22 Apr 2000 sethcohn   » (Master)

Boom!

Well, I'm staring at the remains of my new computer. I bought one of those little Espresso units, as I said in my last diary entry. After a delay in shipping (they refused to ship to my work address, since it's not the credit card billing address), I got it last night. Nice tiny unit. Silver, labeled "EPC pocket pc". Weighs less than a pound, with a carrying case. The docking station has 1 serial, 1 parallel, CDROM and Floppy. The docking station doesn't fit in the case, but I guess you aren't supposed to carry it around. 533 mhz Celeron with 128 megs and 12 gig HD in a package less than 1 pound. It's impressive. Video or VGA out. Built in trackpad. With a battery, this could be an MP3 player for sure.

Installed both Corel 1.0 and Redhat 6.1 onto it, but neither had built in support for i810 video and sound. Looked into what I'd have to do to get video, sound and usb running. Video is a kernel module, sound is a new alsa driver, and USB (for ethernet at least) is a kernel module. Considered my options: I had 6 billion disks around but nothing quite what I wanted to install. Debian 2.1 with 2.0.36 kernel, Turbolinux, Slackware.... but my Mandrake 7.02 was at work (and I'd still have to add Cooker packages to that.) So I started a huge download of 3 Debian 'woody' CDs from ftp.kando.hu and went to bed. Today I get up, the downloads are still going (DSL is fast, but not that fast), so I pack up the unit and bring it to a friend's place to show it off. Plug in the unit and BLUE SPARKS fly, black smoke and frying noises. uH oh!

Damn power supply put 110 volts right to the unit. Cheap power supply failed (at least that is what it looks like).

Called up and they were very nice. I've got a 30 day money back guarantee on the unit, but I just told them to ship me another one, and I'll send this one back with the black scorch marks on it. I should have the new one on Tuesday now.

Not even 24 hours with it. (oh well). So far, I am not impressed by the quality, but the product itself is pretty cool, and I think that with a good power supply, I'll be very happy with it.

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