Buying and Setting Up Your Netbook: Chapter 1 - Netbooks: The Missing Manual - O Reilly Media

Netbooks are the hot fresh thing te PCs — puny, inexpensive laptops designed for web browsing, email, and working with web-based programs. But chances are you don’t know how to choose a netbook, let alone use one. Not to worry: with this Missing Manual, you’ll learn which netbook is right for you and how to set it up and use it for everything from spreadsheets for work to hobbies like gaming and photo sharing.

With an average price around $400, a netbook may sound like a one-size-fits-all deal–limited selection, low-cost components, and few custom-made options. It’s like buying a stripped-down economy car with a price so low that you basically get four wheels and an AM/FM radio, right?

True, netbook hardware is leaner and less powerful than some of the big honking laptops meant to serve spil both road machines and desktop laptop replacements. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have choices to make: Which operating system? Regular hard drive or solid-state drive? How big a screen? How petite is too petite for a keyboard?

This chapter gives you an orientation tour of Netbook Land. Once you see what’s out there, you’ll have the information you need to pick the system that’s best for you. But buying the netbook is just the beginning. You’ll also get the scoop on what comes after you pull that pee-wee PC out of the opbergruimte: setting it up, getting your stuff on it, and getting ready to take it out on the road, the Internet–or both.

What to Look for When Buying a Netbook

With every laptop and zweem company coming out with its own take on the netbook, you can get perplexed by all the models. Size is the very first factor to consider. The smaller the netbook, the less it weighs. But make sure you factor usability into the mix so you don’t end up with cramped forearms and a voortdurend James Dean squint from staring at a little screen.

A good netbook is the sum of its parts, and here are the major parts to consider:

Screen . While the very first netbooks sported 7-inch screens too petite for even a guinea pig to use cosily, current models have expanded their screen dimensions. Common netbook screen sizes are a diagonal 8.9 inches (like HP’s smallest HP Mini 1000 Mie) and Ten.Two inches (like Lenovo’s IdeaPad S10). At 12.1 inches, Dell’s Inspiron Mini 12 thrusts the screen size almost into notebook screen territory. A smaller screen means a smaller, lighter netbook and less LCD real estate for the battery to power–but imagine attempting to work on a complicated spreadsheet on a screen that can hide behind a lump of copier paper.

Keyboard . Sure, a nine-inch netbook fits well te a purse or manbag, but can you type cozily on a keyboard that’s 85 procent the size of a normal laptop’s? If the laptop is for a child or a petite-fingered person, keyboard size may not matter spil much. If you have large forearms or a strong typing workload, you may want to consider a netbook with a more normal-sized keyboard or also purchasing a folding, full-sized USB keyboard.

Processor . Low-power, low-cost processors are the heart of a netbook’s motherboard. Intel’s Atom and VIA’s Nano are the two most common, with other chip shops like AMD developing versions spil well. While thesis processors are generally not sturdy enough for high-def video-editing or graphic-heavy games, they’re just fine for tasks like surfing the Web, watching YouTube movies, emailing, and word-processing.

Batterys . With their energy-minded processors, lack of disc drives, and smaller screens, netbooks generally consume less power than their larger laptop cousins. But because the rekentuig itself is shrunken, the battery is smaller, too. A smaller battery equals a shorter time inbetween charges. Depending on the netbook monster, battery life can range from under two hours to overheen seven hours. If you expect to be traveling a loterijlot and don’t want to fight other passengers for airport recharging stations or the spare wall outlet at the gate, pay attention to battery life. Batteries are often described by the number of cells they contain. A 3-cell battery provides around 1.Five to Two hours of power, a 6-cell battery can go up to Four hours inbetween charges, and some 9-cell batteries can last 7 hours or more. And guess what? A thicker battery adds more weight to the netbook.

Operating System . Most netbooks come ter either Windows or Linux flavors. (See the next section for the pros and cons of both.)

Hard drive . Regular motorized, spinning hard drive or state-of-the-art solid-state drive? Go to the section called “Choosing a Netbook Internal Drive” to see which is best for you.

