Friday, December 4, 2009

Netbook Replacing a Laptop

My laptop died recently, actually died completely, unable to boot. The hard drive was fine, and I managed to stick it in my desktop and recover my files. The critical stuff (writing) was backed up with Live Mesh and had moved to the desktop already, but hadn’t been on the netbook as it hadn’t been powered on in about a week or two. So I fired it up to ensure that I had 2 copies of the critical stuff.

Once things had moved across, I was hoping to actually get some work done away from my desk. About two-thirds of more of my writing takes place away from my desk. I lie in bed, or work in a coffee shop, before karate, etc. It’s more inspirational to me, and I depend on it.

However the netbook really slowed me down. I’ve written before that I run many things on here, Office, SQL Server, I blog, write, etc. and it works well. It does work well once I’m doing something like writing, but switching applications, getting started, it’s slow. In fact so slow that I was frustrated getting the browser started and OneNote fired up.

I traced some of this to a full drive, with over 15.8GB of stuff on my 16GB drive, and had to clean that out.

Once that was done, things improved, but it was still slow to get started. When you try to switch applications, things take time and you have to be prepared for that. When I’m just writing, this is OK as I’m moving at a slower pace, I need to think, etc.

However when I’m doing other work, editing, checking on the site, moving between aplications, it’s very, very frustrating. So much so that I know that this netbook isn’t a possible full-time replacement for a laptop. I’d considered one for the kids, especially my oldest, but it’s not going to work. He’ll need a real laptop for college, not a netbook.

I still like the form factor, and times like this, where I’m catching up on blogging or writing while waiting for the kids at karate or tutoring it’s much nicer. The form factor works well. I can do email, browse, or write on it. But trying to really work, or get multiple things done doesn’t work so well.

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