Thursday, December 03, 2009

Reviews on Netbook Applications

I'm a netbook user of a HP Mini 5101 for about a month now.

So far - I've been very cautious in installing minimum software and am still scouting for "lighter" softwares. As netbooks are known to be underpowered or as someone once mentioned "anorexic" with minimal specifications, I try not to abuse my netbook like I would my desktop (pity my desktop)

I've found this site which recommends free softwares for netbook in My favourite softwares now are:, Digsby, WinMove. Want to know more? Read on! :)
Softwares for netbook (Images borrowed from

360 desktop - Haven't tried yet.. looks Mac-ish or I misunderstood it.. hmm..

AVG Antivirus - There are just too many antivirus software around. Pick your own preference.

Digsby - currently using. (detailed review below)

Dropbox - don't need additional storage yet as I have an external harddrive. Maybe in future.

Gmail offline - It caches your messages offline so you can reply when you're offline. Nah - I don't want to put unneccessary info on my harddrive.

Launchy - think too many little applications for me to try...

Google Chrome - do I really need this? Might try installing later.

Openoffice - I have the full version Microsoft Office. So far it is okay. - Tried this and love it! Detail review below

VLC Media Player - I used this for my desktop... I think but real player works fine for me for the moment

I have also added a few more other application to ease my usage. Enjoy my brief review from my own experience!

Review: Digsby freeware

I've installed Digsby as an all-in-one application for Instant Messaging programmes. I have yet to try opening all the IM programmes at one go. So far, I've tried MSN messenger and was confused with the way my conversation chat boxes are grouped into tabs like the new explorer browsers. Took me some time to switch conversations by changing tabs. Phew! It was a panic at first.

I tried going online for both Yahoo Messenger and MSN messenger. I got confused with the way my contacts are all grouped together. Will try to chat with different users in different IM soon.

The downside, you can't use the added features of each messenger like: I love the yahoo launchcast on Yahoo Messenger. Oh well..

Will try adding more messenger to confuse myself further. Ha!

Review: Picasa 3
Another site recommended using Picasa 3 for light image editing and so I tried. I find the interface very user-friendly for anyone with minimal knowledge of photo editing.
It has options like: crop, straighten, auto contrast, retouch, etc. in simple buttons. There is a drop-down menu for more detail adjustment. It can even automatically help you upload your pictures online.

I tried the option of uploading it directly to blogspot but found it a nuisance. I had to always login again everytime I upload a picture and it goes into a new entry separately. If I didn't save the entry, my picture will go missing. So, I don't really like this feature unless someone can tell me a more direct route to use.

I was annoyed with the netbook limited screen size the other day. I wanted to book a hotel through a flash pop-out website which needed a full screen (without any scrolling capabilities). The booking button was way above!!

I resorted to using a desktop to complete my booking.

However, I just only stumbled upon this software : WinMove which is supposed to help you "reach" those hidden parts of the window. I can't wait to try it for other sites. :)

You can also download it from cnet through this link. I stumbled on a review of this last time but can't seem to find the same site again. Will try to capture a view of the difference later when I have the time.

This application is recommended for Adobe Photoshop users as it has a similar but simpler layout. They're layers, hues, adjustment, effects, etc. just like what is provided in Photoshop. I decided to try this after using Picasa 3 because I find Picasa 3 quite limiting.

Basically, it does very well the things I need to do: crop, resize, text, layers!

Will use it to work on my blog layout next. I have yet to check how much space it uses up in my netbook's memory though.


To date, I'm gradually getting used to a netbook (mind you, I've never been a laptop user) so perhaps it's easier for me. I'm looking for problems and finding freewares to overcome the disadvantages of using an anorexic-netbook!

Yay! It seems that I can install Autocad according to some discussion in this forum. Will try it next when I dare to.. haha Hope I don't crash my netbook while trying out all this softwares. Lol!

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