Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ubuntu saved my netbook

I bought an Acer Aspire One with Microsoft XP on it years ago. After a while, I also loaded Ubuntu. With the advent of tablets, the netwook was relegated to the side table and little used. Then I started creating Social media and really didn't like the on-screen keyboard on any device. So I started using Ubuntu to create media. Now, after much experimentation, I have removed the XP partition from my netbook and find it very  effective as a media creation platform. Let me take this space to discuss some of the things I have found That make this a killer platform for this type of thing.


It's a good size and because I have small hands, the keyboard is great. I cam move along on it quite well. The screen is somewhat small, but, as you will see, I have compensated for that with some of the techniques I am developing. You can see that it works on a lap desk and also fits conveniently on small spaces in other locations. The little mouse that you see is also very convenient and easy to carry.

Battery Life

I added a 9 cell battery which gives this little machine over 5 hours of battery life. quite sufficient for the type of things I do. The battery also provides a stand which allows the computer to site at a good angle for typing/viewing when it's on a table (like at the coffee shop).


I spend some time in the Chromium and Firefox browsers while I work. I take advantage of the cloud applications for OneNote and this blog, as examples. The "F11" key puts the application in full-screen mode which makes the applications seem just like Apps on the Android tablet. Match this up with the good keyboard and you have a pretty nice platform. I bounce back and forth with the F11 to add tabs to the browser. I also use this in combination with the work spaces to keep two browsers open at the same time for research.


Yeah, it's not the fastest thing on the planet, but once an application is loaded, it is generally the same perceived speed as my Acer A100 tablet. During the editing process, It really isn't noticeable and it quite sufficient for my needs.

Work Spaces

This Ubuntu feature makes multi-tasking a breeze on the machine. I also use this feature to allow capture of material as I work. I can keep a couple of applications open, capture screens and text from one and paste into the other.

OneNote (SkyDrive)

I really think that Microsoft (or someone) should write a OneNote for Linux. I know I would buy it in a minute. Until that time, I use the application in the cloud to gather information and develop articles. I have searched for a Linux-based application which can do the job, but have yet for find one. If you know of one -- like Basketnotes, etc. -- let me know. Using something like SkyDrive does have the advantage of allowing collection on the appropriate device. That way, for example, I can use the phone to capture images and then retrieve them from the drive to place into articles.


It's sad, but I really need a Microsoft Office like application. Not for this work, but for my "real job" and to help kids with their homework. It's interesting that the high school requires the boys to have iPads, but they still want homework done in Word -- "old dogs..." I guess. LibreOffice fills this need for me. It seems to be able to provide the fidelity that I need for the type of things I am doing with Word and Excel.

BTW, I also have access to the cloud applications because I have SkyDrive. This makes things work well for me to be able to do what I need in this space. (IF only Microsoft had OneNote for Linux, things would be GREAT!)

Open Source / Free

I'm trying to keep the system freeware / open source as much as possible. I do the same thing with my tablet, but have purchased some apps. On the netbook, I'm really trying to minimize the cost. After all, I'm not making money with his thing -- except indirectly when I use it for the "real job" -- so I don't want to spend too much on the software.

The Future

I'm still developing many of the techniques for creation with the Netbook. Ubuntu provides me the tools to accomplish this. I'll refine things and, unless something better comes along -- or I win the lottery and can afford something more expensive, this little setup will do just fine, thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Good on you, more power to you. I hope you have more success in this.
    I too you use ubuntu every day.