Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Computing Platforms

I got a new laptop today. It's actually smaller than a traditional laptop - technically, it's a netbook. An Acer Aspire. And I'm using it to put up this post.

I think it will be a little bit of a challenge to get used to because of its size. The screen is 10.1" and it weighs all of 2.8 lbs. total. It has a 160GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, and an Intel AtomTM processor running at 1.6GHz. It also has 3 USB ports, a port for an external monitor, Wi-Fi/802.11b/g and a 10/100 Ethernet interface, sound capability, and a built-in webcam.

As far as I'm concerned, that is a lot of power built into such a small package. it is actually more powerful and has more features (and a much larger hard drive) than the HP Pavillion laptop I am in the process of backing up. Once that's done and I have everything I want from it restored, I'm going to strip it down, clean it up, and give it to my stepdaughter. She's been clamoring for a laptop for a while now (both my son and daughter have their own and use them to the fullest), so I figured it was only fair.

The major reason I got it, though, is that I'm going back to school in the fall. I got registered to take Anatomy and Physiology I at the Manchester Community College - it's the beginning of what I need to do for prerequisites to apply for admission to nursing school. And I wanted a smaller computing platform to use for study, note-taking, homework, etc. I'd like to be able to take it into the classroom and use it there, which is what I have in mind. And it is small enough that its presence in the classroom should be unobtrusive. At least I expect that to be the case.

If you're a Skype user, let me know - I haven't signed up yet, but I plan to. I know some folks who do use it and they like it a lot. So we'll see. And all I have to do now is get use to the smaller footprint. The keys are the same size, but they're jammed into a much smaller place...

7 comments:

Medic7 said...

Walt, if you're like me, you'll LOVE that netbook. I have one, a Lenovo S-10, and I bought it for school, too. My anatomy prof did all his lectures as powerpoints, so I could download them and follow along, and make notes right on the the ppt slide. Huge help. It's also great for carrying in your bag at work. I tether mine to my blackberry and I have internet EVERYWHERE! Nice for those days when you're posting away from quarters.

And I use Skype all the time. My sister lives in Bulgaria, and it's great to be able to see eachother and chat whenever we want, for FREE! It's very cool. Takes some getting used to, but a great invention.

Good luck at school! (You didn't need A&P prior to medic school?)

Walt Trachim said...

Thanks!

My medic program incorporated A&P as part of the curriculum - we covered a semester in about 5 weeks, and it was survey-like in its scope. Really abridged. Hit all of the important points but didn't get into the details a traditional course does.

I have the ability to tether my phone as well and use it as a modem. It works nicely; I took advantage of it some when I was hospitalized.

TOTWTYTR said...

I have the smaller Aspire One and love it. I take it with me on trips and it's great for checking email, surfing the web, and doing other stuff on the road. It will no doubt be great for taking notes in class.

At what they cost, in another year or so, I'll be upgrading to a larger size.

Karen Brook Westhaver said...

Where did you get your netbook, Walt? BestBuy, Staples, online? Did you customize it to get the amount of memory you have? Darn...they're still so attractive to me. No dial-up modem, though, on the ones I've seen. Some places that's my only option for Internet access.

Walt Trachim said...

I got it at Staples, along with an external DVD-R/W and an external hard drive to back up all of the computers in our house. It comes standard with 1GB of RAM, which is the maximum Windows XP will address. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and standard Ethernet. No Bluetooth, though. But that's okay; I can get an external adapter for it. It does not, however, have a built-in modem...

Jon said...

I just gave mine back. Your mileage may vary, of course, and I found it was a good little machine for travel but its too small and not powerful enough to use as a primary laptop. I had the Acer 11.6" with 2gb RAM and 250gb memory.

WalMart sells it here in Vegas for $349.

Tony said...

I just got the Samsung N120 Friday night. So far I completely love it. Similar specs to what you've got, but it adds Bluetooth and I installed a 2 GB RAM module instead of the stock 1GB.