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Another thought on Netbooks


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#1 doresy

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 02:14 PM

Like many people I am thinking of a small netbook to compliment my main PC and laptops. It's main use would be for the holidays for music, sharing photos and a bit of browsing/emails.

I realize they do not have cd drives so I was wondering about loading programs, security for example. I am a McAffe user and have a 3 licence version so how would I load that? Also, for my sins, I use AOL so how would I load the software for that?
I know that there are downloadable free security software but what if I prefer to use what I am used to?

Is there a way of connecting the netbook to a PC and cross down load thew software using the pc's cd drive or would I have to aquire a USB external cd drive?
Windows XP Home....Netgear DG834G wireless modem/router....ISP- AOL.

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#2 txtchr

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:36 PM

I can answer some of your questions, but not all of them. I have a Samsung NC10 netbook that I love. It's a secondary machine in my home, as my main Dell Dimension desktop is in another room upstairs.

Loading software because of no optical drive can be a challenge. So far, I have been able to work around it. The copy (legal) of Office 2003 Pro that I got was released by my school district to me and I was able to transfer the files from the provided CD onto a USB flash drive and I installed Office that way. I did the same thing with Macromedia Fireworks.

However, before I knew that I could transfer the files, my son had come home for a visit. He is very adept at networking machines (which I am not in the least) and attempted to explain to me how I could set up the CD drive on my desktop as a "shared drive" and then have it available to the netbook. I was half listening to him, but I did get the concept, as after all this is how networked printers work.

Many programs can be downloaded. I would check with McAfee about the license you own on the software. My netbook came with a free 90 day trial for McAfee (which I have activated and I'm testing out to see if I like it). After the 90 days, I would call their customer support to see if I could simply use the license I own to continue using the product. I don't own a license for this yet, so I'll either pay for it or go with a different (free) AV software which I can download.

I am almost certain that AOL software can be downloaded. I would, again, call AOL and inquire about that. More and more people are using netbooks so this has got to be an issue that they will need to address.

You may want to post a question in the networking section of BC to see how you might be able to share the drives on your desktop with the netbook. That might solve the problems that you think you might encounter.

Do your research before you buy the netbook. I looked around and tried to get my hands on as many of them as I could before I bought (easier said than done). Not all of the keyboards feel the same, and not all of the keyboards are the same (some have downright omitted one of the Shift keys). Some screens are larger than others. Some have 2 USB ports, some have 3. Some are Bluetooth capable, some are not. The battery, though, is the biggie: you want a 6-cell battery. Those suckers will last for 7-8 hours, where the 3-cell batteries will only last about 3 hours. Most all of them have a built-in webcam and SD card reader. Most of them do come with 1 GB of RAM, but this one that I bought is easily upgraded to 2 GB (for about $30). Feel the keyboard, though, and the touchpad. Some of the keyboards are literally completely flat like glass and you are not able to tell one key from another and the touchpad measures all of about 1" x 1".

If anyone else has any other words of wisdom, please jump in.

Edited by txtchr, 19 April 2009 - 08:37 PM.


#3 doresy

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 02:58 PM

Cheers Tex for the detailed reply.

I have taken on board all your comments and am looking into them.

The Samsung you mentioned is the very machine that I have been looking to buy. My son-in-law has one and after research I feel it can offer me all that I need. The battery longevity is one of the major factors followed closely by the size of the upgradeable ram and the 160 hard drive.
Windows XP Home....Netgear DG834G wireless modem/router....ISP- AOL.

#4 txtchr

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 04:35 PM

Doresy, I absolutely love this Samsung. It's got a great feel to the keyboard, it's the only one I found that had Bluetooth, and it does have 3 USB ports (a great help since I usually have a mini mouse hooked up). I got the best price on it at Costco (you have to purchase it online, though). I see you're in the UK, though, so Costco won't be available there, but you should be able to get it for a decent price online. I paid 399 USD for mine.

It does have a huge 160 GB hard drive -- but ah! be careful! When/if you do get this model, when you initially set it up you must go into the Advanced settings (I was totally unaware) in order to partition the hard drive the way you want it, otherwise it partitions it as an even split in half (all of the netbooks for some reason partition their drives, some in odder ways than others). Believe it or not, I found this out only after I had gone through the entire set up and started reading the User Guide that is provided in the installed software (shortcut on the desktop). So now I have an 80 GB C drive and an 80 GB D drive. I can live with that since I probably won't even fill up the C section, but if you want it partitioned differently, you need to do it when you initially power on the machine.

Let me know if you'd like the instructions, since obviously I can see the User Guide and you won't be able to until you've actually gone through and set up the system (wow, sort of bizarre!).

Otherwise, this is a great little netbook. I find myself using it more than I do my desktop. I am not disappointed in any way with my purchase.

Edited by txtchr, 20 April 2009 - 04:44 PM.





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