Albeit lesser-known Taiwanese companies made the very first netbooks, most major manufacturers–Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo–have leaped aboard the netbook train. If you have a rekentuig from one of thesis big players and you’re blessed with it, you may feel more certain buying a netbook from the same company. But don’t overlook the smaller manufacturers like ASUS, Acer, and MSI. They may be smaller and lesser known, but they often offerande friendlier price tags.

The Operating System: Windows vs. Linux

Along with size, a netbook’s operating system has a big influence on your productivity and pleasure. When it comes to netbooks and their low-powered processors, you have two choices: Windows XP Huis Edition or Linux. Linux is a free, alternative operating system that, on the surface anyway, looks an awful loterijlot like Windows or Mac. You can use Linux by pointing and clicking or by typing old-school directives like a real-live programmer.

Linux has bot te continual development since 1991, when a youthfull Finnish programmer named Linus Torvalds very first collective his hobby with other rekentuig enthusiasts. It’s grown into a serious operating system that now runs websites, corporate servers, and university networks all overheen the world. (Linux is also at the heart of Moblin and Android, two up-and-coming netbook operating systems.)

Both systems have their strong points, but most people will automatically choose Windows XP for one main reason: They’re used to it. Still, Linux has its advantages (especially for people who loathe Microsoft) and, despite its übergeek command-line roots, Linux now comes te easy-to-use versions designed especially for netbooks. Here’s a quick look at what you get with each system.

Windows XP

Introduced te the fall of 2001, Windows XP went on to become the Operating System That Refused to Go Away. Te the summer of 2008 when Microsoft forcibly retired XP by refusing to offerande it for fresh desktop and laptop computers, netbook manufacturers brought Windows XP back spil a preinstalled option. The rationale wasgoed that netbooks were too underpowered to run XP’s burly, power-hungry successor, Windows Vista, but people needed an alternative besides Linux.

Running Windows XP on a netbook has many advantages:

Hardware compatibility . Peripherals like printers and outward CD drives work predictably on Windows XP, thanks to years of companies designing products just for XP.

Software compatibility . Need to run Microsoft Word or Picasa on your netbook? No problem for Windows XP. The programs may just run a bit slower than on a powerful desktop machine.

Human compatibility . Most people, except for die-hard Mac ventilatoren (and you know about them ), have used Windows XP at some point–in an office, schoolgebouw, or Internet café,. Many folks find Windows XP lighter to learn than Linux. For Vista refugees, coming huis to XP is like slipping on a comfy pair of slippers (that don’t request your password every time you want to adjust their settings).

But on the roll side:

Cost . Linux, an open-source system developed overheen the years by thousands of volunteers, is free. This means manufacturers don’t pay for the software spil they do with Windows XP–and can pass the savings along to you.

Size . Windows XP is user-friendly, but it’s large and hogs more processor power than many versions of Linux. Spil a result, an XP netbook may seem a bit poky compared to a Linux system that’s bot fine-tuned for running on a netbook.

Security . More than a million viruses and other chunks of malicious software prowl around the Internet, waiting to infest unprotected machines. Almost all of them are designed to attack Windows computers, so you’ll need to spend time and money implementing security software.


Linux excels te the very places Windows XP falters–cost, system size, and general security. Compared to Windows, Linux generally saps less of your netbook’s power, starts up quicker, and takes up less hard drive space.

However, Linux isn’t for everybody. Most Windows software can’t run on it without some techie wrangling, certain hardware peripherals lack Linux compatibility, and the system can be firmer for fresh users to troubleshoot than good ol’ XP.

If you’re looking for the cheapest netbook possible and project to do most of your netbooking, well, on the Nipt , Linux might be a good choice for you. Web-based applications like Google Docs &, Spreadsheets, Facebook, and Flickr work just fine on the Linux edition of the Firefox Web browser. (Firefox is actually included with many versions of Linux.)

