Why Waste Time on the Libretto Anyways?

Posted 2006.10.30 1.00 in Computers/Internet/Technology

The question comes up now and then. I’ve been spending a lot of time and energy on my Libretto. Even spent a bit of money, on some new hardware. Mostly though, a lot of time has gone into it, to find the right Linux, get it installed, configured, get things working just the way I like them.

But why?

I have a perfectly good laptop already. I have an Apple Powerbook G4, with a big 15″ screen, 60GB hard drive, dvd drive, a gig of RAM, and a fast, beautiful operating system. So why spend so much effort on an eight year old laptop with a tiny screen and limited functionality?

Because to me, the single most important feature of a portable computer is…portability!

The 15″ Powerbook is a beautiful, powerful computer. But it weighs over 5 pounds, and 15″ is huge! If I want a big powerful computer, I sit at my desk. My dual-head iMac system is the best most powerful system I’ve ever used, hands down, bar none. It’s impossible to reproduce that kind of functionality in a laptop, so why try? These laptops with the 15″ screens, the 17″ widescreens, I can’t understand. Ok I could understand if you used the laptop as your desktop system.

When I switched to Macintosh, I tried linux on the Libretto for a while, but in those days, Linux wasn’t as advanced as it is now, and there were too many sacrifices. When I first retired the Libretto, I switched to an iBook with a 12″ screen (the curvy green plastic clamshell one.) Then I sold that and got a G4 iBook, another 12″ because that’s the smallest they had. Then when I sold that and upgraded to the Powerbook, the smallest one that had the features I wanted, was the 15″.

I’ve had it for less than a year…Bought it in February or March I think. And it’s just too big and too heavy. When the Libretto got freed of its lame little DOS task at the office a couple weeks ago, I brought it home, stared at it for a few minutes, and then got to work at it. It’s still not 100% where I want it, but it’s doing the job. In another week or two, when some hardware I ordered comes in, I think the Libretto will be my ‘new’ laptop all over again.

In the meantime, I haven’t turned on the Powerbook in over a week. And at this rate, the next time I turn it on, it will only be to transfer some files off of it, before shelving it – or preparing it for resale.

Why, oh why, won’t Apple make a sub-mini Macbook? Sure it’s niche, but for those of us who value portability, it would fill a definite void in the Macintosh line.

Libretto sitting on 15-inch Powerbook
Libretto sitting on 15-inch Powerbook

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