Asus Adventures

Only an irresponsible stork would drop the baby off while the new parents were not home. Can you imagine? A new baby, wrapped warm in blankets (blue or pink, or course, depending on the gender) in the little basket, sitting on the door step for three or four hours because dad is at work and mom is running errands?

Even worse, if dad uses the Stork Delivery Service (SDS) website to track the delivery of his new baby and sees that the baby has been sitting on the front door step since noon, I’d say the rest of dad’s day is going to be spent worrying about the baby! Especially if the weather has been cold or hot.

This is exactly what happened the day I was expecting my Eee PC to arrive in the mail. The carrier didn’t realize he had left a four hundred dollar package on the door step, in the cold, and nobody was going to be home for the next four hours. I can’t really blame him… Yet, I do.

I called my wife and asked her if she had checked the front door step before leaving the house because the package had been there for an hour before she left. She hadn’t. I didn’t get mad. I did worry though, a lot.

Random thought: I really like seeing italic text. I see it on the screen, and for the first time today, it just looks cool.

The worst part was, she wouldn’t be returning home until after she came and got me from work and we returned together. I imagined the temperature ruining the electronics, I imagined someone taking it, I dreamed up just about every worst case scenario, and finally we got home.

To my profound relief, the box was still out on the front porch. My wife brought it in and was shocked at how light it was. Like a proud new father, I remarked, “of course it is, it’s a UMPC (ultra mobile PC).”

I didn’t even wait to change out of my work clothes. I surgically sliced through the packaging materials, careful to only lightly score the tape on the surface so as to avoid puncturing through to the goods inside.

Inside the shipping box, I found a funky looking box containing the actual laptop. I opened this second box in the same careful manner as the first, and began tenderly removing the contents, one by one, until I had them all laid out on the bed.

I took a sigh of satisfaction before opening the quick start guide to see if I should do anything special as far as charging goes before turning it on.

The first thing I noticed was the abundance of goofy translations. Even the title of what would usually be called the quick start guide, or something like that, had been translated as “Quick Use Guide.” Quick use does not communicate, in my mind, the same thing as a quick start. I don’t want to use it quickly, I want to begin using it quickly or soon. For me, even “Soon Use Guide” would be better than “Quick Use Guide.”

I won’t bore you with the meticulous list of grammar and spelling errors found in the documentation for this beautiful little device, but I had to share one with you. A word of warning, some folks may find the modern English interpretation of this slightly offensive. Here are my two thoughts on it. First of all, if you had bought the computer yourself and were reading the manual, you would find it too (it’s hard to miss). It’s just there, what are you going to do about it? Secondly, I’m sharing it because, unless you’re taking life too seriously, it’s funny. In fact, it’s quite hilarious. Do you want to forfeit a good laugh just to get upset with me sharing something I read in a manual?

I didn’t think so. Here it is.

(Quick Use Guide – 12)

Calling up applications

Operate your Eee PC hands-free. With voice command, you can launch Eee PC utilities without utilizing the keyboard. Just let your lips do the service.

Yes, let your lips do the service. If you don’t know why that’s funny, I commend you for your choice to live in a cave most of your life, and I admire your innocence.

To wrap up with a good ending, I plugged everything in and the machine ran beautifully ever since. The Linux operating system that comes pre-installed is innovative and user friendly until you want to modify, customize or install software. I’ve been learning a lot about Linux though and have successfully kept it running smoothly even amidst the installation of a few applications.

It has been this little gem, my Asus Eee PC, that has facilitated the additional writing time I’ve been finding (that, and I’m getting up at a quarter to six every morning, including weekends). As I continue writing more, getting your feedback and practicing what I read in “How To” books, I hope to progress toward my lofty goal of being a published author whose work is actually read by more than a few close friends and family members.


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May 2008
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