Yesterday was the first full day of testing out my recently purchased Asus Eee box PC. I used it for about an hour on Friday when first unpacking it from the box, and was pleasantly delighted. Yesterday I spent most of the day using the included Windows XP home operating system and adding software applications to be used in my office.
It’s still a messy set up as I haven’t yet decided on how I’m going to organize cables. I’m dealing with a really small space so this PC setup was perfect. I used to use a laptop here but it’s sort of defeated the purpose of having a desk since often times I have to hand write chart notes.
The current setup includes a 20 inch BenQ LCD monitor, a Plantronics CS 50 USB wireless headset, a mini Microsoft wireless mouse, and the keyboard that came with the Asus Eee box PC.
I’m thinking of changing out the monitor to use one that includes speakers. So far haven’t had any problems displaying at all resolutions tested for a monitor of this size. Understand I’m not playing games or doing heavy graphics work, most work done on this PC is going to be audio recording and transcription related.
I installed audacity (a free audio editor and recorder), GIMP (the GNU image manipulation program), PuTTY (a free telnet/ssh client), WinSCP (a free sftp and ftp client for windows), and Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 (non free speech recognition software for windows). The Plantronics headset didn’t require any drivers and worked with both Audacity and DragonDictate after adjusting basic audio settings.
A few things I like about this set up so far… 1) people are relaxing and receiving chiropractic care within a few feet of this desktop station. It is whispery quiet and I like that. 2) Its small enough to fit under the desk where no one can see it (but cool enough to leave on the desktop to show off and still not take up much space). 3) The combination I have set ups been able to handle audio recordings from my headset while standing anywhere in my office (including the x-ray developing room).
There is still quite a bit of training to be done with the transcription software, but I’ve used previous versions for nearly 10 years now, so I’ve got a pretty good hang of it. I’ll definitely be upgrading from the included 1GB of RAM to the 2GB capacity. Hopefully that will speed up the process when transcribing MP3 files to text or directly dictating to text.
I purchased an under drawer keyboard tray but it was too big for the area, thinking of developing a modified solution and not sure if I’ll continue using the provided keyboard.
I figure that within the next week I will mount the power strip and tuck away all the cables. I will take more pictures then and do an update to this post. I love new toys like this!