Friday, September 12, 2008

I've got Wind!

No, not more farting problems!

My eldest sprog just produced some superb GCSE results (10 grade A* and 2 grade A) and my parents rewarded her (like her cousin) with a laptop. I knew what she wanted to use it for (MSN, Facebook, some basic internet browsing and typing documents) and where (school or home) so I suggested to her a netbook would be ideal as it was portable unlike most laptops and not a device that gives away its presence by the carrying of a large laptop bag or a hunched shoulder.

She was having none of it having seen my older Eee and deciding it was too small. She wanted a 15" Dell. I kept silent. Anyway, I took her to see some laptops in the shops and it soon became apparent I was right. Comments like "feel the weight of that" and "isn't it thick" were mentioned regularly! When I showed her the 10" netbook I had in mind she was sold. So we got one on behalf of grandparents.

Apart from a mysterious fault that seemed to indicate a cracked screen (cause unknown) she's been very happy, so much that she hasn't managed to abide by the rules over usage or abusage!! I had to return the faulty one and when getting the replacement my beloved offered me one as an early Xmas present, so I got one too. The make/model is the Advent 4211 (a re-badged version of MSI's Wind netbook). The keyboard and screen sizes are ideal. Small but usable. Only criticism is the persistence with a 3 cell battery which means 2 hours of use when a 6 cell would give a more useful 4 hours. Still, it can be changed later if needed.

First off, remove the PC World "Tech Guys" partition for backup uses and remove their Windows XP Home edition. Replace with a customised nLited (that means no bloaty Windows here) XP SP3 installation. Runs much smoother now. As I built an unattended install DVD I could come back to complete, customised, fully installed machines with Firefox and all my favourite applications pre-installed.

Next is trying Mac OSX. The netbook is ideal for this but I need two small upgrades first - more memory and a new wireless card. More on that later!

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