Get the Most Out of Your XP-Based Netbook (UPDATED)

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11 Responses

  1. Aaron Peters says:

    Don’t forget about keyboard shortcuts!

    I have my Wind set up with Windows+SomeKey shortcuts all over the place, and what I can’t access from there, I get via Katapult or the KDE Run dialog.

    I believe a free (possibly open source) app/document launcher for Windows is Launchy, which emulates the Quicksilver app on the Mac.

  2. Dustin Wax says:

    Aaron: I use Launchy on my “big” computers, and will probably install it on my netbook, too. I’m much more of a visual user as a general rule, though — Launchy relies on you remembering the name of the program you want to open, and I have a hard time remembering more obscure stuff (like the name of my Skype recorder, or of my screenshot application). RocketDock puts huge icons in front of me, and my monkey breain likes big pictures.

  3. Elle says:

    I just picked up a little Acer Aspire One too for an upcoming trip. I like to hit F11 to get rid of both the bottom task bar and the navigation bar in Mozilla.
    Thanks for the tips!

  4. John says:

    I’ve been using laptops almost exclusively for the last ten years. I almost always use a regular mouse with it. There’s usually room on the table or desk for the mouse, and it’s a lot more efficient than messin’ around with the touchpad.

  5. Scott M. says:

    Wow, thanks for the tips! I was unfamiliar with Launchy and ChiralMotion, and they’ve both been immediately helpful.

    For the Acer Aspire One, I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the Hide Menubar add-on for Firefox, which hides the menu bar unless you hit the Alt key and frees up crucial screen space. I also love the Acer Aspire One Fan Control program (, which causes the fan to turn off until the computer reaches a set temperature. This makes the fan noise much more tolerable.

    Thanks again!

  6. Scott M. says:

    Sorry, I had Launchy on the brain. I meant RocketDock.

  7. Dustin Wax says:

    Scott: I’ve read quite a bit about the Aspire One’s fan. I have to say, I haven’t had any issues — it’s been quiet as a mouse. I wonder if the problems were fixed in later units?

  8. Nentuaby says:

    In addition to the Chiral Motion option, synaptic’s software also allows “Throw and Catch” scrolling. You take a quick flick down your scroll region and it starts scrolling automatically… You just wait until it gets where you were going and then tap again to stop it. It’s even easier from an ergonomic standpoint, though it takes a bit more practice to perfect hitting your target.

  9. Guy Cross says:

    Hey, great blog.
    I had been struggling running rocket dock on my AAO, but I think it is because I am a little under-resourced, still have 512RAM.

    So – I think my little netbook is going to take a little trip so the computer store and get a and extra gig installed.


  10. Best Netbook says:

    It is kind of amazing that even though things change dramatically, they also stay the same. Even the new Windows 7 netbooks can benefit from the usage of your advice. Some of the first things I did where hide the taskbar and install a launcher program. And just like the last commenter, on my Christmas wish list is one more gig of RAM. Technological progress right?

  1. December 28, 2008

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