Living with Win7 Starter Edition

18 Jun 2011
June 18, 2011

Toshiba NB255 NetbookSeveral weeks ago I received a little Toshiba netbook (model NB255). Last year’s model, but sporting the dual-core Atom N455 processor, 250 GB drive — and I upgraded the RAM to 2 GB before even leaving the store. Stunning how many netbooks with 1GB RAM that can’t be upgraded! It also has the 6 cell battery and I’ve ran it for almost 6 hours on a single charge.

I absolutely adore this thing.

I really do. It goes everywhere with me now; I leave all my other “klunky” laptops on their desks now. It is easy to type on, light-weight and I find that I can very easily adapt to the lower 1024×600 resolution when on the go.

I’m still running the Windows 7 Starter edition that it came with (and dual-booting Linux of course). Generally that is fine, but there are a few minor annoyances. However, it certainly gets the job done.

For instance, not being able to change the wallpaper shouldn’t be a big deal, right? But it drove me nuts – mostly because the default is just plain and boring. I found many options and hacks on how to set your own wallpaper and settled on StarterBackgroundChanger. Great little utility that, among other things, lets me setup wallpaper slideshows and such. Highly recommended. Now I’d love to figure out a way to get it to pull pics from a feed like the Bing Dynamic Theme does.

And you know what? Upon reflection that’s really the only thing I “hacked” about Starter edition.

One more beef though: Considering how many IT pros have netbooks (and no, I can’t quantify that statement at all), I was rather disappointed to learn that I can’t install the Remote Server Administration Tools with Win7 Starter Edition. That problem is solved with an “Anytime Upgrade” up to Windows 7 Professional. Granted, that’s $120 which is half of what I paid for this thing! Not gonna happen. I’d install a MSDN version of Pro first :-p

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