Who should Mac-ifyPart 5: How to decide if you should install the Mac OS on a PC netbook

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Now that you've read about how I mac-ified my HP Mini netbook, and how much I love the results, you may be wondering whether a mac-ified netbook is for you. Here's my quick rundown of who should (or shouldn't) try this at home.

Don't consider Macifying a netbook if...

  • You're only going to have one computer. A netbook is too small and underpowered to be a primary computer. If you are only going to have one computer,  and you need it to be ultra-portable, the Macbook Air may still be the best way to go -- especially if you can live without the processor power and hard drive room you get with a "real" Macbook.
  • You run Windows on your primary computer. Just as I found it frustrating to use a satellite Windows netbook when my primary computer was a Mac, you'll find it annoying to keep a Mac netbook harmonized with a Windows machine.
  • You hate messing around with your computer. You don't have to be a programmer or a hacker (I'm not!) to do this, but you do have to be the kind of person who feels comfortable with computers and isn't freaked out by the idea of doing something a little challenging.
  • You have body image issues. A tiny computer makes you look bigger.
  • You are under consideration for a Cabinet or White House staff position. Technically, this whole thing is against the licensing agreement you accept when you install the Mac OS. I'd hate you see you whip out your netbook during your confirmation hearings, only to get busted for your illegal OS install.

Do consider Macifying a netbook if...

  • You're buying a new computer, and can't afford a Mac. If price has been the factor that has kept you from getting a portable Mac, there's now an option.
  • You're a Mac user looking for a lightweight satellite computer, but you also want to have money to spend on banana yellow patent leather shoes. The netbook is a fantastic, economical option. And you can use MobileMe and DropBox to ensure that your netbook doesn't just start out as a twin to your primary Mac, but stays continuously in sync.
  • You're an iPhone user or a user of multiple Macs. If you've already developed a system for keeping your iPhone in sync with your desktop or Macbook, or for keeping your Macs in sync with each other, getting your netbook coordinated with your primary mac will be a breeze.
  • You just bought a really fantastic handbag that won't fit a MacBook Air. Some people would spend $1500 on a computer; others on a Louis Vuitton. If you've gone the leather-and-buckle route, you can use your spare change to buy a netbook that is small enough to fit in your purse (just be sure to protect it with a padded sleeve before you drop it in alongside your keys and nail file).

Getting serious about this option? Read on to find out when to give mac-ification a try. >>

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