rich menga
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how netbooks lost their mojo

I sincerely believe the netbook is the best portable computer ever made to date because it's what I consider a "real" computer. Real keyboard, real touchpad, real monitor, real speakers, real networking, real USB and so on.

However I don't recommend netbooks anymore, and it's only for one reason: Windows 7 "Starter" Edition. Starter is one of the most awful Windows ever released. You can't even change the theme or wallpaper on it - I'm not kidding. When it was first released, you were not allowed to run more than three programs at a time. Even though Microsoft dropped that nonsense, the OS still sucks because I know for a fact a netbook can run Home Premium. How do I know? I did it myself when 7 was still in beta. Ran perfectly, even with Aero running.

Here's the real kicker however: A netbook is $260 brand new. Great price - but with Starter. If you want Home Premium, guess what the price is.

Four hundred frickin' dollars.

And it doesn't matter who makes it.

This is absolutely not the great deal a netbook used to be. At least with XP, you could, y'know, change your wallpaper image.

I sincerely believe Windows 7 Starter will single-handedly kill the netbook market entirely. It sucks that bad. Starter shouldn't even exist. If it was "Basic", which is Win 7 with no Aero more or less, that's acceptable. But Starter? Total junk.

** Tip: Your guitar cable is crappy. Replace it.