Main menu:

Site search


Your Digital Kids

Why Schlep Five Pounds of PC When Netbooks Are Such Featherweights?

I am not too happy with myself at the moment. My back is even less happy with me. After years of carrying luggables and laptops I got tired of my clothes being destroyed by shoulder bags, my thighs perenially black and blue from laptop carrying slaps, and my back being totally out of whack.

The answer of course is a featherweight netbook.  I recently got a new Acer Aspire Netbook to try out for a few weeks.  The Acer weighs under a pound.  The keyboard, though smaller than full size, is big enought.  The battery life is decent enough.  The screen display is has plenty of resolution. I can even get used to the fact that the Aspire running Windows Vista is like asking Roger Bannister to run the four minute mile in snowshoes.

What I can’t give up is having my ALL of my precious data close at hand.  This made me realize that netbooks, tantalizing as they are, are just not ready for me you.  I can’t always be sure whether the next place I’ll be will have an  internet connection and there’s not much you can do with a Netbook that isn’t logged on to the web. I can talk to my PC at home using LogMeIn, but I can’t depend on my home computer to keep running reliably if I’m gone for more than a day. (Curse you Time Warner Cable.) And I’m not too keen on putting call of my most important data “in the cloud” using programs like Google Docs. I can’t back up the data that’s stored on Google Docs

I can’t accept large documents;  I can’t use Outlook — which, dated as it is — is still the best way I know to organize my frazzled life.

I’m not giving up, but I now understand the true limits of a netbook, and you should too.  There are far too many people who think that they’re buying a low cost PC only to get it home and find out that a netbook is a horse of a different color.

I’m going to face my netbook head on and start devising systems to keep my netbook and my PC in synch.  I’ll learn to trust data that’s stored somewhere in the Google ether instead of my hard disk. I will do it or my back will never forgive me. So this time ’round I’m asking you for advice. If any of you have learned to have a full life on your netbook (creating documents, answering emails, opening attachments, sending edited revisions, let me know how you’re managing. For the moment I figure that I have a very inexpensive, very small Internet surfing machine, not a working PC.