March 18, 2010 at 8:20 am
Not all netbooks come with touchpad gesture control, however Lifehacker has come up with an extensive guide on how to enable two-finger scrolling and other gestures for your Windows netbook/laptop.
Two-finger scrolling allows you to scroll through web pages much like the wheel on a mouse. This can be added via an easy installation of the TwoFingerScroll utility that, as well as scrolling, provides additional tapping commands to add shortcuts to your touchpad. Read more
March 15, 2010 at 9:08 am
An intrepid modder has come up with an innovative mod that turns the MSI Wind U100 netbook into a tablet device complete with hackintosh OS X operating system and customised UI. The mod involves removing the keyboard and then mounting the LCD where the keyboard once was.
As the modder alexbates says, this mod enables you to “build an iPad with 10 times the storage, twice the speed, external video (VGA), webcam, USB ports, and built-in multi card reader, all for $350.” Hopefully a video should be available in due course, in the meantime you can find all the details on this mod here.
February 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm
Those of you with Apple laptops will be familiar with the magnetic power adaptors (MagSafe) the company uses. The idea is that the power connector is held magnetically so that if it is tugged accidentally it comes out of the socket safely without damaging the device. Even under normal use, as the power connector is attached to the motherboard, constant strain can make the connection become loose.
One intrepid modder looked to create something similar for his Acer Aspire 1410 ultrathin. He claims that it is easy to build with common materials and holds together without detaching unless it’s meant to. It all looks a bit complicated to me, but he says it is completely reversible. You can check out the guide here.
February 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm
BatteryBar is a very nifty and accurate battery meter for Windows netbooks and laptops. There are two versions available, a free one and a Pro version that adds some extra features. This includes a low battery warning, the ability to customize settings as well as a context menu for preferences.
It is the one year anniversary of BatteryBar and to celebrate, Osiris Development is letting you buy BatteryBar Pro for whatever you think its worth. Prices range from $1 to $10 (the latter of which is the normal cost). Spending $1 – $3 will get you a 1 year license, whilst spending $4 – $5 will get you a 2 year license. A lifetime license will cost from $6. The software is Windows 7 compatible so you shouldn’t have any problems getting it working on the latest netbooks.
February 1, 2010 at 8:59 pm
One enterprising MSI Wind owner is conducted a nifty mod where he is looking to turn his Advent 4211c netbook (a rebadged MSI Wind U100) into a touchscreen tablet that opens up to reveal the keyboard, much like a slide form-factor seen on some mobile phones.
The whole project is work in progress, but he has managed to install the touchscreen and flip the display around. He has even added some custom buttons allowing him to dual boot the device between Windows 7 or OS X 10.6.2. The whole thing is working as a normal tablet but he hasn’t got round to installing the rails so far. That to me sound like the biggest challenge, so fingers crossed he completes his vision!
December 19, 2009 at 12:06 am
An excellent piece of research was posted to Core77 over the summer that looked at the different positions that one can use a netbook and the appropriate stresses on joints and muscles this can cause. It’s likely to resonate with many people as I often find it difficult to get comfy in one position for long, even taking into account the mobility that a netbook brings.
Apparently the researchers concluded that “a conventional small clamshell laptop is most comfortably used lying down in bed with the device on the thigh when the knees are kept up.” So which position do you find most comfortable? Check out the chart below. Read more
December 9, 2009 at 8:16 pm
Now this is a mod we’ve not come across before. MyDellMini member pakkei decided to embark on the Harlequin project, which was to create something similar to the Microsoft Courier. For those that don’t know, the fabled Microsoft Courier has dual-screen multi-touch panels and is designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers.
The Harlequin is pakkei’s take on the project, where he has modded his Dell Mini 9 netbook to form a slate and then added another 9-inch USB touchscreen. The left panel will be used for reading content and the right panel will be used for taking notes. The orientation of the displays can also be reversed to be used in a more normal netbook form-factor too.
As the device uses Windows 7 it features both handwriting and voice recognition. The Harlequin is mostly working although it does need a dual-hinged chassis. Seems like some good handy work from pakkei.
December 4, 2009 at 7:57 am
YouTube has introduced the “Feather” Beta, which is a trimmed down version of YouTube designed to run on netbooks/low-powered PCs running on low-bandwidth connections. It is designed to watch videos with the lowest latency possible by limiting the features available to viewers and reducing the amount of bytes downloaded by the browser.
