Pros and Cons of Netbooks


I mentioned the word ‘netbook’ in a post last week about Windows 7. Here it is in the BBC news again with a really detailled descriptions of the pros and cons (advantages and disadvantages) of netbooks.

The first expression that caught my eye in this article was in the fifth paragraph:

The firm’s Eee PC managed to buck the recession with increasing sales when sales of bigger laptops and desktop computers dropped off.

In this sense, ‘buck the recession’ means to defy the recession and continue selling well or even better than normal. An expression we see more often is to ‘buck a trend’ meaning to defy that trend or be different from the other people/organisations in that situation.

Another interesting phrasal verb in this paragraph is to ‘drop off‘, meaning the amount of sales has declined.

I mentioned in my previous description of netbooks that they ususally have slower processors and less storage than regular laptops and the BBC has a nice way of putting this:

High-performance processors are eschewed in favour of components that weigh less and use less battery power.

In this instance, to ‘eschew’ means to avoid something in favour of something else.

There’s a nice compound adjective later in the article where the version of Windows 7 intended for netbooks is describes as ‘stripped-down‘. This means anything unnecessary in it has been removed.

There’s a paragraph right down at the bottom of the article with three more great expressions in it:

However, Google is ratcheting up the competition by announcing it will launch a simple, fast-booting, web-centric operating system.

To ‘ratchet up’ usually means to tighten but in the example above, it means to increase the level of competition. Then we have ‘fast-booting’. To boot is when the operating system of a computer starts up so a computer that is ‘fast-booting’ can be turned on and ready to use very quickly.

The last expression for today is ‘web-centric’. The suffix ‘centric’ means interested in or focussed on so ‘web-centric’ is something that is intended mainly for use with the web (Internet).

Have a great weekend!

Today’s Image is by Steve Woods

Windows 7


Paving the way‘ made another appearance this week in this article I saw on cnet.com yesterday. I don’t really use windows unless I have to but this article and the comments underneath it made me want to at least try Windows 7 to see what it’s like. Maybe I’ll give it a go over the weekend.

There were loads of interesting expressions in this article, along with a lot of ‘geek speak‘ (computer jargon). The first word that caught my attention was in the second paragraph where the reviews of Windows Vista were described as ‘lukewarm‘. ‘Lukewarm’ is a slightly negative word we can use to describe a liquid which is a little bit warm. For example, if order a hot drink and it when it arrives it is only slightly warm, you can say it is ‘lukewarm’. If a review or response to something is ‘lukewarm’, it is not particularly excited or enthusiastic.

In the next paragraph, the author mentions a ‘deadline’, meaning the specific time a piece of work or a project has to be finished by:

In contrast to Vista, Windows 7 has been marked by the company consistently hitting its deadlines and receiving largely positive feedback along the way.

There is a great expression in the paragraph after that where Mike Angiulo is quoted as saying:

“That is our final engineering milestone in what has been a three-year journey,”

In this context, a ‘milestone’ is an important event in the three-year project he mentions. We can also have milestones in our lives or careers. The original meaning of the phrase is a kind of old-fashioned road sign that marked the distance to other important places. I guess if you think of life as a journey, milestones are markers along the way.

There’s a nice bit of geek-speak later on in the article where it is mentioned that the operating system would work well on ‘netbooks‘. A ‘netbook’ is a very small laptop where portability and minimal cost are usually more important than having a fast processor. I would like to buy one in the future, I think, because it would be ideal for blogging with.

The last expression I’d like to look at in this article is ‘end game’:

“When you are going through the end game, sometimes it is really bumpy; sometimes it is not,” (Mike Angiulo)

The ‘end game’ (sometimes spelled without a space) is the final or closing stages of a process. It’s also the last part of a chess game when the players don’t have many pieces left on the board.

Have you tried Windows 7 yet? If so, it is any good? If not, which operating system do you use and why?

Today’s image is by Peter Nielsen