Friday, January 29, 2010

2 Freelance Friday: Why I Love My Netbook

I am by no means an early adopter. My cell phone is four years old, I resisted the digital camera for years, I had trouble trading in my trusty discman for the suspiciously adorable iPod, and we only just bought our first ever flatscreen HD TV upon returning to Boston. But when my boss pulled a little netbook computer out of her purse in the security line on a business trip last year, it was love at first sight. I came home and told Patrick we needed one of our own immediately.

Shiny, black, and weighing in at just over two pounds, our Dell Inspiron Netbook is everything I hoped for and more. It was without a doubt one of the most useful items of our trip. Need to relieve our camera's maxed out memory card? Upload, sort, and delete the most unflattering pictures. Bored on a 14-hour plane ride? Hooray for Tetris and Five Or More! Oh yeah, and it made it completely feasible to write a blog, too.

One of the things that really amazed me was how accessible wifi was around the globe. We were wandering down the street in Jerusalem fruitlessly looking for a budget hotel, opened up the computer, connected to an open wireless network, and found a place to stay in a matter of minutes. It was the same all over South America, Asia, and Europe. Why pay for an internet cafe when you can Skype with family on the other side of the world, sitting on a sidewalk curb, for free? In fact the only place we really had trouble was New Zealand and Australia--something about a cable under the ocean connecting them technologically with the rest of the world. All I know is that internet was treated like a scarce commodity; even when we paid for connectivity we had limits on how many megabites we could download. Watching a sports clip on had the potential to crash entire web networks. Sorry Twizel, New Zealand!

I'm thrilled that America is entering the 21st Century of wireless web connectivity as well. Boston Logan, our home airport, has finally introduced free wifi! If the Phong Nha Hotel in Hue, Vietnam can do it, so can we.

As proud as I am about being ahead of the curve on the netbook scene, I think the iPad is still a bit too futuristic for me. I like having real keys to type (even if they are so tiny they take typing skills to a new level) and I feel like the bloated phone model is a bit awkward in terms of portability. If I want a high-functioning touch screen device I'll buy an iPhone. Or maybe in another year or two, once I'm well behind the curve.


  1. From that same blog I see Southwest will be offering WiFi on all planes now!

  2. I just re-read this post and you really have me wishing for a netbook now... Sounds awesome!


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