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I started my career in New York City working for Laptop Magazine, and I loved my days at the publication because I had a ton of time to study the newest laptops and work with some of the best people in the industry who write about personal computers. I decided to pursue freelance opportunities in December of that year to focus more on mobile phones and ended up leaving for a site called Mobile Burn.

My problem, of course, was the personal laptop I owned was far outdated and I needed something affordable, yet powerful enough to allow me to write every day. I had the benefit of being able to use review units at Laptop Magazine for most of the time, so it was time to find a replacement.

I was on a tight budget, though, and needed to make sure that I was bringing in enough cash for rent and living expenses. The old laptop would have to do for the time being, but I put a netbook on my Christmas list. They were hot at the time and cost under $500. Joanna Stern, now a reporter for ABC, but a former colleague, suggested that I look into the Toshiba NB205. So I told my parents that would help me in my career endeavors.

Lo and hold, on Christmas morning I was greeted to a brand new Toshiba NB205, loaded up with Windows XP, a 10.1-inch screen, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. It ran on a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280 processor, which was enough for surfing the web, writing and even light photo editing for my daily news posts.

It was perfect, and it lasted me about a year and a half until I finally jumped on board full time at Mobile Burn and was greeted to a shiny new desktop. I would have struggled to support myself as a writer without the Toshiba NB205, and I loved that its keyboard was large enough for me to type quickly. It even had a VGA-out port that I used to hook up an external display on my desk. And I used the USB ports to add a mouse and keyboard. For all intents and purposes, it was a fully functioning PC. Plus, it was so light that I could toss it in a backpack and barely notice it was there.

I still have fond memories using the Toshiba NB205. It sits on the shelf of my desk and works just as well as the day I received it as a gift. It did get a small crack on the hinge between the screen and the keyboard, where a few wires show its old age, but it’s otherwise perfectly fine.

Someday I’ll boot it up and open a few of the articles I wrote years ago. I’m sure I still have a few old pictures and music saved on it, too.

Thanks Mom, it really was the best tech gift I ever received.