Today I took two netbooks to a depo to supply screens for attorneys.  OMG, I know I'm late coming to the party.  Previously I had used a laptop.  I had used one netbook a month or so ago to supply one screen for an attorney.  Today I needed two screens.  The monitor on my full-size spare computer went out so I purchased a second netbook at Walmart for $250 bucks.  I got it up and running and the software loaded the day before within an hour.  I couldn't believe I got it up and running with no snags.

The great thing is they are so lightweight.  It's no problem at all to get them to the depo.  The attorneys seem to like them.  It was a video -- ugh.  Another plus, they are so low profile the videographer doesn't whine about them.

I have loaded the newest version of on them.  I don't know if they have done something with that software but it seems to connect with no problems at all now.

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Those newer netbooks are being made better and better.  I know the higher quality reporters rave of greatness about their $600 laptops - but are those expensive laptops really necessary?  No.   With $600 you can buy three netbooks.


I paid $220 for my Dell 410.  I am using DigitalCat.  It took less than five minutes total to get software on it.  With three ports, I have my writer, add a mouse and a keyboard.  I also bought an external USB port (which I intend to use for the mouse and keyboard).

Also, my Dell 410 does not have a drive.  I bought a cheapy external drive for $10.00 off Amazon.  If I need to add some software via drive, I use that.  Everything else is done with a flash drive (and I keep a flashdrive on a side pocket of my purse).

Hi, Mary Jo,

So it sounds like you are using it as your "intake" computer.  I know I have seen people post on this site that they are using their netbook for that.  I'll tell you I was tempted b/c they are so light weight.  

You got a really good deal on your Dell.  I felt pretty good about what I had to pay in a pinch, $248 at good old Walmart.  

I carry three netbooks with me to all jobs.  I'm always happy to provide realtime to someone who hasn't ordered it and decides at the last minute they want it.


I have a hard time seeing with my 14" laptop.  I'm not comfortable using a netbook for my CAT program.  It has nothing to do with the cost.  I had a Compaq that I LOVED, my favorite computer yet, that cost $300. 


Do you bring the netbooks in with you to each job or do you keep them in your car?  I guess it's probably best to bring them in.  The attorneys never want to wait.

I think I will stick w/ my full-size as "my" computer but I understand why some reporters are using the netbooks because they are so much lighter.  Thank goodness for wheelie case.

I, like Janet, could never work on a 14-inch screen.  On top of that, the keyboard is so tiny that my hands would be all over it.   The netbooks are great for RT, and you know that they are going to connect if you've done it beforehand.  No more having to check com ports, etc., on the atty's laptop.

I keep them in my case at all times.  I use my wheeled case for laptops, netbooks, cables, etc., and carry my Diamante in the shoulder bag that came with it.

What you might consider that happened to me last week is my regular laptop I usually write to froze on me.  I, fortunately, had my Eclipse software loaded on one of my netbooks.  I had never used it before, but had no choice and held my breath it would work.  It did and I wrote 300 pages with just a small break to switch computers in the a.m.

I would suggest you put your reporter software on one of them and always bring it along for a backup.  Saved my butt last week.  Since they are so lightweight, no reason not to bring them along. 

I just thought since the name of your discussion is "The Virtues of Netbooks" I'd share another one with you.

I had to do the same thing one day.  I grabbed the wrong laptop charger in the morning and knew that my laptop wouldn't hold a charge for the whole day so I used a netbook for the day.  It worked for what I needed that day, but I found it hard to edit on it.  I do have my CAT software on one of them.  I also have my main dictionary backed up on   I do that regularly.  I hadn't updated the dictionary on the netbook for a while so I downloaded from filesanywhere.  If you're anything like me, a dictionary from six months ago is much different than a dictionary from a few weeks ago.

Yeah, that's so true.  You have to tell me more about how that works, Janet.  I have never heard of it.  You are always a wealth of information, you know that??  Don't know where you learn this stuff.

You are correct that it's difficult to edit, but I didn't want to have to call the office in a panic and have them have to search for someone else.  It really helped me in the situation of being able to get through this 300 page day and the audio sounded really, really good on this netbook.  It's always a good idea to have a backup just in case.

I agree it's great in a pinch.  I just wouldn't want to use a netbook on a regular basis for my CAT.


Here is a link to filesanywere:


It is a free service.  You can upload your dictionary there and user formats and files.  That way if you run into a problem with your main computer, you can quickly download the files to another computer.

I've had Eclipse loaded onto all my loaner netbooks. Just never know. I haven't had to use it yet. I keep all my Eclipse dictionaries and user files on a USB drive that I carry on a keychain with my Eclipse software key. I have a million copies of my main dictionary everywhere.  I've had to reload it into Eclipse (while on a job and NOTHING was coming up) a couple of times since I learned the hard way several years ago. I copy and save my main dictionary almost after every job that I've made new entries to. It's good to learn lessons the hard way sometimes.

I have a folder in Dropbox that also has all my dictionaries and user files. I just e-mailed a link to that folder and saved the e-mail in its own folder. Keeps things simple.


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