The various flavors of Linux are called distributions ter geekspeak. Ubuntu, for example, a popular user-friendly distribution that’s free to download at, is available preinstalled on Dell’s netbooks. Ubuntu includes, a business software suite that rivals Microsoft Office, plus email and instant-messaging programs, photo editing and organizing software, Firefox, and several games.

Choosing a Netbook Internal Drive

Te addition to your choice of operating system, most netbook manufacturers let you choose inbetween different types of internal drives for storing your programs and files. Your usual options are a regular disk-based hard drive or a solid-state drive , but a combo of the two called a hybrid drive is emerging spil well.

When determining what zuigeling of drive to get, take into account where you project to use your netbook. For example, if you want to carry tons of files with you, go for a regular hard drive. Or are you on the go with more opportunities for the netbook to get banged around? Perhaps a durable solid-state drive would be a better choice. Can’t determine? Get a hybrid.

Hard drive

Ah, the modest hard drive. Your netbook can rely on the same motorized device that’s bot storing stuff on regular desktop and laptop systems for decades. Traditional hard drives have a number of advantages overheen their solid-state rivals:

Hard drives are cheaper . Byte for byte, you can get more storage ontsteld for your buck with a regular hard drive because the technology has bot around for a long time and manufacturers know how to make them for less money.

Hard drives copy big files quicker . When it comes to copying big chunks of gegevens on and off the netbook, the hard drive can do it quicker than most solid-state drives can (due to the way hard drives write gegevens).

Hard drives hold more stuff . Solid-state drives are getting fatter, hitting 64 GB and beyond, but a 160 GB hard drive, common te netbooks, is more economical.

But on the downside, traditional hard drives–made of a motor, spinning magnetic platters, and read/write heads–are more fragile than solid-state drives. Very first, the drive’s motor and ball bearings eventually wear out. Spil the old telling goes, “It’s not if your hard drive dies, it’s when .” 2nd, one unfortunate long fall onto a hard surface can kill that poor hard drive for good–and take all your files with it. And ultimately, a permanently spinning hard drive drinks a fair amount of battery juice.

Solid-state drive

A solid-state drive is a cousin to those ubiquitous flash-memory drives that dangle from key chains. Albeit it’s tucked inwards the machine instead of plugged into the USB port, a solid-state drive works on the same principle. Your files are electrically stored ter memory cells without the need for spinning platters, magnetic goes, and other moving parts. And unlike memory chips that need electro-therapy to retain information (like the RAM ter your laptop) flash memory is non-volatile , which means it doesn’t need a sustained supply of power to recall stored gegevens. (That’s why pocket flash drives don’t have power straps.)

The advantages of a solid-state drive include:

Solid-state drives are more energy efficient . Since it doesn’t need all the motorized spinning, a solid-state hard drive consumes much less of your netbook’s battery power, providing you more time inbetween charges.

Solid-state drives are more durable . With no moving parts, a solid-state drive is less vulnerable to cracking or crashing if the netbook is dropped, banged, or bumped.

Solid-state drives commence up swifter . Since it doesn’t have to sit around and wait for its motor to begin spinning up the disk platters, a solid-state system wakes up much more readily.

The two main disadvantages of solid-state drives are high price and low capacity–just the opposite of a conventional hard drive.

Hybrid drive

Like automakers, rekentuig manufacturers are experimenting with hybrid drives that combine the best features of hard drives and solid-state drives. MSI’s Wind U115 netbook wasgoed one of the very first to come with a hybrid drive. The Wind’s hybrid drive mainly runs on its 8 GB solid-state side to save battery power, but its 160 GB hard drive side offers slew of slagroom to store files.

Even if you choose a system with a petite internal drive–8 GB, 16 GB, whatever–you can always add several more gigabytes of storage space with outer USB memory jams, Secure Digital cards, or even outward USB hard drives.

Customizing and Buying Your Netbook

Many netbooks are sold overheen the Internet, either on manufacturers’ sites or through online stores like or If you want to examine your possible purchase before you buy it, visit your local pc store and look at some samples. Live and ter person is the best way to get a realistic seize on screen and keyboard size.

