Friday, February 12, 2010

BOSKONE!

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I'm on the road today, driving up to Boston for Boskone.  I like pretty much everything about Boskone except the weather, which tends to be depressingly wintry.


But meanwhile . . .

Remember my photo of the back yard and the immanent sun a few days ago?  Well, here's what they looked like this morning after another two feet of snow.  I spent all day shoveling. Then I put the above photo on my desktop.  Which leads me to . . .


Today's consumer warning  . . .

I am so old, children, that I can remember when netbooks were called palmtops.  That was almost two years ago, when mammoths roamed the vast, empty plains of the Intertubes, and we would huddle naked in damp caves, rubbing two sticks together to make thumb drives.  Oh, times were hard then!  Except for the naked part.

Nowadays, times are much easier but a lot scammier.  Last week I had to buy a new palmbook/laptop.  Which, I discovered on my first and only day of possession, was preloaded with Windows 7 Starter, a not-fully-functional OS.  When I tried to change the image on my desktop, I learned that doing so required that I go online and buy Windows 7 Home Premier.  After getting my refund, I talked to salesfolk at various stores and learned that all the new palmtops have the cut-down version because they don't have memory enough to run W7HP.

Well, each new version of Windows is written far too memory-hoggish for the current hardware.  So it only makes sense that the new OS would have fewer features.  Still, it was pretty cheeky of them to have it automatically try to sell me an OS that my device couldn't run.

Apple doesn't play that kind of game, so if I'd been willing to wait for the iPod to come available, I probably would've spent the extra money for it.  But I have work to do, so I scrounged around until I found one of the dwindling number of netbooks still running on XP.

But if you're thinking of buying one of these devices, my best advice is that you wait a couple of years, until the hardware is capable of running a real and preloaded OS.

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5 comments:

Victoria Janssen said...

Have a safe trip!

Peter said...

Same initial troubles with a netbook (preloaded windows with limited software support, i.e. pay for upgrades on everything). A friend convinced me to try Ubuntu (linux). Comes with full office suite, browsers, media player, ipod software, etc., and it's free. I'm considering doing the same for my desktop - it's worth a try.

Eugene Duranin said...

You are probably talking about iPad? You must be ready to buy additionally mechanic keyboard, cause touch screen isn't best for writer's work :) - no tactile feedback.
Talking about OS - Ususally we (in Ukraine, Russia) buy netbooks/notebooks with free version of Linux (there are two options there - higher price for notebook with Widows Vista/7 or lower price for same device with Linux). Then just gonna buy XP, which is surely the best for low-productive hardware. Maybe it is way you're able to go in USA?

Joe Stillman said...

Linux! The People's OS!

Markin said...

My netbook came with Linux. (No way am I getting Windoze if I can help it.) A stripped-down version of Linux, mind you, but it does what one needs it to do, with elegant simplicity. It's not intended to be the main computer, just the on-the-road one. For the main computer, of course, an Apple. More expensive, but ya get what ya pays fer. ;)