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  1. #1

    External Hard Drives

    I am looking to get an Eee PC but would like to have an external hard drive that I could use to put all my media on. I would be traveling with this computer and using it for taking notes in class. Since I don't need all my media with me all the time put it on an external drive would be fine. Do external drives work with Xandros (specifically the Eee PC distribution) like they do in Windows? Meaning, is it plug and play or do I have to set the thing up each time? Even if I had to set it up once and it was plug and play after that, I would be fine. I am trying to avoid installing Windows XP on the Eee PC. If Xandros won't do it does anybody know if Xubuntu will?

    Related question, is there an external DVD drive that will work as well? Again need plug and play functionality.

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2

    You may want to give this a quick read - Linux is not Windows

    In all seriousness, if you want to use a device in the exact same way that Windows uses a device, you may want to keep using Windows. Linux is not Windows, so you should expect that you will not be doing things "the same way."

    The short answer is yes, you plug in a device (HDD/DVD) and most Linux distributions will detect the device. Does every Linux distro detect the device the same way - No. Do some have more steps than others - Yes. Can you automate those steps if needed - Yes.

    You will have to answer the question yourself of whether or not you like using Linux as a whole. It will be different and it will take some learning/getting used to.


  3. #3

    Thank you

    Thank you for your response. I will read that article you suggested.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Hi Nelsonj3-

    I just gave it a try on a friend's eee pc and not only did it recognize that there was a device, but instantly asked if I wanted to open it in a file manager. Very slick. In this respect it looks like they went to great lengths to make things easy for the end user. Happy computer purchasing!

    As an additional note, it looks like the eeepc can also read ntfs formated external drives. I also did a write test and it looks like there were no issues copying files onto the ntfs drive as well. I am always a little leary about writing to ntfs from a linux box unless I know they are using reputable drivers, but... this one seems ok.

    You may want to shoot an email to asus or look at their documentation to see if there are any recommended periferals (e.g. USB DVD Drives).
    Last edited by sdimhoff; 01-15-2008 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Addressing the DVD concern

  6. #5

    Wow! Thank you!

    Thank you so much! I appreciate you trying it for me. I am glad to hear that even NTFS works on the Eee PC. I have been all over Asus' website for this info, but I didn't even think to send them an email.
    Thank you!

  7. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Rhode Island USA
    I use Xandros desktop and do not have an Eee; I also use Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS and have always had them detect external devices, whether hard drives or USB thumb drives, quickly and without problems.

  8. #7
    Good to know, thank you.

  9. #8
    Just Joined! lam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Washington DC US

  10. #9
    Just Joined! philharve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Falmouth, CORNWALL UK

    Optical drive for Eee PC

    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonj3 View Post
    Related question, is there an external DVD drive that will work as well? Again need plug and play functionality.
    Hi nelsonj3

    There most certainly are external DVD/CD writers available for the Eee PC and I've just ordered one for myself. The most common source is ebay where there are some bargains to be had. I have a white 901 and wanted a white/light-coloured optical drive to complement it. Because the 901 is small, I wanted a small drive too, preferably one little bigger than the media itself. Plug & play is obviously important. I wanted a USB-powered drive too, one that derives all the power it needs from a single USB port. Some drives need to use two USB ports which suggest they might drain the Eee PC battery quickly. It helps if the drive was designed with the little Eee PC in mind.

    I found such a drive with the following spec', copied from ebay:-


    -Compatible with all ASUS computers (ASUS FirmWare pre-loaded / pre-flashed into the drive)

    -Plug and play (no drivers needed)

    -No external power needed (runs off the USB power)

    -Made by Matshita/Panasonic

    -Play DVD movies and Burn DVDs and CDs!

    -Smallest/lightest/fastest external burner in the world! Very light/small/portable!

    8x DVD±R
    6x-8x DVD±RW
    4x DVD±DL (DVD dual/double layer)
    5x DVD-RAM
    24x CD-R
    24x CD-RW
    8X Speed DVD-ROM Reading

    If this is the sort of drive you are after, look up 'bogielives'.

    There are other sources, for example, Amazon UK, but I wanted something just a bit special to match the colour of my 901.



  11. #10

    Class Notes

    If you are literally just going to store notes that you type by your own hands then let's take a look at the numbers.

    The most I have typed was around 90 words per minute for a 5 minute typing test. That is pretty good. But do not expect me to keep that up for much longer than 5 minutes. At 6 characters per word, that is 90 x 6 = around 540 bytes per minute.

    There are 60 minutes in an hour. You will not be typing that much for that long, but let us us that number. So 60 x 540 = 32,400 bytes per hour.

    Consider 5 hours of note taking per day. That is 5 x 32,400 = 162,000 bytes per day.

    How many days per year? Let us go really insane: 365 days. So that is 365 x 162,000 = 59,130,000 bytes per year.

    I will round that up to 60 Megabytes.

    Ok, so why do you need a hard drive when it is so unlikely that you will even reach 1 Gigabyte? Not even if you go absolutely crazy taking notes?

    The most you will probably need in this case is probably a couple of
    USB Flash sticks (one main and one backup). Get them around 4GB size and you should have plenty for most such usage. If you are taking very unusual courses, then ask around if anyone else has done anything like this before and see what they used. Unless you are taking a course in Video Editing, I doubt if you will come close to needing a hard drive.

    An external DVD drive is always nice to watch movies on, but you probably do not really even need that.

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