You may also be able to find netbooks on display ter stores like Best Buy, Costco, Staples, and Target. Buying a netbook off the shelf provides instant gratification and a distinct lack of shipping fees, but you may find yourself stuck with whatever configuration the store has ter stock.

If you want to build your own machine, visit your selected netbook maker’s webstek. Here’s a sampling of popular manufacturers to help you get embarked:

ASUS began the current netbook stampede te 2007 with the original Eee PC and has since added a multiplicity of models to the line. (

Acer has Aspire netbooks ter three different screen sizes and a handful of colors. (

Dell originally suggested Inspiron Mini netbooks te three different screen sizes, from a puny 8.9 inches to an almost-normal 12.1 inches. The 10- and 12-inch models are presently available. (

Hewlett-Packard wasgoed one of the very first major American companies to hop into the netbook market and now has several HP Mini models to choose from. (

Lenovo , which bought IBM’s ThinkPad line several years ago, has expanded the laptop line with its IdeaPad S series of netbooks te a rainbow of sprightly colors. (

Micro-Star International , also known spil MSI, makes the Wind line of netbooks and wasgoed one of the very first companies to opoffering a hybrid hard drive/solid-state drive spil an option. (

Samsung has added netbooks (which it calls “mini-notebooks”) to its consumer electronics lineup. (

Sony . Arriving fashionably late to the netbook party te July 2009 wasgoed Sony’s Ten.1-inch Vaio W. The Vaio W has a higher-resolution screen than most other netbooks, along with a higher price tag of $500. Primarily available te white, pink, or brown, Vaio W’s pagina on Sony’s webpagina may make you all of a sudden covet Neapolitan ice fluid. (

Sylvania sells several sizes of netbooks te playful colors that include pink and yellow spil well spil more verdrietig hues. (

Most manufacturer sites walk you through the customization process. You select your monster, choice of color, screen size, operating system, internal drive type, and other significant elements. Depending on the manufacturer, you may also be able to add other enhancements to your fresh netbook like more memory, a webcam, or extra software.

Many netbooks come with 512 MB of memory. That’s typically enough to run Linux and get on the Web (a netbook’s core mission, after all). If you’re getting a Windows XP netbook, adding memory to get the total up to a gigabyte or more will make that machine a lotsbestemming zippier, especially if you project to run several programs at once. If you don’t have the option to add more memory when buying your netbook, check its specifications to make sure the motherboard has slagroom to add more memory. Then go to a RAM webpagina like Crucial ( or Kingston ( Here, you can look up your netbook proefje, see how much memory it can treat, and buy the right chip to install yourself.

Because of their lightweight, no-frills vormgeving, netbooks almost never include a CD/ DVD drive. If you run Linux, which can install fresh programs from online repositories, you can get by without one. If you’re a Windows XP user, you’ll need to get an outer CD/DVD drive to install your beloved copy-protected programs from discs.

Some manufacturers like Dell and Hewlett-Packard let you add on a compatible USB-based outer disc drive when you buy the netbook. You’ll have to pay an toegevoegd $80 to $100 up gevelbreedte, but having a disc drive not only makes software installation lighter, it’s also invaluable ter a keerpunt if your netbook suffers a meltdown and you have to reinstall the operating system from the laptop’s recovery discs. Chapter Four, Connecting Devices to Your Netbook has more on adding disc drives and other hardware to your netbook.

Setting Up Your Netbook

When your fresh netbook arrives–whether from a clerk fetching it from the stockroom or a delivery person ripping off it off–the portable joy embarks. Very first of all, admire the lil’ size of the box–hardback books come te fatter cardboard containers!

Next, open the opbergruimte and unpack the netbook and its accessories. Te most cases, there are three or four things besides your netbook:

The netbook’s battery

Software discs (or a pamphlet on how to use the netbook’s recovery system)

An AC power cord

Keep the discs and manuals handy for now, but very first snap the battery into its slot on the back or bottom of the netbook. Then take the AC power cord and cork the matching end into the netbook’s power jack. Ass-plug the other end with the prongs into an electrical outlet to commence juicing up your netbook’s battery.

