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Gizmo hypeware

The Asus EeePC, that sub-sub-laptop with the difficult-to-use keyboard and tiny flash memory instead of a hard drive, which runs on the free Linux operating system and whose price has veered from the vapourware figure of £100 to the real, current £220+, is having its PR mill ground gratis by the Eee geeks, er, aficionados.

In the past couple of months, blokes have turned the tiny 7inch screen into a touch screen and installed Windows XP in place of Linux , added 3G wireless connectivity , added Bluetooth and 16Gig of storage, and here is a picture-by-picture guide tp how to open the Eee and where to solder in that obscure gizmo of your dreams.

One Eee forum correspondent recently wistfully wondered, 'I think i might want a touch screen but I don't know if people are doing it for the cool factor or they're actually using them.' Speaking as someone who has recently modded a perfectly innocent monitor into a big touch screen, the answer is definitely not the latter. The reason for this enthusiastic modding of the EeePC, which takes the cost of the machine up to stratospheric levels, is either the standard 'Because you can, especially with a cheap base unit,' or, hush my mouth, 'Because they make it a tad more usable'.

Oh, no: Asus has just announced that it will soon flog the EeePC with Windows XP instead of Linux.

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