What I'd Like To See In A Netbook

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Thu Sep 10 18:16:34 UTC 2009

On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 10:54:50AM -0700, Michael David Crawford wrote:

> Just in case there are any netbook manufacturers listening in, or 
> employees of such manufacturers:
> What I'd really like to see is a netbook with a regular size screen. 
> I've been shopping around some, and have so far been unable to find what 
> I desire.
> What I mean by that is that I want a notebook with a low-power, 
> inexpensive processor and modest memory.  That will work fine if one 
> runs an operating system such as FreeBSD.
> But I want at least a fourteen inch screen, preferably fifteen inch.

That ain't a netbook.   That is a fullsize laptop.


> The best advice anyone has been able to give me is to buy a "budget" 
> laptop, or an older model, perhaps used.  The older Apple PowerPC 
> laptops are the closest to what I want.
> What I want to do with this "big netbook" is to troll community websites 
>  while hanging out at cafes, as well as working on my own websites, 
> which are predominantly text - lots of essays and articles.
> I used to have a twelve inch Apple iBook, and it did work for me, but I 
> now vastly prefer my fifteen inch MacBook Pro.  The problem with the 
> MacBook Pro is that it is a very expensive unit, it is the main source 
> of my livelihood, and I fear it being damaged or stolen if I use it to 
> troll all those community websites using the WiFi at Starbucks.
> So what I want is a second notebook just for cafe use, so I can leave my 
> MacBook Pro at home.  This "big netbook" needs to be inexpensive enough 
> that it wouldn't be that big a deal if it were stolen, or seriously damaged.
> Just viewing web pages or writing in a text editor shouldn't require a 
> lot of CPU power or memory.  It wouldn't need CD/DVD or floppy drives. 
> It wouldn't need Bluetooth, just 802.11 networking.  It wouldn't need a 
> webcam built into the lid.  It wouldn't need a very big hard drive. 
> Because the electronics would be low-power, it wouldn't need a fan.
> An Atom or ARM processor would be just fine for such a unit.  If it were 
> running FreeBSD or Linux, I expect that 512 MB would be *far* more than 
> enough memory.
> I'm pretty sure that if someone were to actually produce such a "big 
> netbook", there would be lots more potential customers than just myself. 
>  I have actually considered purchasing one of the netbooks of today, 
> but after looking them over, I have to say that their tiny screens would 
> be very disruptive to my writing Muse.
> Thank You All For Humouring Me On This.
> Mike
> -- 
> Michael David Crawford
> mdc at prgmr.com
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