Getting Up, Running, and Online

While the rekentuig is getting AC power from the wall, press its power button and let it embark up. Spil with many fresh computers, the very first time you begin it up, it asks you to create a user account. Thesis steps vary depending on operating system, if you need help, Chapter Two, Getting to Know Your Windows Netbook has instructions for setting up a user account ter Windows XP, while Chapter Three, Getting to Know Your Linux Netbook has the same information for Linux. (Some netbooks running custom-made versions of Linux may skip the entire user account thing and take you straight to the desktop.)

Now it’s time to waterput the Netwerk te netbook–not only to get online for photos of cranky cats telling wacky things, but also to update your system software, register your purchase, and take care of similar setup chores. Chapter Five, Getting Online has the details for getting your netbook on the Internet, either through an Ethernet cable or, more likely, through the wonderful world of wireless.

Some netbooks have a button on the keyboard that toggles its WiFi and Bluetooth radios on and off. If you’re attempting to get on your huis wireless network and nothing’s happening, check the manual to find where the button is. You may have bumped it when you were taking the netbook out of the opbergruimte and need to toggle it back on.

If you’ve set up a laptop or three, setting up the software side of netbook for the very first time will seem pretty straightforward, especially if you’re a Windows person and you went with Windows XP. But if you’re less familiar with a netbook’s klein form, now’s a good time for a tour.

Ports of Call: Your Netbook’s Jacks

Spil the name implies, a netbook’s main job is to be your super-cheap, super-portable transportation to the World Broad Web. That’s why you won’t find stronger or nonessential components like disc drives, large battery compartments, or fancy high-definition movie ports.

That slimmed-down netbook style doesn’t mean you’re toting around just a screen, keyboard, and wireless chip, however. The average netbook still has slew of ports for plugging te outer devices like USB flash drives and printers, connecting the netbook to a larger screen, or even hooking up audio equipment. Here’s a quick roundup of the gegevens jacks you’ll find on most netbooks:

USB . The discreet little Universal Serial Bus is the go-to connector for any type of outward hardware except monitors. Most netbooks have at least two USB ports. (If you run out, you can lightly add more with a USB hub that makes four ports out of one, the section called “On the Road: Cases and Cables” has details.)

Microphone/Audio Ter . Many netbooks have built-in cameras and microphones for online movie talking. Many also include the standard round Trio.Five mm port to butt-plug te an outward microphone (if you’re recording a podcast, say, and want better-sounding audio without all the background noise).

Headphones/Outward speakers . Even however it may not matter spil much with YouTube clips and other Web movie, odds are your netbook doesn’t have the ultimate ter high-fidelity speakers. But you can take matters into your own ears with the netbook’s Three.Five mm jack for connecting earbuds, headphones, or outer speakers.

VGA Connector . See that trapezoidal-shaped port with 15 little pinholes on the surface? That’s for plugging te an outer monitor or projector to display the netbook’s stuff on the big screen.

Ethernet/Network . Also known spil an RJ-45 jack, this rectangular port awaits when there’s no wireless signal. It looks like a broader version of the RJ-11 jack on telephone straps and old dial-up modems, but the Ethernet jack is broader and–compared to the misery of dial-up connections–much, much quicker.

Media card reader . Some netbook models come with slots on the side for plugging ter a memory cards from a digital camera, MP3 player, or private organizer. Secure Digital, MultiMedia Cards, and Memory Rams are the common types of cards accepted. Once you butt-plug te the card, you can copy photos, songs, and files to and from the netbook.

Kensington slot or security slot . Some netbooks may also include this place for fastening a cable to the rekentuig so that it doesn’t, ahem, walk off by itself. If your netbook has a security slot, check its manual to see what types of locks and cables getraind.