The changes include the player defaulting to standard quality, reducing comments displayed to 10 and removing sharing and embedding options. The auto-suggest search bar and related videos have also been removed. With the advent of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and GPU-accelerated playback, YouTube playback is unlikely to trouble ION-powered netbooks. However, for everyone else, this new version is probably worth a try, especially if you don’t use the removed features much anyway.
You can check out the YouTube “Feather” opt-in beta here. Just click on the “Join the ‘Feather’ Beta” link. Remember this is currently work in progress so not all videos will work right now.
November 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm
We previously reported on a mod that enabled you to convert your Dell Mini 9 netbook into a slate tablet. For those of you that actually went through the effort then you’ll be glad to hear that another mod exists that puts accelerometer functionality into the tablet.
You can check out the results after the jump, but it seems pretty good and much cheaper than pre-packaged alternatives. The full guide on how to do this can be checked over on the MyDellMini forums. Read more
October 29, 2009 at 11:30 am
It always seemed a bit strange that Nvidia would release an entry level ION chipset targeted exclusively to Windows XP netbooks. The ION platform combines an Intel processor and a GeForce 9400M graphics based MCP79 chipset. The cost of producing two chipsets seemed prohibitive, especially as we’re likely to see fewer and fewer netbooks sporting XP as time goes on.
However, it appears that the ION and ION LE chipsets are physically the same after all. The only difference is that ION LE has had DX10 disabled according to some investigative work by MyHPMini member runawayprisoner. He basically added the device id of ION LE into the INF for the full ION HP drivers. The end result gives you DX10 support for the ION LE. Read more
October 12, 2009 at 8:23 pm
Windows 7 is expected to herald a new dawn for touchscreen PC devices, mainly due to its in-built touch functionality (as long as you’re running Home Premium or higher). MyDellMini member Rob928 wanted to join in on the action and decided to mod his Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook to convert it into a touchscreen slate tablet.
This certainly looks like a complex mod involving removing the lid and trimming the hinges. A solder-less touchscreen kit was used for the finished result. Whilst the modder got the tablet to work with Windows 7, it is subject to heat build-up (40-50 degrees) as much of the heat is normally vented through the keyboard. Some pictures of his work in progress can be found here.
September 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm
Netbooks typically don’t contain optical drives, which means watching DVD movies aren’t possible. Whilst there are a number of software tools to rip your DVDs onto the hard drive, we thought we’d highlight this special offer.
Digiarty Software is giving away WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, which normally sells for $24.95, from now until September 30th. The program has a clean interface and it is simple to use. I tried using it myself and had no problems in ripping a movie, working very quickly.
The free version will work for a lifetime, without fee. Minor updates will also be free. There is a major upgrade coming in November though that will cost. You can download the free version here.
August 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm
One of the compromises when buying a netbook is the limited screen real estate you have over a desktop. This can cause frustration with certain programs and endless scrolling. One such problem is not being able to read emails in the inbox properly due to the number of labels in the Gmail subject lines.
Google has now provided a work around in Gmail that allows you to automatically hide the labels from the inbox messages. To turn this on, you simply need to go to the Gmail Labs tab under Settings and click on “Remove Labels from Subjects”. We do wish more software companies were as sympathetic to netbook users as Google is!
Via Gmail Blog.
August 4, 2009 at 11:36 am
There’s already a number of guides around the net on installing a touchscreen display on your beloved netbook. However, we thought we’d highlight a well-put together guide from the guys over at Laptop Mag.
It’s a step-by-step guide going through all the little steps needed to successfully install a touchscreen. This includes where to buy a third-party display, including the Fido Hub touchscreen for $100. You can check out the full tutorial here.
July 28, 2009 at 7:28 pm
Now I’ve certainly never seen anything like this. The guys over at Prusadjs.cz hacked a MSI Wind battery so that it could be used to charge other USB devices, namely an iPhone. The 3-cell battery only provides a few hours of battery to run the netbook, but it has enough to power to keep a USB device charged for a while.
The mod is not for the faint hearted, he ended up opening up the battery and soldering an USB port. The great thing is that once modded it still can be used to power the MSI Wind netbook. Check out the video after the jump. Read more