More mysteries of the EeePC 1000HE

Like a woman, a netbook has many layers and mysteries. I have solved two more I felt worthy of documenting as I freely write from my armchair in the living room.

Firstly, the switch on the bottom simply acts as a lock for the battery. When I first got it, I feared that it might do something catastrophic if switched, maybe switching the source of power, causing it to blow up like the train set we got as a kid. My dad never reads directions, and plugged the transformer’s wires into the “DC” terminals. Even as a child I knew what would happen, which it soon did. Not pretty! Not so with this beautiful creation, it simply acts as a secondary emergency lock.

Secondly, I wondered why I couldn’t get into the boot menu. I tried and tried to hold down escape, pressing it repeatedly, holding it down, and pretty much every variation thereof. Tonight, I learned that it requires entering the BIOS by hitting F2, then going over to the “Boot” options, and turning on “Quick Boot.” Then save the configuration, and then you can hit the escape key when booting to bring up the boot menu to boot from a thumbdrive, or so say the legends. This requires sighted help, of course, so I will let you know.

This just reinforces why I would love to sell these things to the blind, working out of the box with free software and an interface to match. We mustn’t let evil prevail!

In the meantime, I installed Cygwin while sitting on my front porch. If you want to dabble in Linux while still using Windows, I would recommend this, albeit the setup interface which one uses to add and remove packages needs some accessibility work.