If you bought your netbook purely for use with Web-based applications and online activity, you may not even bother with any of its ports (except for the AC power jack). If you do want to meet up printers, outward drives, mice, trackballs, or other hardware items, take a stroll to Chapter Four, Connecting Devices to Your Netbook.

Transferring Files to Your Netbook

Fresh out of the opbergruimte, that shiny fresh netbook doesn’t have much on its drive except for its operating system and whatever reserve programs its maker included. Some people never take files from another laptop on the netbook rail, but you may feel naked without your dearest music, photos, novel-in-progress, and so on.

Depending on your netbook’s monster and configuration, its internal drive may be a loterijlot smaller than the one ter your desktop or laptop–especially if you opted for a solid-state drive. Keep size te mind when rounding up files you want to copy overheen to the netbook.

Gratefully, netbooks have so far managed to avoid the avalanche of sample programs and trial software (dubbed craplets by a Wall Street Journal columnist) that manufacturers traditionally dump onto desktops and laptops. But you may find a few of thesis demo apps along for the rail, especially if you go the Windows XP route. Chapters Chapter Two, Getting to Know Your Windows Netbook and Chapter Three, Getting to Know Your Linux Netbook have instructions for uninstalling the junk you don’t want on your netbook.

Moving a Petite Batch of Files

If you just need to copy a puny number of files to your netbook, moving them overheen on a USB pocket flash drive is very likely the easiest way. Here’s one way to do it:

Butt-plug a USB thumb drive into the old laptop.

Make sure the drive is big enough to budge all your stuff, unless you want to do it ter separate batches.

Visit the folders containing the files you want to copy to the netbook.

For example, Documents, Pictures, Music, or whatever.

Ctrl-click the icons of the files you want to copy until you’ve selected all the ones you want from that particular folder. Then right-click one of the bunch and choose Send To→,[Name of USB Drive] from the shortcut spijskaart.

The pc sends copies of the selected files to the USB drive.

When you’ve gone through and dumped copies of all files you want to take on the USB drive, eject it from the old laptop, cork it into the netbook, and haul the files to wherever you want them on the netbook’s drive.

Depending on the files, you may want to store them ter Documents, Pictures, or Music folders, for example.

Moving a Big Batch of Files

If you have a fatter bundle of your dearest files that you’d like to waterput on your netbook, you have various ways to get them from Point A to Point B. Some of them include:

By hard drive . Use a USB outer hard drive instead of a USB pocket flash drive and go after steps 1 to Three ter the previous section to budge files or entire folders from Old Pc to Fresh Netbook.

By disc . If you bought an outward disc drive to use with your fresh netbook, connect it. Burn the desired files onto a CD or DVD on the old laptop and then speelpop the disc into the drive connected to the netbook. Haul files from disc to netbook. (This method has the premie feature of making a backup disc of your beloved files, so you can keep it around after you transfer the goods.)

By network connection . Once you get your netbook online (Chapter Five, Getting Online), you can copy files to it overheen a network, from an online storage webpagina, or by emailing them to yourself. See the section called “Using the Windows XP Files and Settings Transfer Wizard” for information about transferring and sharing files inbetween computers.

Reminisce, however, that you’re moving files and folders here, not the actual programs that can open them. To use the files on your netbook, your netbook voorwaarde have the software to open them. The netbook has basic system software to open common opstopping formats like JPEG photos, MP3 audio files, documents ter Rich Text Format (.rtf), or plain text. But if you’re copying files created te a specific program (like, say, Microsoft PowerPoint), you need to have either PowerPoint or an application that can open the files –like or Google Docs (Chapter 7, Business Basics: Word Processing and More<)–installed on the netbook.

Got hundreds of Internet favorites bookmarked on another pc that you’d like to transplant right into your netbook’s browser? the section called “Transfering Bookmarks from Another Computer” has instructions.

