LB: most netbooks were not-great computers in several ways but everyone who made a point of shitting on them in 2009-10 was doing so out of some form of elitism that haunts the culture of computing today. Communicating, writing, and other simple tasks should be easily manageable on ubiquitous, ultra affordable machines today.

The idea that the ipad "saved" us from netbooks is bad ideology. Access to general purpose computing is an extremely important right and our culture will degenerate in many subtle and/or scary ways if it becomes rare.

@jplebreton i personally wish someone invented some modern replacement for html/css/js that took current ideas into account, and let people design stuff as quick and responsive as a desktop or mobile app while also being cross-platform and easy to work with.

@jplebreton I love netbooks. I mean, I could even play WoW on mine. 🤣

@jplebreton the Crostini-enabled Chromebooks are neat for this reason

on the one hand, yes, Google

on the other hand they're dirt cheap and with Crostini you don't even need to put them into dev mode to get mostly legit Linux

@jplebreton The great thing about netbooks is that the presence of the keyboard encourages you to contribute/create, even if it's only replies on social media, rather than passively consume (or like and share). The inconvenience of input on phones and tablets discourages replies.

The less great thing about netbooks is that you have to set them down on something to use the keyboard, whereas phones and tablets you can use standing up without a surface.

@gcupc 200% agree re: physical keyboard. The convenience of mobile is wonderful and empowering in its own way but having a place to sit and type means having a place to sit and think, and I see that as indicative of other human rights.

@jplebreton I agree!

However, a quibble of optimism: becoming relatively rare is not the same thing as becoming absolutely rare.

The latter would be a problem, the former maybe less so.

@jplebreton You are getting replies to this talking about how you can still get that if you just *do this thing* or saying that it isn't a problem until creative tools are hard to find in absolute terms when, no, computers are good because you can do things with them, not experience things made by others. That's reductive in a big way but the good parts of the internet are good because people have had access to powerful creative tools with as few barriers as there have ever been.

@jplebreton I did all my game design studies on an 11" windows netbook and it was the best computer I ever owned!
It was small, light, indestructible, the battery lasted almost all day, and I could toss it around not worried that it would break!

@jplebreton i love the pocket CHIP (though it kinda is impractical for many things)
what i’d like to see is more polished/practical “add your own raspberry pi” things.

@jplebreton pis have a lot of limitations, mostly when you compare against machines with high end GPUs. not much to be done there: all trade secrets in gpu land

@zensaiyuki yep, i'm hoping a newer generation Pi that finally upgrades the GPU (VC5 / VC6?) comes within the next year, that could unlock a lot of uses.

I was sad to discover recently that the company appears to have folded ☹️

@fraggle @jplebreton yeah I’m pretty broken up about it too. there was a clear vision and character in the pocket chip. usable out of the box. by comparison raspberry pi is not a focused product at all, leaving it mostly as a hobbyist curiosity

From a source in the supply chain, one of the big reasons why netbooks disappeared was that their existence was based on cheap. Cheap means very low margins, so that's why the industry were so happy for tablets, especially after ipad showed how much extra you could charge.

That said, these days the lower end of the laptop segment pretty much covers it. And chromebooks exist because G's profit margin is measured in snoops, not dollars.

@jplebreton I'm currently on an Intel Atom-powered, Samsung N220 "netbook" #computer I got second-hand from my brother (who almost wasn't using it) ca 10 yrs ago. It's my main "work" PC (i.e. I mostly just run browers and LibreOffice on it) as well as all-purpose laptop, and I don't want this to change. Over the years I've had to replace batteries several times and the battery charger once, no biggie. The *REAL* problem are software updates, always trying to limit functionality.

I literally learnt to code & make games on an Asus eeePC
I loved that little thing, it got me through college and landed me my first programming job

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