It seems like every time I open up my Google Reader account, there’s news about another company that released a knock-off of my beloved Asus eeePC 4G Surf (701) (interestingly, it looks like eeepc.asus.com is down at the moment of writing). Even Asus has released numerous (I think the product like is now up to about 10 variations) follow-ups to the 7” beauty, now up to 10” in size (though, admittedly, I’m less-than-enthused about their Windows models).
With the new semester here, I am (unfortunately) back in class. And I’m very happy to report that I’m starting to see eeePCs in more and more hands. Granted, my classes are in the IT program, but I was quite surprised last night to be sitting in my Internet Security class and notice no less than four eeePCs in a class of about 25 people. While I’ve just relegated my own 4G to my server room bag, replacing it with a (used, surplus from work) IBM ThinkPad T41 (14.1” display, 1.4GHz Pentium, 768MB RAM, and a DVD drive). Though my heart sank when I found that half of the eeePCs were running Windows, it seems that in my travels around campus, I’m seeing more and more eeePCs, and more laptops running Linux.
While the academic world has surely embraced new technologies, and non-mainstream technologies, quicker than other sectors (specifically considering Linux and the apparent popularity of the eeePC), it’s definitely a good omen. Seeing non-geek, and perhaps even non-CS and non-Engineering, students using Linux speaks quite well for the expansion of the Linux user base when these students graduate and enter the “real world”