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Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
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May 3, 2013
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Caroline B. Glick:
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April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
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April 12, 2013
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Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
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Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
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Jewish World Review
Dec. 19, 2008
/ 22 Kislev 5769
A Tale of Two Netbooks
A funny thing happened on the way to December 25: the netbook, also known as the
"mini-note" PC, is taking off. As mentioned in this space a fortnight ago
(http://tinyurl.com/5bcltp), the netbook, strictly defined, is a
small-ish-sized-screen, ultralight portable computer, with or without Microsoft
Windows as the operating system. One research firm, DisplaySearch of Austin, Texas,
said last week they expect as many as 14 million netbooks to be sold in 2008.
Since my initial comments, I've played with a couple of these netbooks and have
some initial findings. In short, this is a category with promise, although there are
some speed bumps along the way.
Among the big plusses: the netbooks are light, convenient and, well, a bit sexy.
Schlepping around a big honking notebook can sometimes be necessary, but for road
warriors, it's a drag. When running Microsoft Windows XP (not Windows Vista,
please!), the netbook is very nice to play with. Under Linux, it depends.
My first netbook experiment involves a netbook brand you can buy - Asus and
the Eee PC and a service you can't get just yet, SIMtone's online virtual
PC, which runs Microsoft Windows XP.
The Eee PC is small and light, but the screen could provoke squinting. Its
appearance is a bit disappointing versus other netbooks: a "flat" screen versus
the "glossy" screen found on some other models. The keyboard is also a bit
challenging for the large-fingered, but certainly usable.
What lifts the whole package is the SIMtone service (www.simtone.net), something the
firm hopes to sell to other communication providers such as your cell company or
Internet Service Provider, who then will offer you a "virtual" PC as part of the
bundle. In operation, the SIMtone service is just delightful. It's fast, its
Windows emulation is flawless, and you don't have to worry about file storage or
program storage - so long as you trust the providers involved. The basic demo I
took included the OpenOffice.org suite of applications, as well as Mozilla Firefox
and Thunderbird, so most users can get up and running quickly at a low cost.
My only frustration is that you, the reader, will be hard pressed to try this unless
and until SIMtone makes a sale to some telecom outfit. I hope this will change, but
for now, you'll have to just take my word here.
As to the Eee PC, it's widely available, but don't buy it. Instead, toddle over
to your favorite online retailer and grab a Samsung NC-10 instead. Do not pass
"go," do not collect $200. Just do it - if you must have a netbook this
holiday. Trust me on this.
The NC-10 will set you back around $480 when shopping at amazon.com, and comes with
1 Gigabyte of RAM and a 160GB hard disc drive. It also sports a 10.2-inch
(diagonally measured) display screen, far better than the 8.9-inch of the Eee PC.
You can expand the RAM to 2 GB by purchasing memory from an outfit such as
Crucial.com. There's a Webcam and built-in microphone to make online chating
easier. No optical drive is supplied, but you can buy one if needed, to connect via
a USB port.
Since the NC-10 runs Windows XP, however, you're getting a pretty good portable
computer for the money, and not just a netbook. I like the screen display, the
keyboard (about 93 percent of the size of a regular notebook keyboard) and the
machine works and travels well.
The Samsung NC-10 is perhaps the herald of things to come in portables. It merits
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JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.
© 2008, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com
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