Get Your Laptop/Netbook Ready for Back to School

About: I like photography and computers... thats about it. Im hungry :/

I am going into Grade 9 next year, and it is also the first year I am taking my netbook with me.
I made this so I can show you what software does what it needs to, and still loads quickly on my netbook. (Intel Atom 1.66GHz... kind of slow)

Step 1: Word Processing

Most Windows laptops come with a 60-Day Trial of Microsoft Office... 60-Day LIMITED Trial. And after that Trial is done... well most people don't want to pay for it, you have three options, Be a Pirate (not recommended), use WordPad, or download
I would suggest OpenOffice as you get Writer (Word Processing), Draw (Drawing), Base (Database Software), Calc (Spreadsheets) and Impress (Slideshows).
You can download OpenOffice from here ( )

Step 2: Web Browsing

Internet Explorer that comes with All PCs.... well it works, but it is not as fast or as customizable as some others. Two I have tried on my netbook that run very fast are Opera 11.50 and Google Chrome.
Download Google Chrome here ( )
Download Opera here ( )
And as you can see in the first photo, Google Chrome can be 'skinned' to fit your desktop or personality ( )

Step 3: Email Client

Most people have web-based emails now, such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Rogers Yahoo!. But if you have many email addresses or simply want to check your email from your desktop you can use an application such as Mozilla Thunderbird. Thunderbird supports IMAP and POP3 email providers (most email providers) and can be used to check RSS feeds aswell.
Download Mozilla Thunderbird here ( )

Step 4: Personalization

If you have Windows 7 Starter you know all about the limitations of it, and customizing it. Luckly, its and their Personalization Panel to the rescue. With Personalization Panel you can change the boring Windows default wallpaper, to your own. (It says you can change the theme in windows 7 starter... that feature does not work for me)
Download Personalization Panel here ( )

Some people would want to change the login screen on their systems, now you can! Logon Changer does it for you, just select a jpg, bmp, png etc. and youre done!
Download Logon Changer here ( )

Step 5: More Coming :)

I will add more software and tweaks as I test them, until then, bye :)



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    16 Discussions


    2 years ago

    This is GREAT tutorial. As a person who is going into grade 12 and who used his free garbage-picked netbook throughout high school, I would like to make some suggestions:

    I am running a small version of Linux called Porteus. It takes some getting used to, but it runs fast (much faster than Windows), improves battery life, and runs everything, even games. You can even build your own personalized install image so you can chose what it comes with.

    Also, LibreOffice is a great alternative to Microsoft Office and OpenOffice and it is open source and free.

    And finally, for the love of God, get some computer tech knowledge and upgrade your netbook. Is definitely worth the effort.


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 4

    Heh I completely forgot about this 'ible... xD Anyways, Picture 2 is here and Picture 3 is here :)


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 4

    Your Link for the windows pers panel is broken
    but thanks!!


    5 years ago on Step 5

    I would use VLC Media player for, Well media of course!


    6 years ago on Step 2

    Firefox runs the best on my netbook with windows 8. chrome lags like hell.


    I like the login tweak, pretty cool. I have to use Microsoft office to get stuff done for my collage. I also notice you are using Fences by stardock, just saying you might want to mention it in this instructable someone may like it. I would also recommend a .zip packager maybe 7-zip. Other then that, it is a good instructable.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It should be noted that some colleges don't accept documents written in Open Source software (what a shame). The online collage my mom is attending stated that on their website. Also, some college websites and FASFA don't support Chrome (is it just me, or do you think the US education system is against Open Source?), but there is a plug in that spoofs the IE client so you can get around that. Also, in my own experience, if you have an email that the school assigns to you, ask your IT department about linking your mail through an email software. Other than those things (which are more for college, so you probably didn't know about it, which is fine), this is a very good instructable. To be honest, I was lured in by the picture of Miku in the thumbnail lol.