Monthly Archives: February 2010

I won a Dell Inspiron mini 10 on Twitter

That’s right, you read that correctly. The folks over at Dell UK (DellUk) were running a competition on Twitter, the micro-blogging web site. I have to say this is probably the first thing worthwile that I’ve won in a competition ever, pretty much. So I’d like to thank them very much for giving me the opportunity to win something worthwile, and helping advertise my account on their web site for the duration of the competition.

Now to the nitty gritty. I recommend that you watch the video available here: Introduction – That someone has already made up for the Dell web site, but which I based most of my inital reactions on.

My first reactions were very similar: wow this looks good, and wow this is light. Mine came with Windows 7 Starter pre-installed. So after I’d plugged it in, and switched it on (as per the instructions) it was asking me final configuartion options, language and the details for setting up the account – people in the industry would say it had been ‘sysprepped’ ready for first use. In all fairness nearly all Mac/Windows computers, come ready for action.

After turning on, I realised how slow the damn thing seemed to be running so stripped off every piece of trial-ware or lame software I wouldn’t need. Including the Dell online back-up software (which I found would expire in 12 months unless I paid for the renewal), so that came off too.

I installed Panda Cloud Anti-Virus which works a treat and have left Windows Firewall and Defender et al active. I’m going to be using the netbook for all things web/web related so this should be more than enough for the time being.

After a bit more tweaking, and fiddling about, I found the netbook ran a lot faster, and is really a  rather enjoyable piece of kit.

I haven’t had a chance to play with the webcam yet, but it does come with one.

I learnt that Microsoft removed the functionality to change your desktop wallpaper at all in Starter, so I found a small app that lets you do this (If I get enough interest will post links/upload myself for people to have access to.)

If you have any questions feel free to ask – for someone that primarily uses Mac though, this bit of kit is great! And the battery life is second to none.

(And yes, I wrote this from the Mini)

Update 1: I have now upgraded the netbook to Windows 7 Professional, slightly slower, and battery life isn’t as good as before (I think) but still working well.

Save your work (or regret it)!

It fails to amaze me how so many people have so much trouble saving their work.

I’ll start by explaining that a computer is a piece of machinary that requires electricity to operate. What happens when you turn your light switch off? The light goes out. What happens when you turn your computer off at the wall without saving your work? Your computer turns off  (and coincidentally you lose that 8-page Essay you’ve been writing up, without saving once!)

I  know that is very unlikely to happen – but I have experienced it. Some nitwit had written up that many pages without saving, and the Word Processor had frozen up or crashed and they’d lost their work.

I will explain now, that the look on someones face when they’ve lost this work is hysterical… do you want to be that person?

Saving your work is easy, and I recommend you do it every two minutes at least or as often as you pause to think. It really is not hard at all.

On Mac: Command Key (Apple Key) + S On Windows: Ctrl + S. There you have it, the easiest option to ensure that even if something goes wrong with the software, you will at least have a saved copy from earlier that you may be able to recover work from. If you haven’t given the document a name yet, you will be asked to – but only the first time.

I’d also like to say not to ever rely on Auto-Save features, they’re not fool-proof at all.

Learn to save your work every two minutes and you’ll be doing it without thinking about it in no time! :-)