Walt Mossberg

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Phones Without Internet


A possible Internet-free PDA substitute: Apple’s iPod Touch


I am a long time Palm PDA user. I want a more trim phone, with a larger screen, that will sync my personal data with my desktop.

I don’t need or want Internet access on my phone. Are there any options out there for me? It seems everything uses cloud storage.


Both the BlackBerry and the iPhone offer you the option of syncing your personal data over a cable to your PC or Mac, without sending the data wirelessly or over the Internet. Both phones do of course feature Internet access, such as email and browsing and apps, but you don’t have to use it, though you do have to pay for it.

A better option might be Apple’s iPod Touch, which has nearly all the features of the iPhone, including the cable-based synchronization option, but requires no monthly fee for the Internet access you don’t want to use. The Internet access is only over Wi-Fi.


I have an Asus Eee 1000HE netbook, with the Windows XP operating system. I would like to upgrade the operating system to the Windows 7 Starter Edition, which I understand is meant for netbooks and which I have on another netbook I own.

Can I do this? How? I don’t see Win 7 Starter offered for sale anywhere.


Microsoft isn’t selling the Windows 7 Starter Edition to U.S. consumers for self-installation. It is only being offered in the U.S. as a pre-installed feature of some netbooks. But, depending on the specs of your netbook, you might find that Windows 7 Home Premium would work.


Are there any limitations to the type of Windows programs that can run on a Mac using Apple’s Boot Camp software?


When a Mac is booted into Windows using Boot Camp, it becomes a 100% Windows computer. Unlike when you use a virtual machine utility like Parallels, with Boot Camp, the Mac operating system isn’t running at all.

Windows is in full control of the hardware, just as it would be on, say, a Dell or an Acer computer. Windows programs detect that they are running on just another Windows PC and behave accordingly. They don’t know it’s a Mac.

So, the main limitation I can imagine with Windows programs would be hardware limitations—whether the processor, memory, and graphics card in the Mac you’re using meets the software’s minimum requirements, and whether the hard disk space you’ve allotted for Windows is sufficient.

Those are the same questions that would apply on any other Windows PC. If the software requires a standard Windows USB keyboard or mouse instead of the ones Apple supplies, which are slightly different, you can buy these, plug them in, and they should work just as if you had plugged them into a standard PC.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox and my other columns, free, at the All Things Digital site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.

Write to Walter S. Mossberg at walt.mossberg@wsj.com

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