5 Resources for Netbook Helps, Hacks and How-To's

msiwindApple’s iPhone may enjoy a cult-like following with blogs, forums and commenters galore, but it’s not the only product to enjoy such adulation. Another highly successful product of the past year, the lowly netbook, has its share of support groups, blogs and fans as well. Below is a short list highlighting some of the many netbook resources I’ve made use of since I bought my first netbook back on Oct. 31, 2007. At 8:10 a.m. from NewEgg, to be exact. Surely that attention to detail gets me in the Rabid Netbook fan club, no?

EeeUser.com: Here, in the oft-updated forums, wiki and news, I uncovered many hidden talents of my first Asus Eee PC 701, such as the Advanced User Mode option. I also got my first taste of how to create a slimmed-down version of Windows XP, so it would fit on the meager 4GB Solid State Disk included with the Eee PC. With more than two dozen Eee PC models available from Asus and nearly 50,000 registered forum members, there’s plenty for an Eee PC fan here.

AspireOneUser.com: This site offers news and forums devoted to the AAO. That’s user slang for the Acer Aspire One netbook, which is expected to sell nearly 5 million units this year. My AAO only lasted two weeks before I decided to return it — I felt the low-priced flash storage was too slow. But during those 14 days, the forums helped me find several tweaks to speed things up.

Liliputing.com: This might be a one-man show but it isn’t a one-netbook site. Run by Brad Linder, it’s devoted to various small computers and netbooks, hence the clever “Liliputing” name. Daily news on new models is sprinkled in, amidst a healthy dose of hacks, comparisons and hands-on reviews. There’s even a netbook product database, which is great for a quick device specification lookup.

MSIWind.net: There are more than 61,000 forum posts waiting for owners of the MSI Wind (the device I currently own). The basics are covered and there’s a wiki to help, but the forums are where the meat is. Here I’ve kept up to date on the latest BIOS, firmware and drivers, plus I’ve learned which hardware modifications will and won’t work under the hood of this versatile little device.

jkOnTheRun: Yes, this is shameless self-promoting, but our Netbook category currently contains well over 300 posts. If there were 299 or less, I would have skipped it, but I think it qualifies. Why? Aside from the news coverage, it’s where we offer our own, real-world look at the devices, both in video and in written form. Here you can find out how Windows 7 runs on a netbook, or for that matter, if Mac OS X works on one.

Speaking of Apple, they don’t fall far from the tree: My 10-year-old son did a video review of the first netbook from Asus that captured the eye of the company and was shown at their CES 2008 press event. Guess he’s in the “netbook fanboy” club too, now.

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