October 14, 2009
I created a posting on my DellMini blog yesterday that discusses how I configured my FireFox web browser to maximize the viewable page area. I basically used a series of FireFox addons to hide the main window caption title bar, hide the menu bar, and so forth. The most effective tip was to use the F11 function key to completely hide all interface controls temporarily and completely fill the screen with the viewable page (I just found this tip recently). These are great tips for Netbook owners, since the vertical resolution of their miniature laptops is usually 600 pixels.
Just in case you’re curious what I’ve got loaded with my FireFox installation, here’s my list of addons:
Not too many plugins to slow down the opening of FireFox, but just enough to keep me browsing effectively.
Now, I’ve also looked at using Google’s Chrome web browser, because it is suppose to be lightweight and will startup faster than FireFox.It does indeed seem to startup and run faster than FireFox and has a very minimalistic appearance which I like. However, Chrome doesn’t seem to have the extensive number of addon plugins as does FireFox. A lot of the plugins that I have loaded currently in FireFox do not exist in Chrome. So, being a creature of habit I’ll probably stick with using FireFox since it has been working well for me over the last several years.
October 12, 2009
Over the years I’ve visited various forums in search of answers to my questions and issues. Most of the time, someone else had the same question or issue I have, and I can often find a good solution. However, it seems that most hardware and software-related forums are turning into “fanboy” sites, where people want to pat themselves on the back and feel good about whatever hardware or software they own. For example, the two Palm Pre Forums that I frequently visit are filled with such fanatics who love their Palm Pre and are blind to any hardware or software issues it may have. If anyone posts anything a bit negative about the Pre, they are immediately engulfed with hateful responses, most of which are accusations that the original poster is an Apple iPhone fanboy spreading negativism. What’s strange, is that these posters are using the term “fanboy” as something evil and negative when in fact THEY are fanboys themselves (in this case, a Pre fanboy)!
It seems that a lot of people don’t want to read or hear about what’s wrong with their hardware device or software package because it might make them appear foolish in purchasing that product. As such, these forums have turned into “Fan Clubs” more so than helpful forums. Read the rest of this entry »
October 12, 2009
When I put in my order for the Dell Inspiron 11z Netbook, I contemplated getting the 6-cell battery since it advertises 8+ hours of life over the 3 hours for the standard 3-cell battery. However, I decided to just go with the 3-cell since 3 hours is probably enough for me to go without charging it. I’m glad I didn’t get the 6-cell battery, because it is humongously large and hideous!
It sticks out the bottom like a big wart on this sleek and elegant system. What’s the deal with that? If I had a choice, I would rather it protruded straight out the back than down like it is currently designed. Apparently this is the same battery used in the Dell Mini 10 also.
With a price tag of $150 US, I’ll go looking for a power outlet every 3 hours than pay that amount for the giant wart battery!
An extra 3-cell battery is going for $130 on the Dell web site, but since it is the same battery as used on the Dell Mini 10 you can get one for $43 on eBay.com. Carrying two small batteries has got to be a better deal than one giant battery that makes the 11z or Mini 10 look so junky!
October 12, 2009
Although I rarely return anything to Costco, I do appreciate their liberal no-hassle return policy. The last time I returned something was earlier this year when I returned a Dell Mini 9 Netbook (which I ordered online) because of the non-standard keyboard configuration. Costco cheerfully refunded my purchase, tax and shipping costs included.
So I stopped by my local Costco store this morning to return the Acer 751h netbook that I bought last Friday, and again it was a simple process. The clerk began the refund procedure without asking me a word about the netbook. It wasn’t until he was about half way through the process when he casually asked why I was returning it (in more of an inquisitive manner). I just told him it didn’t meet all my needs and he handed me my refund receipt and said have a good day. It’s because of this I really like buying electronic merchandise from Costco, just in case I get a defective unit or if I decide I don’t like it.
As a side comment, the Costco clerk told me that they have been getting a lot of returns with this Acer netbook. When I asked why, he stated that customers were complaining of “slowness”. Whether that’s really true or not, we won’t know. “Slowness” is such a subjective term, since it is relative to something else (a speedy desktop PC or MacBook Pro perhaps?). At least the returns weren’t because of some more serious problem (e.g., crashes, not booting up, freezing, etc).
So although I returned the Acer Netbook, I still recommend you check one out if you’re looking for a good portable machine. And definitely buy it from Costco if you can! 🙂