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Asus Eee PC Breaks Again

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico- I must inform all readers, correspondents, prospective employees, friends, family, and all associates that VagabondJourney.com will be out of commission for an unspecified amount of time.

The reason:

The Asus Eee PC 1005 that I have been using to publish this website just kicked the bucket.

This would be the third Asus Eee PC that I have been through in two years. It is funny that I brag so often about how tough these computers are, but I have personally had three break in 22 months.

I am unsure if I can continue relying on these computers any more.

A traveling webmaster must always be ready for their electronics to break from the rigors of the road or to have everything lost through theft — there are a thousand ways that travel can separate a traveler from functioning electronics. But when you are using a computer normally, when it has received no undue stress, when you baby it and nurture it 100% of the time and it still breaks (for no apparent reason) it is a true surprise.

In point, I was using this laptop normally — I was answering yet another question from someone who overstayed their visa in Europe — when, all of a sudden, the words I was typing failed to show up on the screen.

This was funny, the entire keyboard became completely unresponsive. I turn the computer off, turn it back on again, get a screen that says something like “push F2 to run set up or push tab to do something else.”

But I can not push F2 or tab, as the keyboard fails to function.

I am not too worried at this point — only annoyed. I turn the computer off, turn it back on while holding down Alt F2 and the computer goes into boot block mode.

Now I am worried: hardware issues can be fixed, if my problem was a bad wire leading from the keyboard to the innards of the computer then this can be repaired easily, but if the keyboard can still shoot some info into the processor and not others then I am in trouble.

Deep internal issues on a $250 Asus netbook are often not worth fixing — you just buy a new one and forget.

I bought this computer new only 8 months ago, it should not be malfunctioning.

Unless undue stress is put on a laptop I predict that they should last for two years. These Asus netbooks do not last this long — I went through three in less than two years. I traveled with a cheap-o Dell laptop for two years without any problems, and my parents are still using this computer daily. This Dell had been dropped, had a kid spill coffee all over the keyboad, had been beaten and battered in both the travel and domestic setting, and it still works. Meanwhile, I have had three Asus Eee PCs bite the dust.

I am going to take this computer in to a repair shop, but I fear for the worse.

I am frustrated, discouraged. This year I had already purchased a new computer for $250 because the previous one broke, a new camera for $300 because the previous one broke, and dropped over $1,000 on a Blackberry with a Global Data Plan that does not really work very well.

The more I try to move forward, the more I feel the forces of providence pulling me backwards. I feel as if I am trying to run with elastic straps attaching me firmly to a wall.

I thought about getting into another profession — leather working or silver smithing — but I knew that this was all just fancy thoughts to make me feel better in a moment of difficulty: it is easy to think about escape routes when you come to an unexpected brick wall. But I will keep going, I do not care if I need to replace ten new computers or buy twenty new cameras, I do not care if I put myself in the poor house from needing to prematurely replace expensive electronics regularly, I will keep going until I am, without a doubt, successful in this web publishing fiasco.

You can never fail at something unless you give up.

I will take the computer into a shop, face the worse, buy a new one if I have to, keep going.

Taking two steps forward just to take one step back is still moving forward.

Shop for travel computers

Related articles:

One week, two laptops broken

Original Asus not good for traveling webmaster

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Filed under: Technology, Travel Gear, Travel Problems, Traveling Webmaster

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3161 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Ulladulla, AustraliaMap