Monday, March 15, 2010

handy little computers

About a year ago, I bought a Kindle 2 and an Asus netbook computer.  They were similar in price, about $370 each.  Since then, we have used both just about daily.  I had never heard of Asus but an article in Wired magazine told me about the netbooks and said that Asus was Asia's largest computer manufacturer.  That was good enough for me, especially since it was for sale on Amazon's web site, where I get things delivered quickly and cheaply for $60 a year.

Our netbook (smaller and lighter in weight than a notebook computer) weighs 5 lbs.  The monitor is very clear and the keyboard is a usable size.  For more serious and troublefree computing, I use an HP fullsize keyboard that connects to the computer with a USB plug.  The processor is quite speedy so programs load quickly, especially if I use Google's browser "Chrome".  When we wanted to install Microsoft Outlook on the machine, we had to buy a USB connecting CD/DVD drive since the netbook come with no floppy or CD drive.  It does come with a card drive, the sort of card used in cameras.  The slot for the card is small and I didn't notice it for quite a while.  I don't think we have ever used a card for data storage or transfer purposes since I keep files in Google Docs and my Google web site.

Tough little computers, iPads, netbooks and of course, iPhones and other smartphones are undoubtedly tools that we will be seeing, hearing about and using more of in the coming years.  Just about anything you could possibly want or need is somewhere on the internet so increasingly, a computer just needs a browser and an input/output device such as a keyboard, voice recognition or touchpad.

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