Netbook nerds only:
I recommended the Asus Eee PC, which I raved about3 in April, 2008. And my brother M, also a netbook enthusiast4, kindly offered these tips for making Windows-based5 subnotebooks run more efficiently. I’m reprinting M’s suggestions here, with his permission:
It’s basically the same guts as the 901 but a bigger screen and keyboard, which is probably good. Honestly, I would only go with something smaller (like the 901) if you were travelling with it a lot. The 1005 is bigger but not by much — it’s still a very small laptop.
Sick battery life, too — not 10.5 hours, like they say, but a long time. So long that you don’t need to bring your charger with you. There are some cheaper options that are the same computer but with a smaller battery pack but longer battery life is infinitely better.
And yes, it runs Windows, but I have mine optimized to run pretty fast. Here’s how you can do the same:
- First off, you would want to switch out the RAM stick to a 2GB rather than the 1GB it ships with — around $30 and makes a difference. Like this one.
- And any windows computer can be a lot snappier if you slim down the installed programs and use alternatives to bad programs. Before you even start to use a new computer (or even if you have used it for a while) download and run Ccleaner to easily remove all the stupid software that comes pre-installed, that you don’t want or need, as well as removing ALL programs that run at startup.
- Google Chrome for a browser — IE is no good, and Chrome is much faster than even my beloved Firefox.
- Run Avast free home edition for antivirus (the price is right, and it doesn’t bog your computer down).
- Run Open Office for word and stuff (but be careful when you install it because it will want to install some other stuff too) — but only if you don’t have or can’t get a copy of real office. And if you can get a copy of office only install the parts you need.
- Get the K-lite codec pack with windows media player classic for videos (instead of windows media player which never has the right codecs and is a resource hog). This will play any video ever.
- If you have music on your computer run mediamonkey — it will even sync your ipod.
- And if you’re going to download torrents use utorrent – very easy and light.
- Those programs plus Skype and Picasa are all I have installed.
Thanks, M, for the tips. Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments.
- Asus is the netbook pioneer, but Dell and several other companies also produce these gadgets. And Nokia recently announced that they’re getting into the subnotebook game, as well. [↩]
- For at-home use, netbooks make for excellent dedicated Skype videophone terminals, as well. [↩]
- One glitch that I’ve encountered recently with my Eee Pc, however: When I try to connect to a wireless access point, I get an error message that says, “There was an error setting up inter-process communications for KDE…Could not open network socket. Please check that the “dcopserver” program is running!” Does anyone know how to fix this? UPDATE: Oct. 26, 2009. I fixed this by resetting my Eee PC to its original factory settings. It’s simple — just reboot while pressing the F9 key. But make sure you’ve saved your personal data elsewhere first. Instructions are here. [↩]
- M recently completed a Los Angeles to Buenos Aires motorbike trip, blogging and Skyping from his trusty ASUS Eee PC 901. [↩]
- My Eee runs on Linux, but the newer versions use Windows. [↩]