Ah, where would I be without it? More importantly, it was more than enough. I’m talking about my netbook, my cute little laptop. I got it while doing my S3. In 2009 middle roughly. That makes it almost three years now.
I must say that this is one heck of a piece of hardware. It comes with the configuration of 1GB RAM, Intel Atom dual core CPU @ 1.66GHz plus a 160GB HDD. It came with a pre-installed version of Windows XP which is still there only to have been disturbed for about 15 times all through the entire three years. The other sockets being three USB ports, a serial port, microphone and audio jacks, LAN port, an SD Card slot plus a pseudo SIM card slot.
I call that pseudo because one fine day I had inserted my mother’s SIM card into the provided slot. It kept on going and finally decided to stay within. I had to give it for servicing which cost me 300 bucks and the guy told me that this version had just the slot. Only the next version shipped with the hardware inside that slot. That taught me not to get too excited about stuff I guess.
The keys are a bit close. People having used normal sized keyboards have always found it hard to type on mine. Besides, me swapping my ‘ctrl’ and ‘Caps Lock’ did not help this cause at all. However, since I started typing on this, I haven’t had much trouble typing on other keyboards. One of the most irritable things that happen to me at times are the small dust specks that go underneath the keys. These things make it almost impossible to press the keys. Sometime I get angry and crush them with hard strokes and at other times I strategically tilt my netbook to get them out.
This might seem controversial, but I do believe that this is more than what an average college student needs. Let me list what all I have used my laptop for and see if it comes in the scope of a college students.
- Watching movies.
- Listening to music.
- Accessing the Internet.
- Photo editing.
- Sound processing.
- File conversions.
- Viewing photos.
- Storing data.
- Playing video games.
- Compiling Linux Kernels.
- Creating web applications.
- Writing and learning Programming languages as well as other tools. C, Java, Python, etc. So compilers for the same. Latex, git, make, etc.
- Watching youtube videos.
- Installing Operating Systems. I have had 6 of them in one shot. Ubuntu 10.04, 11.04, Fedora, Arch Linux, Debian squeeze 2.6 and 3.0 kernels and finally Windows XP.
- Connecting USB devices. Thumb drives, Mobile phones, card readers, External HDDs, BeagleBoard – XM, Internet Dongles, etc.
- Connecting phones via bluetooth.
- Leaving the system on for almost a week downloading and seeding torrents.
- Traveling. This babe has been in my bag under the seats on a KSRTC transport bus almost every week for the past three years. You can hold it just like a college notebook and take it anywhere anytime.
- 4 to 5 hours battery life on an average.
- Wireless connectivity as well as Broadcasting.
- Slide shows, presentations, etc.
- Most importantly, it has lasted.
That’s about it I guess. One major drawback that you could point out is that it won’t run Crisis 2! Then again, it takes a manly system to run Crisis.
Jokes apart, it has no CD drive. But that has seldom been a drag for almost everyone uses a thumb drive these days. Plus, my system gets heated up. It does not turn off due to over heating or anything but you could try and make a bulls-eye on it.
The paint has come off from certain parts. I guess it is because of the heat. Apart from that it makes a ‘throat-squeezing’ sound while powering up and I have had to replace my battery once. That’s all the problem that it has had.
I think it is a bit sad that almost all the students who have a laptop with them (and most of them really powerful with multiple cores, 4GB+ RAM and Terra Bytes of storage) use them only for watching movies, listening to music and browsing the net. I’m not saying that I do a lot more than that but what I am saying is that you don’t need that much powerful systems to do these.
When you look at the laptops of many students these days, you can see 2 to 4 drives all completely filled and the guys hunting for more space. But poke into it and what do you see? Movies, movies and movies. Plus the other term that people use these days. “Softwares”. Another craze is pdfs. Truck loads of them and the funny thing being that not a single one of them would have been read. With all these stuff in their drives, they are walking around trying to “back up” their systems.
You must be thinking why I did not mention games. Frankly, very few do play games compared to how much they use their systems for movies, videos and music. But the ones who do play games, they are like glued to it.
I think there are things that are taken for granted when a computer science student comes to college. Self-learning is fine but it almost always screws up many basic ideas that are important. I guess a student should be taught how to use a laptop. It simply is absurd taking it for granted that he will learn to use it on his own. This is obvious from the people around us. The use that they find are the above mentioned “Watching movies” and stuff. I guess at least Computer Science students should be taught how to use it.
I guess I deviated a bit there. I should save it for another post. Right now I’ve brushed up my hard drive. I’m using Ubuntu 12.04 and that old XP is still there. An awesome piece of hardware that played one of the most important role in making me what I am today. Thanks to my brother for buying it for me.