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Witchboon Witchboon is offline
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Default Pair of Vostro A90: [WANTED] Minimalistic Suggestions - 06-15-2009, 12:21 PM

Due to this past week's deal on Dell Vostro A90, I purcahased two. I probably shouldn't have, but I bought my wife one (original plan) and myself. I have been looking into either doing a Hackintosh or a 13" MacBook, and this price-break basically sealed the deal for me.

I've read this site fairly extensively over the past several weeks and I understand the hardware and OS installations.

I am, however, NOT a Mac person. I do want to use OS X for both of the machines, and the goal is to have my wife and I use this technology to increase our communication and better our lifestyle, without bogging down our time with useless tech. I truly feel that OS X will leave little-to-nothing tech-work (fixing...) for myself on my wife's Vostro.

So my question(s) for the community is, what/how would you propose using OS X and these little wireless bundles of joy to ease communication in a marriage / for college for a non-techie?

Shared Google account for GMail (billing email), Google Docs (again, bills and shopping lists) and Google Calendar (work schedules, meetings, bills due, etc). I have not tested, but will probably try the Google Docs/Calendar Offline packages, as well. I have already set this up and use it myself in conjunction with my iPhone (wife does not have iPhone).

I have looked at Evernote, but have never used it. Looks intriguing.

And of course Microsoft Office or Open Office (wife has had issues with Open not fully using what Microsoft can - college stuff - has this changed in the past year?).

Please let me know any recommendations on using this as some sort of minimalistic lifestyle tool. Ease-of-use is key.

And thanks for such a large amount of information on this forum.

Note on Hardware:
I have little to no desire of upgrading from the 16GB SSDs to anything larger. I am considering both SDHC and microSD+USB (those mini ones via and dealextreme) for additional storage / applications. I do already have 2GB RAM sticks coming in, and a Pink Dell Lid for the wife's (I haven't seen a guide for lid replacement, yet...).
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Kelvinyam Kelvinyam is offline
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Default 06-16-2009, 05:44 AM

I'm not sure if I understand your question fully.
I have been receiving "warnings" from my wife when I spend too much time in front of my PC in the study room, while my wife spent most of her time with my son in the bed room after work. I tried to spend time in the bed room with her, but I found myself getting bored because I simply have nothing to do. I spend most of my time after work browsing forums and websites like Engadget. And I can't do that in the bed room since I only have a desktop and I don't want to move it into our bedroom.
Thing has changed, in a good way, since I bought my Mini 12. I have a WiFi router in the study room, and now I could browse forums in the bed room, while communicating with my wife on what happened in her office and mine.
My second child was born few days ago and my wife is on maternity leave. She has asked to use my Mini 12 to check on emails while taking care of my junior in the bed room during day time.
Does OS matter? Not in my case. But having a wireless netbook that's light enough to be used on bed does help, a lot.

Mini 12 | Atom Z530 | Windows XP Home
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Witchboon Witchboon is offline
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Default 06-16-2009, 10:50 AM

More along the lines of Must-Have software/systems geared for things like:

Bills (due dates - how much paid - automatic notifications)
Personal Tracking (money/loans/bills - appointments - work related duties/appointments/reminders, etc)
Roommate/Spouse Communication
(work schedules - car maintenance - appointments, etc)
Pictures (shared - potentially hosted - more secure - personal FTP can be used, etc)

And any other routine life happenings you could think of.

Using Google Calendar, for example, seems to be the great option, thus far. Web-based; shared calendar; SMS/email notifications.

Things you couldn't live without, that isn't specific to you or your job. A graphic designer vs. coder; their work-related 'must haves' would be very different. Any software/system that can be web-based or have an online/LAN syncing capability could be a great suggestion. Lightweight and easy-to-manage on the go are some key principles I'd like to employ.
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Witchboon Witchboon is offline
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Default 06-17-2009, 10:10 AM

Maybe I'm wording it wrong...
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DELLsFan DELLsFan is offline
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Default 06-21-2009, 07:50 PM

I'll give it a shot.

Because your wife has a preference for MS Office, I would install the Win 7 RC on her Vostro. Because you may want or need to view AND edit any documents she generates in Office, go ahead and do the same.

Both of you would be fully functional for what you seem to need with any OS, but I am very impressed so far with Win 7 and think it will serve you both well.

Bills: Do your bill paying online via your bank's web site. Bank doesn't have bill paying service? Change banks. Need to manage your money / bills? Ms Money or Quicken can help.

Personal Tracking: Lots of ways to track and stay productive right from Office. Outlook is a great tool toward this end. Google docs, Calendar, Gmail, and a plethora of other apps are free for the trying at if you can't or don't want to work with Outlook. Be carerful and check your available disk space before going crazy on the app installs.

Roommate / Spousal Communication: eMail is your friend. Outlook is very useful in organizing email too. You may also want to consider the suite of utilities from Windows Live. Windows Live mail is a decent mail client as well. Instant messaging via any number of clients is available. AIM is a popular one. Yahoo messenger is another.

Pictures: Think Flickr or SmugMug. Wndows Live SkyDrive has free storage for other things as well.

Good luck! You'll both certainly love the A90's as much as I love mine!


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