My netbook returns from the grave, and why it rocks in the car

The warranty place must have replaced the motherboard on my netbook, because every problem (including what I didn’t remember to tell them) was fixed when I got it back.  The low volume in Windows XP went away, the headphone jack works great, the unit doesn’t freeze at all, the power button works when there’s a serious problem, USB booting isn’t flakey anymore, and the only problem I have had is the problem I always had from the start: the gOS installation on the Sylvania G likes to lock up the system sometimes.  This is probably due to a lousy or hastily created Linux driver for the VIA video chip.

Anyway, the warranty people did an excellent job.  When I talked to them on the phone, I made myself look a bit foolish because I thought I nuked the OS, when in reality I didn’t, but that’s beside the point.  I talked to them about my problems and I swear unto you, the day after I talked to them my machine was delivered!  They had it for a couple of weeks and got tired of looking at it, and they overnighted it back to me.  Quite a lot of  service for a laptop that originally cost $300 and can be bought for far less even now!

You’re probably more interested in what I have to say about my netbook and my car.  I picked up a cassette tape adapter and used it to link up the audio from my 64-bit laptop to the tape deck because my stereo is stock from 12 years back, but the laptop quickly overloaded my AC inverter.  Ouch.  So, I whipped out my Sylvania G and hooked it up instead, and my inverter didn’t overload once as I drove to and from jobs all day long.  One of the primary design considerations for netbooks is minimal power consumption, and if you don’t have a real 12V lighter socket and/or you have a cheap inverter, a netbook is highly likely to work just fine whereas a “real” laptop will overload things, shut down the inverter, or maybe even cause a fuse to blow out.  MP3 listening requires very little in terms of modern processing power, so a netbook is very well-suited to this role in a car.

On top of that, having a running netbook in the car gives me immediate access to wireless services, so if I need to check an email quickly, I don’t have to dig out a machine and wait for it to start up.

Viva la netbook 🙂

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