I bought an Asus EEE Box b202 from Amazon. Here are some notes so far;
I will clean this up later.
I plan to build the EEE Box to come up with a very simple SL5.2 host OS, and two !VMware guests, one full-featured SL5.2 (for surfing the web, vpn, ssh, and the usual applications) and a Windows 2000 guest with Dragon Naturally Speaking Medical. The win2K guest will have networking, file sharing, browsers etc. turned off). Dragon will be used by my doctor wife for dictating patient records, and I will do my damnedest to keep the Windows guest isolated from the internet to protect patient privacy.
===Installing larger memory !SoDIMMs===
Since there will be 3 !OSes running, I needed more memory. I voided the warranty of the EEE by opening it up (no easy task, look for instructions on YouTube) and installed 2GB of 667!MHz !SoDIMM RAM to replace the 1GB that it came with.
===Installing a larger disk===
I replaced the original 160GB XP drive with a 250GB Seagate SATA notebook drive (not one of the drives with the bricking problem). The original windoze drive is sitting unmodified in a box, for reference if needed.
===Installing Scientific Linux 5.2===
===Fixing SL5 networking===
The EEE PC Box uses a Realtek 8168B, but for some reason the (updated) SL5.2 kernel calls for the 8169 driver, which does not work. So I added rpmforge to my yum repositories, then installed the dkms-8168 driver. I'm not sure I did everything right - during boot it talks about the driver already being loaded - but it works now. The steps:
1) With the network not working, I temporarily connected through a USB-to-ethernet adapter, which automounted as eth2 when I plugged it in. I've used three different adapters in the past, all worked out of the box. This time I used an ancient Farallon Netline PN976 ( !07a6:0986 !ADMtek, Inc. AN986 Pegasus Ethernet). In the past I've used a cheapo AirLink and a 3Com, model numbers not at hand.
2) I used firefox to go to https://rpmrepo.org/RPMforge, clicked "Using !RPMforge" to go to https://rpmrepo.org/RPMforge/Using , then clicked the "RHEL5 / !CentOS-5 i386" rpm link. That downloaded some stuff that added !RPMforge to the yum repositories.
3) I then did a "yum install dkms-r8168" and got a working driver. eth1 came up, and I could unplug the USB-to-ethernet adapter.
===Setting up the video===
===Setting up !VMware Player===
===Installing the SL5.2 guest===
===Installing the Windows 2000 guest===
===Setting Up Dragon Naturally Speaking===
The ASUS Eee Box has one egregious defect - the microphone input is powered with 2.8V rather than the standard 5V; hence, electret microphones do not get enough voltage to operate properly. This really behaves more like an audio "line-in" connector. So, I ignore those connectors, and instead use an audio USB hub. Alternately, I can use a USB headphone with a mute switch, which can inform Dragon that it is muted.
===temporary notes: ===