In the Forums...
Posted: September 8, 2003
Written By: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy
New Purposes / Suggestions For Notebooks
When I first bought my notebook, I had regrets. I mainly used it for taking notes in school and looking up web sites from my couch. I rarely have time for games anymore, and I generally found it only marginally more useful than my PC that cost only a fraction of its price. My attitude changed when I found things to keep me busy, so here are a few suggestions:
Wireless Networking: Wireless is an absolute MUST for a notebook user. Buy a wireless network adapter and an access point. You'll realize how great this tool is when you're sipping margaritas by the pool and chatting with buddies on your day off, checking recipes from the kitchen, or viewing the TV schedule from your living room. Wireless makes a notebook into a whole different type of tool and toy. It's absolutely badass!
Remote Desktop: Set up remote desktop on your PC so you can use your PC (to about 90% of its ability) from the other rooms in your house. Your monitor will never need to be turned on again, and your notebook might even last longer while stressing your desktop's CPU instead of its own. While I don't have the room to go into this here, I will be writing a guide on this topic soon. A quick search on Google might give you the information you need...
Video/Audio Output: Most notebooks include a video output jack (such as S-video) and audio output jack. These can be used to further enhance your home entertainment center. I use my notebook as an MP3 player or I use LaunchCast to set up customized radio stations that I play through my stereo system. I also use the notebook to play games on the TV screen (w/ external keyboard and mouse generally).
Wardriving: Wardriving is a technique used to acquire free Internet from public access points. Whether or not these access points are intentionally public, you can use the wireless network to gain Internet access through a wireless network adapter. All you really need is a wardriving application and a set of legs to be an effective wardriving machine. There are many such applications and instructional guides online - check Google for more information. I may write a detailed guide on this topic at a later time as well.
An external antenna helps a bit. ;)
While this is the first edition of our notebook tweak guide, you can rest assured that as we uncover and realize more tweaks, we'll include them here with frequent updates. As always, thanks for the great feedback and thanks for reading. I hope your mobile experience is more enjoyable than before thanks to this bit.