The Netbook Diaries: Day 3

Last Updated Jun 2, 2009 7:10 PM EDT

acer-aspire-one-coffee.jpgThe Netbook Diaries chronicles our day-to-day experiences with the Acer Aspire One. Click here to read the previous installment.
Took the Aspire to my local coffee emporium for a change of scenery, but the shop's Wi-Fi was out. Normally this would be no big deal: I'd tether my Palm Centro and leverage its high-speed connection. But I'm stonewalled: The Aspire lacks Bluetooth! I hadn't thought to bring along a sync cable, so I was temporarily outta luck on the Internet front. Why no Bluetooth, Acer?

Fortunately, management managed to fix the hotspot, so I got to work -- and discovered that a netbook is no substitute for a notebook when it comes to remote access. See, I usually use LogMeIn Free to connect to my office desktop when I'm working elsewhere. The Aspire's 8.9-inch screen, while admirably bright and sharp, just doesn't have the pixels to make this practical. Because it tops out at 1,024 x 600, I either have to scroll incessantly around a large virtual desktop or use the fit-to-screen option, which makes everything way too small.

Translation: Adopting a netbook means making changes to the way I like to work. These aren't insurmountable changes, nor are they really surprising (I knew this would be an issue), but it does give me pause about my upcoming four-day road trip. On the plus side, I just discovered the incredible value of using Foxmarks: Because the new version syncs passwords as well as bookmarks, I had an easy time logging into my various blogging tools. No need to dig up all my passwords in various scattered e-mails.

Check out some other netbook-related posts, including Guy Vs. Guy: The Net Value of Netbooks, Turn Your Netbook Into a Kindle, and Six Ways to Make Your Netbook More Like a Notebook.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.