There’s no question I am really pleased to have bought recently a mini notebook computer, the Asus eee pc.

Especially as I prepare to head for BlogWorld & New Media Expo in Las Vegas next week, I love the thought of having a 2 pound (less than 1 kg) notebook to carry and not the 6.28 pound (2.85 kg) Asus A6000 I took last year.

Asus eee PC

That said, the eee pc has been a bit of a challenge.

First, it’s the Linux version, so as a Windows user I’ve been on a big learning curve about using a new command system.

Yes, I know, there is a Windows XP version of the eee pc. But for better or worse, I’ve got the Linux one.

There is an eee user forum, but a lot of the advice and assistance given seems to assume at least a basic knowledge of Linux. Contributors are helpful but perhaps don’t realise how mysterious some of the instructions can be to someone like me.

Here, for example, is a segment of instructions on how to install the Opera browser – which has a neat function of being able to shrink the display so that you can see more than just the center of a web site:

Once you have the .deb file downloaded, open a terminal and run:
sudo dpkg -i –force-all opera_9.24-20071015.5-shared-qt_en_i386.deb

I don’t want to even think about how many hours it took for me to acquire enough knowledge and go through enough trial and error to enable commands like that to work.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with is to realize that I don’t have access to a number of programs I use as a matter of course on my computer that uses Windows XP.

And with some “solutions” it seems to be one step forward and two steps back. For example, in a previous post I said that discovering the online site Picnik meant I had a solution to the challenge of not having an adequate image editing tool installed.

Spoke too soon.

I’ve just been trying without success to upload some photos  to my Picnik site – nothing serious, just basic screenshots in jpg format, but keep getting *fail* messages – I’m having to re-evaluate my decision that I didn’t need to download, learn and configure something like GIMP.

So far I’ve not been successful in downloading GIMP.

But I don’t intend to give up.

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).