P switch everytime you want to use ramdrive one). Wait for web browser to open, close it, go to your ramdrive and pack it to rar or zip (or use ramdisk frontend and save image). Why? Because when you reboot your netbook it will get empty 'cause it's stored in your ram memory. Remember to decompress your rar file after reboot, if you don't firefox will blame you for having open firefox window you don't have =) That's it!

I will post more when i feel like it =P

back =P