Sunday, March 15, 2009

Netbooks: They Suck Just Enough

Last week I was perusing GIZMODO and as I always do, I checked into their Dealzmodo post. Every day they track down the best deals they can find on electronics, software, and oddball items like lingerie and sandwiches. You know the other day, when I got a free Quizno's sub? I have Dealzmodo to thank for tipping me off.

That particular day they were featuring $100 off a Dell Inspiron mini, the very netbook that was featured in a WIRED article I'd read the previous week. Netbooks, you may know, are the future of a shrinking world. They're half the size of a notebook, 3/4ths the processing speed, they eschew such niceties as a DVD drive or in my case even a hard drive (relying on flash memory, it's like running your OS off a bank of thumb drives) but they can access the internet cloud and they are light and a third of price of your typical laptop. And what would you use that laptop for? Going to Starbucks and checking your email.

It's a terrible computer if it's your only computer, but it's just right as your other one.

So as I write this I'm in the waiting area of my local Sprint Store, waiting for them to diagnose the bizarre phantom who lives inside my Centro and turns it on for no reason. Look, I'm bloggin'! Only I can't upload until I get home, because there is no WiFi access in the Sprint store. I was hoping I'd be able to use the phone as a modem and maybe I still can, but I have to do a little research. Which I can't do in here.

You could run XP on this thing, but I opted for Ubuntu Linux because it sounds like fun. Indeed it has been so far. Linux is still a little bit wild west for my tastes, but not nearly as bad as it was two years ago. The great thing about Linux is you can preload with all kinds of free open source software. Then, if you don't like what's already on the box, you can download something else completely for free. God Bless Linus Torvalds.

My only complaint with the device after two days is that the apostrophe key, which I use a LOT, is in a weird place -- next to the space bar, under the period. The return key is where the apostrophe should be. Tiny keyboards are hard to adjust to!

Well, I look forward to taking this out to cafes more and seeing if it


s is a chick magnet.


Publius said...

I can't get into the idea of carrying a computer around. I don't want a cell phone that goes on the Internet, I don't want a netbook. I want my computer at my desk where it belongs.

wamk said...


You should use your new Netbook while wearing the shiny cankle-pants with skinny tie.

The combination of all that should drive the ladies wild.

Don't forget to toss in a six-pack of Burger King "Burger Shots". I hear the gals think they are so cute.

Danielk said...

I can't get near the Burger King, because I'm shanghai'd on the way there due to my Axe body spray.

Publius said...

Man, I AM out of date. I keep expecting that my Old Spice cologne will wow the ladies. Maybe I'll upgrade to that Hi-Karate that the kids are all wearing?