Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Wonder of Netbooks


For a year now I have wondered if I was just deluded about the elegant beauty and sheer soul full (full of soul) efficacy of my netbooks. I got a Linux OS Asus eeePC about as soon as they first came out, and followed this up with a XP version of the eeePC 901 as soon as they came out. We have become inseparable and, in fact, they are all I have traveled with recently. It's great to have a bigger machine available upon arrival, but to all intents and purposes I get by with a netbook. Of course, half the fun is working out how to get as much out of them as possible, and there are some gorgeous hacks and loads of fantastic advice and suggestions provided by people who obviously love theirs as much as I love mine.

Nonetheless, I tended to think that maybe I was a bit nutty enjoying them as tool-friends as much as I do. But that wondering kind of ended today when -- after too long an absence -- I finally scratched a bit of time together to spend on the incomparable "Scripting News" blog of Dave Winer. Anyone who has read the second eidition of our New Literacies book know how we revere the man, and it was like a lightning bolt of affirmation to read his 22 October blog post on Why I like netbooks"

His definition of Netbooks is spot on:

"1. Small size.

2. Low price.

3. Battery life of 4+ hours. Battery can be replaced by user. Atom processor seems to be a requirement, those that aren't Atom aren't selling (and are apparently being discontinued).

4. Rugged.

5. Built-in wifi, 3 USB ports, SD card reader. It seems it must have 802.11n to be taken seriously.

6. Runs my software.

7. Runs any software I want (no platform vendor to decide what's appropriate).

8. Competition (users have choice and can switch vendors at any time)."

At the end of the day, what works for the creator of RSS, podcasting and, pretty much, the blog, is likely to work for the rest of us.

Comments:
I have an Acer Aspire One and love it! It is perfect for conferences and live blogging (though I haven't actually done that yet).

(This month, however, I have been using my bigger laptop with more screen real-estate since I've been editing images and working on spreadsheets... for a paper I'm submitting to E-Learning! :p )
 
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