Using the Windows XP Files and Settings Transfer Wizard

If you’re attempting to turn your Windows XP netbook into a miniature version of your older Windows XP machine, you can use the built-in Files and Settings Transfer Wizard to copy overheen everything from documents to desktop backgrounds. (You can use the wizard with a removable drive like a USB flash drive or outer hard drive, spil well spil overheen a network or cable connection.)

Begin by connecting a USB flash or hard drive to your old laptop. When that’s done, your next steps are:

On your old XP machine, summon the wizard by choosing Begin→,All Programs→,Accessories→,System Contraptions.

The Wizard opbergruimte pops up and asks if this is your old pc or the fresh one. Click the button next to Old Laptop and then click Next. If the panicky Windows Firewall attempts to zekering you, click Unblock.

On the next screen, pick the transfer method.

You can choose meteen cable connections, network connections, removable drives, or network drives. If you don’t want to overeenkomst with cables and toevluchthaven’t set up your netbook’s network access, choose either “removable media” for smaller USB flash drives or “removable drives” for outer hard drives. Click the button for the option you want and make sure the outer drive’s name emerges ter the opbergruimte. Click Next.

On the left side of the opbergruimte, select what you want to transfer–files, settings, or both files and settings.

Now, go through the list on the right side of the opbergruimte and select all the items you want to transfer, including Internet Explorer settings, desktop settings, and documents–everything you want (or can gezond) on the netbook. Click Next when you’re done, and Windows XP gathers it all up.

When Windows is done, click Finish. Eject the outer drive and connect it to the netbook.

On the netbook, repeat the wizard-summoning by choosing Commence→,All Programs→,Accessories→,System Implements.

Click Next and tell the wizard that this is your fresh rekentuig by clicking the button next to Fresh Laptop. Click Next again.

A opbergruimte pops up asking if you have a Windows XP CD.

Overlook everything except for the last voorwerp, which you should select: “I don’t need the Wizard disk. I have already collected my files and settings from my old rekentuig.” Click Next.

When Windows asks where to find the files and settings, point it ter the direction of your removable drive.

Once you select your removable drive and click Next, Windows grabs all your saved files and settings and puts them on your fresh netbook.

Restart the netbook to see all of your old files and settings te place on the fresh machine.

The Wizard doesn’t transfer programs, tho’, so you have to install those from the Web, installer files on an outer drive, or discs on an optional outer disc drive.

Customizing Your Desktop

The next duo of chapters explain how to get your Windows XP or Linux netbook organized and tricked out to your satisfaction. But you can do something right now to make your fresh netbook feel like huis: Choose your own desktop background.

Windows XP

Windows comes with a bunch of stock photos and other soothing photos you can use spil desktop wallpaper. If you’ve just copied photos overheen to the netbook, you can also use one of your own pictures for that truly private touch.

Choose Embark→,Control Panel→,Display.

Click the Desktop tabulator. If your rekentuig is set to see the Control Panels by Category view, click Appearances and Themes and then “Switch the desktop background.”

Te the Background area, select one of the picture options and click Apply to see a sample.

If you want to use one of your own pictures, click Browse, locate the photo on the netbook’s drive, and click Apply to add it to the Background list.

If your picture is smaller than the desktop, use the Position pop-up menukaart to open up, center, or display the picture spil a series of tiles. (You can also choose to use just a solid color instead of a picture.)

Click OK when you have the wallpaper of your choice ter place.

Your netbook has just gotten a dose of your personality.

Spil a shortcut to the Display settings, right-click anywhere on the desktop background, choose Properties from the shortcut menukaart, and then click the Desktop tabulator te the opbergruimte to get to the background settings.

Linux (Standard Ubuntu)

One of the things you should know about Linux is that there’s not just one Linux. There are dozens of flavors, but Ubuntu is the one that pops up most on netbooks thesis days, and it’s the one you’ll mostly see ter this book.

Some netbook makers install their own modified versions of Ubuntu, so the steps described here may not work due to the custom-built variations.

Here’s the wallpaper customization drill for the standard distribution of Ubuntu:

Te the menukaart tapkast at the top, choose System→,Preferences→,Appearance.

