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These days, I'm the director of the American Library Association' s Office for Intellectual Freedom. I'm also executive director and secretary of the Freedom to Read Foundation.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Laptop Lust

Generally speaking, I am not a man who longs for "stuff." But at a recent browse through of the local MicroCenter, I found a little netbook computer I really like: the Acer Aspire One. (I've also heard this called a "lapTOT.")

It's small, although not quite as small as the Asus EEEPC. But that's good, because the keyboard is actually usable with two hands. The display is just 8.9" diagonally, but remarkably clear and crisp. It has a full complement of ports (several USB, two SD, a VGA and Ethernet port) as well as built in 3G wifi.

The whole thing weighs 2.1 pounds, and is quite handsome. It boots from a cold start in 15-20 seconds.

The operating system is GNU/Linux, specifically, Linpus Lite -- a highly customized version of a Fedora 8/Xfce desktop that is immediately obvious to use. With just a few simple steps, you can turn on the Xfce right-click menu, allowing you to add additional programs.

Built-in are most of the things that a Netbook would want: Firefox, email and IM clients, Openoffice.org, a file manager, and some odds and ends. For me, I would really just have to add about two programs to have everything I actually use: Freemind and Notecase Pro.

The price: $329.

Click on the title of this blog entry to get to the Wikipedia entry, which is a good introduction.

I'll be honest. I don't actually need a laptop. On the other hand, the Nokia is a little slow for travel, and I couldn't do a presentation on it. With the Aspire One, I could. For travel, professional doings and such, it would a convenience.

Now begins the long process of talking myself into an extravagance.

6 comments:

Suzanne said...

I say, "Go for it!!"

Jamie said...

What a wonderful wife!

GraceAnne LadyHawk said...

I am a person who longs for stuff. My little Ausus EEE pc is the cutest thing ever. It is pink. I carry it almost everywhere. If you get this machine it will make you happy, and not only that, it will be useful.

Jamie said...

I'm being ganged up on by women I respect, who tell me, "Pursue your dreams." What's a boy to do? It's a conspiracy ... to make me happy.

Brett said...

Funny, I just posted a similar piece on my own blog, "Netbook Lust". A test search for it retrieved your piece. Saw the profile on you in, where was it, LJ? PL?

Jamie said...

News about a profile. But I looked up your blog and generally agree with your conclusions about price points and the value of "cloud computing" for these devices. Thanks.