Author Topic: PhotoMechanic on Asus EEE PC 701... COOL!!!  (Read 7371 times)

Offline broke

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PhotoMechanic on Asus EEE PC 701... COOL!!!
« on: January 17, 2008, 07:01:07 AM »
PhotoMechanic 4.5.3 is running well on an Asus EEE PC 701 with Windows XP Professional SP 2.
Memory has been upgraded from standard 512 mb to 2 Gb. PM is assigned 512 mb memory for cache. 

In takes the laptop 36 seconds to: power on, load WinXP Pro SP2 + enter your login/password and finish launching PhotoMechanic.

XP Pro SP2 was installed after being slimmed down by nlite. It takes up about 827 Mb of the 4 Gb SSD.
Adobe PhotoShop 9.0.2 takes up about 180 Mb after deleting i.e. sacrificing files/features such as help, stock photos, examples and almost every single plug-in.
PhotoMechanic takes up 60 Mb.

There are annoyances because of the weird 800 x 480 resolution screen that is 7 inches diagonal. (It can run higher resolutions virtually by sliding around but that is an even harder way to edit photos.)

The main annoyance (not just in PhotoMechanic) is that many menu items and buttons become inaccessible for mouse clicks.
Linux lets you press ALT and click+drag with your mouse to move window dialogs that are larger than your monitor resolution. Too bad that feature is not a standard part of WinXP.

Many buttons in PhotoMechanic, thankfully, have keystrokes -- if you remember them. Or tape a cheatsheet to the laptop wristpad areas.

Despite PhotoMechanic 4.5.3 having many dialog windows chopped off, (because PhotoMechanic requires as minimum 1024 x 768), almost all have a workaround whether it be using the keystroke commands, the autoscrolling feature of virtual higher resolutions, or using a second (higher resolution) computer to configure and save preferences to transfer those preference files or .IPT caption files to the EEE PC 701.

Embedded below is a small selection of many screenshots to show great, bad and almost good fits of dialog windows from PhotoMechanic 4.5.3 in 800 x 480.

So why "suffer" with 800 x 480?

Because the Asus EEE PC 701:

+ lightweight at about 2.2 lbs
+ small with a volume of about two DVD movie cases stacked
+ boots very quickly at about 24 seconds
+ *** RUNS PHOTOMECHANIC: code replacement, ftp, variables, rename ***
+ runs camera control software
+ runs Photoshop
+ USB 2.0 ports: one on left side, two on right side
+ nearly silent
+ 802.11 b/g
+ SDHC card slot mounts cards completely flush
+ can run an external monitor (higher native resolutions) as mirror, extension or replacement

But the Asus EEE PC 701 is not perfect:

- Very usable for captioning, but the keyboard is very cramped with a weird location for tilde ~ and the right shift key and no right-side control key.
- The mouse button must be pressed exactly straight down, not from the edge.
- The battery meter is completely inaccurate.
- Screen is limited to native 800 x 480 (but can run higher resolutions virtually with a lot of panning and sliding around)
- tiny size means tiny battery versus bigger latops with gigantic batteries
- 7" screen can never compare to editing on 15" or 17" laptops for speed or a a 30" or 42" or a wall tiled with 42" monitors...
- it doesn't have FireWire 800 1394b ports
- 4 Gb SSD is rather tight but workable
- there is an RJ-11 jack, but there's no modem for it!
- something smaller, lighter and more powerful is around the corner

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 06:26:05 PM by broke »

Offline Brendan

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Re: PhotoMechanic on Asus EEE PC 701... COOL!!!
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2008, 03:35:13 AM »
How du you handle UMTS, ober USB?

I think, Kirk can do some adjustems so made PM fit better to smal displays.

using the latest version of PM on win10

Offline broke

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Re: PhotoMechanic on Asus EEE PC 701... COOL!!!
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2008, 05:45:37 AM »
How du you handle UMTS, ober USB?

I think, Kirk can do some adjustems so made PM fit better to smal displays.

Yes, USB is pretty much the way to go on the Asus EEE PC 701.

While early batches of the laptop have an internal mini PCI-E expansion slot, newer batches no longer have it.
Also, tracking down an internal 3G modem mini PCI-E board isn't easy. It is not a staple at Best Buy, Circuit City or other big box electronics stores. Not yet. Or not ever. Same goes for finding a Bluetooth internal mini PCI-E board to add.

So that means USB is way to go for now.

Novatel's U720 is a USB 3G CDMA modem available in the United States on both Sprint and Verizon.
It connects via the main EV-DO (Rev. A) radio and can fall back to 1XRTT radio. It's about to be replaced with a newer model that has a memory card slot.

Power drain from the 3G USB modem is of big concern. The EEE PC 701 specs say it uses 2315 mAh and has a 7.4v 5200mAh Li-Ion battery pack. So two hours or so is about it for just the laptop before you even plug in anything using USB power such as the 3G USB modem and card readers. I am getting less than 90 minutes of battery run time on the EEE PC 701 when using the U720 to transmit photos and even less time when it is also connected to fire a camera. A quick fix is the Radio Shack High Power DC Adapter set to 9 volts. It is about $33 for the car cigarette adapter. You will need to buy Adaptplug "C" for about $7 more. This will power the EEE PC 701 AND charge the battery.

However there is another 3G USB modem that has it's own battery back -- like from a cellphone battery pack. Though a bit bulkier, that might be a better option as it won't drain the laptop battery as quickly or at all. But then you have yet another battery to charge, another charger to carry, and in worst case scenario thinking, something else that could catch fire.


As for reworking PhotoMechanic from 1024 x 768 minimum to 800 x 480, I think adjustments would be nice but should only take place when enough users use it to justify the time needed for the development team to work their magic.

Personally, it is usable for now.

And though I have a list of recommended optimizations for the small screen size, I would rather see the CameraBits team take a year long paid sabatical and everyone gets a 1,000 percent pay raise.

After that daydream, seriously, I would like for the team to take a hiatus from adding feature sets and instead work on optimizing PhotoMechanic as much as possible for speed, efficiency and reliability.

There is no computer + software that is too fast/efficient/reliable when working on deadline. If there is, I want it.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 09:17:58 AM by broke »