Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thoughts on my new netbook

I bought an Asus netbook on Friday night. This (I'm typing on it right now) is a Christmas present. No, not an early Christmas present - a late Christmas present. Or I guess you can say it's Christmas in August.

I've wanted a netbook for some time for personal use, primarily because I'm intrigued by the small size. In some respects, the small size is ideal for many of the things that I do online. You don't need a 22" monitor to listen to or to play Starfleet Commander.

However, as expected, there are some drawbacks to the smaller size (in my case, a maximum screen height of 600 pixels). The biggest problem that I found so far was in Google Reader; I was unable to access my feeds at the bottom left of the screen until I did some zooming.

I'm also trying to teach myself something else - how to use a computer without a mouse. Back in 1984-1985 when I first started using a Macintosh, the mouse was a brand spanking new pointing device. Today, I know someone with a Mac who doesn't even own a mouse. Times change.

The current laptop/netbook pointing mechanism, in which you drag your finger in a rectangular area to move your pointer and then click on areas at the lower left/right corner is probably the best method so far to control a pointer without a mouse. Personally I'd prefer an integrated trackball, but you can't have everything, and this system has the advantage of fewer moving parts.

I actually bought a mini-mouse for the computer which I used last night, but today I'm trying to go mouseless. So far, with help from the arrow keys in the lower right of the keyboard, I've been fairly successful.

One other thing that I decided some time ago regarding my netbook - to complement the low netbook price, I was going to try to use all free software on the computer. I didn't follow through on my additional thoughts of installing Linux on the netbook, or buying a Linux netbook, but two of the first things that I did last night were to remove the supplied antivirus program (in this case Trend Micro) and the Microsoft Office 60 day trial. I downloaded Microsoft's free antivirus program (and the uninstall of Trend Micro went fine, for those of you who saw this post), and plan to download OpenOffice at some point (I've thought about this).

All in all, I'm satisfied that the netbook is delivering what it promised. Obviously I'm not going to write proposals on this thing, but it's certainly good at what it does.
blog comments powered by Disqus