AppChat: Essential Netbook Applications

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21 Oct, 2010 8:00 pm

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Here at Netbook News we aren’t strangers to people bringing us their netbooks and saying “I’m going away on vacation, but i’ll need to the occasional work chore, can you set up my netbook for travel?” The last time I got asked this I decided to do it and make a little video, if you keep scrolling down to the bottom you’ll be able to check it out.

Browser is very important, I recommend Firefox, I sometimes use Chrome but found that it just isn’t as stable as Firefox, yet. If you do a lot of web surfing and are concerned about spyware and adware infecting your machine, consider using Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. Currently, Firefox is much less susceptible to spyware than Internet Explorer.

After internet browsing media playback is very important. If you are sent files for business they can come in any format. To avoid loading down your system with unnecessary programs, like windows media player and quick time you’ll just need one, VLC player. Its light weight and it plays any codec that you can throw at it. As an added bonus it will play incomplete downloads, so if you are on the road with a bad internet connection, you could still get the gist of the presentation.

Editing documents also comes high on the priority list, Open Office is a free way to be able to open any word, power point or excel document thrown at you. Open Office offers the same functionality as Microsoft office but its free. If you are looking for something a little more polished Corel Writer has a UI that is similar to the latest Word and it is also meant to be able to handle any format, you’ll just need to download plugins to make it happen. It is a really good deal if you grab it at for $19.99 and because its in AppUp! you’ll be able to download it on up to 5 computers!

The final app that I recommend if you are traveling globally isn’t a bad idea to have hot spot shield installed on one of your browsers. Say you’re in China you won’t be able to access facebook and many other sites. This will allow you to access any website or server, just in case they have been blocked. Hotspot Shield also protects your entire web surfing session; securing your connection at both your home Internet network & Public Internet networks (both wired and wireless). Hotspot Shield protects your identity by ensuring that all web transactions (shopping, filling out forms, downloads) are secured through HTTPS. Hotspot Shield also makes you private online making your identity invisible to third party websites and ISP’s.

If you have an essential app let me know, we’re always looking for new apps to check out!

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  • Anonymous

    Wow, Hotspot shield looks like a really good app! Unfortunately the website says it only supports Mac and Windows. Is there a Linux equivalent?