While mentioning the OLPC XO laptop, I have to point, as well, to Asus’ Eee. Sure, it’s not necessarily designed for being in the middle of a sub-Saharan desert, but it has some of the other hallmarks of OLPC — low power use, light weight, extremely low cost, and open-source, Linux-based software. These little machines are underpowered for many digital audio tasks, but MIDI and basic live audio are certainly feasible. I’ve heard at least a couple of readers using them. Anyone using them for musical tasks?

Asus has launched an “SDK” — a bit of a misnomer, as you don’t really need specialized tools to make Linux software for these machines. But it is a nice, packaged set of free tools you’ll need, as a ready-to-go distro. Curiously, it requires an installed partition on your machine; there’s no live CD mode. Digital wunderkind Brad Linder is all over it:

Asus launches Eee PC SDK [Eee Site]

OLPC XO, Eee, or other Small Computer reports? We’d love to hear them. And maybe someone can tell us how to pronounce Eee. Now, back to my desktop behemoth to burn some non-renewable resources.

Photo: raster. And yeah — it’s that small. (What, AP, not Strunk & White?)

See also: Computer Music Magazine’s mini Eee PC review [musicradar.com], though it still leaves some questions unanswered … let’s keep the chatter going!