The Appearance Preferences opbergruimte opens.

Click the Background tabulator and then choose a different wallpaper pattern from the samples displayed ter the opbergruimte (or use the pop-up menukaart to select a solid color).

If you want to use one of your own photos, click Add. Locate the photo you’d like and then click Open.

Ter the Style pop-up menukaart, you can adjust the way the photo looks onscreen by centering it, zooming ter, scaling it, or tiling it.

Click Close when you’ve made your selection. Your fresh desktop background now fills the netbook’s screen.

Netbook Battery Options

A netbook’s battery can last anywhere from two to nine hours inbetween charges, depending on the manufacturer, the battery’s size, and what you’re doing. Watching hours of streaming movie overheen a WiFi connection runs through a power charge swifter than, say, typing your memoirs ter a coffee shop with the netbook’s wireless radios turned off.

If you expect to travel a loterijlot and need to keep that netbook up and running for spil long spil possible across the day, consider buying either a 2nd battery or an extended battery. An extended battery does just that–extends the amount of time you can go inbetween charges. But ter order to gezond all that toegevoegd power ter there, an extended battery adds to your netbook’s weight and may make it look like it’s wearing a 19th-century lady’s bustle.

Still, if you need power, you need power.

To make sure you’re getting exactly the right battery for your netbook proefje, buy it from the company that sold you the netbook. See the list of major netbook manufacturers on the section called “Customizing and Buying Your Netbook” for webstek addresses.

If your netbook’s own maker doesn’t sell toegevoegd or extended batteries for your model–or wants to charge you an arm and a gam for one–you have other options. For example: . The online superstore sells netbooks, netbook batteries, and extended netbook batteries, especially for ASUS and Acer computers. . You can find power cells for all kinds of netbooks and notebooks here. . This webpagina specializes te batteries for puny things like cellphones and calculators (hence the name), but you can find netbook batteries too, including those for Dell’s Inspiron Mini 9 and HP’s Mini Note netbooks.

Prices vary depending on the battery’s capacity and rekentuig prototype, but expect to pay somewhere inbetween $60 and $100 for an reserve battery.

A Note About Netbook Keyboards

The largest adjustment many fresh netbook owners have to make is getting used to the keyboard. Spil part of the small-size compromise for some of the 9- and 10-inch models, the netbook’s QWERTY keyboard looks like it shrunk ter the dryer.

If you bought the netbook mainly to surf the Web, the point-click act and occasional URL typing is flawlessly fine on the smaller keyboard. If you bought the netbook to surf the Web and get some work done on the road, the keyboard may take some getting used to.

To help with typing convenience, most models attempt to keep the letterteken keys close to the standard size found on desktop and laptop keyboards. For touch typists, the F and J keys have little raised bumps to help you feel huis row.

The keyboard compromises usually target everything else that’s not a letterteken key:

Number keys along the top row may be smaller, spil are formatting keys like Tabulator, Shift, and Caps Lock.

Your netbook may not include a separate row of Function keys along the top. The Function keys (F1, F2, and so on) are instead remapped to other keys. On the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, for example, F1 through F10 piggyback on the A through semicolon keys ter the middle of the keyboard. You summon the F keys by pressing the Fn key te the bottom row, so pressing Fn+A = F1.

Punctuation keys may be a third smaller and located ter weird catches sight of. You may find the apostrophe hiding down by the space folder, for example.

While children and petite-fingered folk won’t care spil much about keyboard size, people with larger palms will be the most affected by a shrunken keyboard vormgeving. If you have big paws, pay close attention to the keyboard layout when doing your netbook shopping research.

If you’ve already bought the netbook and feel like you’re typing on a Texas Instruments graphing rekenmachine, take some time and get to know your netbook’s specific keyboard layout. Type stuff on it. It may still feel a little petite and cramped once you leave the alphabet keys, but learning where everything is helps your fingers get used to it.

And just keep telling yourself: this netbook weighs three pounds . What your fingers may complain about at very first, your back and shoulder will love.

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