Getting it on with a netbook.
December 6, 2011 11:27 AM   Subscribe

What programs/practices do you advise in setting up my wife's new netbook?

I have bought my wife a netbook for Christmas (Acer Aspire), and would like any advice on setting it up and guiding her to use it wisely. She will mostly be using it for web surfing and light office work. If I treat it like our home PC, she'll get Chrome, Open office, VLC player, Foxit, Microsoft security etc..

Anything else you think I should change or consider? Any tips on keeping it safe, transporting it, charging practices.??
posted by Frasermoo to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First thing you should do is visit

Second thing you should do is bookmark
posted by blue t-shirt at 11:44 AM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]

The best thing I did with my netbook was ditch the version of Windows 7 it came with and install Home. SO much faster.
posted by neushoorn at 11:46 AM on December 6, 2011

I agree that ditching the OS that came with it is the best idea, but that adds $$ to your total (assuming you're sticking with Windows).

Here's what I do (before connecting to the internet -- I use a USB drive to copy everything):

1) Install CCleaner. It has a nice uninstaller that you can use to uninstall all the ACER software (except the backup utility, which you'll want), and any other bloatware that Acer is famous for.

2) Also uninstall whatever overpriced antivirus the computer came with. Install AVG or Avast or Antivir instead. They're free, and just as effective (and seem to cause fewer problems).

3) Connect to the internet and use to install whatever else you might need.

As far as your other questions:

- Most people's ideas about charging practices are based on WAY outdated information. Battery tech has come a long way. Just charge it as needed (or leave it plugged in).

- Get her a nice shoulder bag or backpack for it -- something smallish, but large enough to carry computer + charger + a book or 2.

- Netbooks don't have optical drives, so a big USB drive can be a godsend.

- If you're buying hardware, check prices on both Amazon and TigerDirect for the best deal.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:04 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Encrypt the disk or create an encrypted drive with truecrypt.
posted by canoehead at 12:29 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is the Home software, Microsoft Windows 7 Home?
posted by Frasermoo at 12:39 PM on December 6, 2011

I have a similar netbook. The best purchase I made for it (also the only) was getting a tight-fitting neoprene case for it off ebay for $5. It isn't amazing protection but I feel I lot more comfortable throwing it into my bag when in a hurry.
posted by EsotericAlgorithm at 1:24 AM on December 7, 2011

Is the Home software, Microsoft Windows 7 Home?

I assume neushoorn meant Windows 7 Home Premium, available for $80 at TigerDirect. I'm considering buying this as a Christmas present to myself and putting in on my Acer laptop, which is great hardware-wise, but came with an unbelievable amount of crap installed on it.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:47 AM on December 7, 2011

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