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Author Topic: Thoughts about laptops wanted.  (Read 18476 times)

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Susan August

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2006, 08:00:25 PM »

Yes...it's so much fun to carry my laptop around...so light, like a toy!  So, if I want to write in my PJs in bed, I can just prop the coputer on my knees.   ::)  We just went wireless, too.  So, next summer, I'll be able to sit on the deck and still have internet access.  Aaah, sounds so nice as the temperature drops here.

Susan
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Lance Charnes

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2006, 03:58:41 PM »

I have a Dell Inspiron that's been a workhorse for 2+ years, now.

Two things I'd do differently:
1. More USB ports. Everything uses them now, two just isn't enough.
2. CD-R/W. I got my laptop from Dell's scratch-and-dent section, so it came the way it was, no customization.

Always get built-in Wi-Fi. My Dell has a Centrino chipset, but there are other approaches. With hotspots and wireless networking becoming like pay phones used to be, there's no point in not getting it, or spending extra bucks for a PC-Card-based wireless LAN solution.

If you absolutely have to choose between hard drive capacity and memory, go for memory. You can work around a smaller hard drive; there's nothing you can do about a memory-challenged laptop.

If you're going to pack your laptop around, invest in a good case and especially a good strap (may not come as a package).
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Dave Freas

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2006, 05:21:19 PM »


Two things I'd do differently:
1. More USB ports. Everything uses them now, two just isn't enough.

And you can get around that by picking up one of those things (can't think of the proper name for it) that's like an extension cord for USB ports--has a USB plug on one end and a block of 4 (or more) USB ports on the other.  I have one on my list for Santa.

Dave
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Susan August

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2006, 08:27:27 PM »

It's a USB Hub.  I have 2 of them 'daisy-chained' on my laptop(12 total ports), even though I have 3 USB ports built-in!  When I travel, 3 ports are more than enough, but we've got a lot of 'stuff' connected at home.

Susan
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Dave Freas

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2006, 08:35:57 PM »

Yes!  USB hub.  That's it!

Pardon my previous brain cramp.

Dave
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Susan August

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2006, 11:18:02 PM »

Hope you find it under your tree at the holidays, Dave.
 ;D

Susan
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Charles King

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2006, 03:16:41 PM »

I've owned three laptops, but have worked with several models--all pc versions. I have a strong bias against Compaqs. Sony, if you can swing the price tag is very good. Tobisiba is the brand I use and I have few complaints about them. Here are some tips though for buying and owning a laptop.

Many new models don't have an A-Drive, make sure yours does. This is important because if you go on vacation, or have an older desktop, you won't be able to transfer files via the CD-RW drives unless you upgrade the older unit.

Someone else said they use the laptop only for writing. I second this: A) because you can buy a far cheaper model if your needs are small, and B) keeping it off line will increase the life of the machine.

Batteries. Once you charge the battery, always take it out and put it back in only when you're working at a remote location. This will increase the life the battery because if you leave it in the machine(even when it's off) the battery will continue to drain, and become less and less effective faster. Too, with the money you save on buying a laptop you're only going to use for writing, buy an extra battery. I recommend buying them online because generally you'll save $ on the tax-free.

A good site to check out for all these things is: http://www.tigerdirect.com
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Susan August

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2006, 03:42:39 PM »

Charles,
Can't really agree with you on the a: drive issue.  It just adds to the weight/size of the laptop.  I don't think I've used a diskette drive for at least 5 years, even on my desktop.  The new portable jump drives or USB drives are so cheap and handy that the diskette is pretty much history.  And a diskette is often too small to hold even one file if there are some graphics included.  I also didn't buy the CD-RW....too slow for me for back-ups, and when I need one to install software, I just connect through my router to the one on my husband's desktop...very neat trick that saved me money on the purchase.

I leave my battery in simply because it's annoying to remove it.  It is a good idea to have a backup battery, but I didn't buy one yet, since I usually can find an outlet to connect.  If I were on airlines a lot, as I once was, I would definitely get the extra battery.

Susan
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Elena

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2006, 08:48:55 PM »

Thank you for your thoughts Charles, I have already converted all my diskettes to CD's.  Whether or not they are readable is unknown to me at this time, but my idea for a lap top is for new writing, not my old stuff.  And, definitely I just want it just for writing - my Mac is fine for internet access.

So, what would be your suggestions for a stable DC 3 type laptop?  Still the expensive Sony?  I agree with you about Compaq.

Susan, could you explain what you mean by a router?  Is this something that might work with my Mac?

Thanks everyone - I'm paying the price for not keeping up with technology - sigh, :-\
Elena
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Jonathon

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2006, 05:23:33 AM »


The exception is the touch pad.  I have big hands and I'm forever stroking the thing by accident with the fleshy pad at the base of my thumb and making very weird things happen.  Thank God for the undo icon!!.

Just my 2/100 of a dollar.

Dave

I finally got my second hand Acer working.  It turned out the words that jumped to different lines as I typed was caused by a loose connection between the keyboard and motherboard.  I still have odd happenings like new documents popping up when I know I haven't hit Control N, but further investigation showed that was caused when I brushed the touch pad when my cursor had drifted down to the bottom task bar thingie (near start) so I was opening new Word documents.  Now that I carefully place the cursor up in the top, I can type without problems.

I don't know if being mindful of your cursor will help you, Dave, but you might want to give it a shot.

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Susan August

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2006, 10:13:13 AM »

On routers:

Just to provide context so you understand the role of the router, we are connected to the internet by a cable modem.  If you have DSL, then you would have a DSL modem, so essentially it's the same.  Then, we connect a router to the modem, which allows us to connect multiple computers to the modem, so everyone in the house can be on the internet at the same time.  In our case, that used to mean that everyone had to plug in to the router, until recently when I switched to a wireless router.   You can think of it as providing the "route" for signals to go out to multiple places, though it is pronounced like "out", not like "root".

Now, once you have the router with everybody attached (wireless or wired), you can create a home network.  This means that I can work on my computer, but I still have access to everything on my husband's or daughters' computers, as long as they give me permission.  So, we can share printers, our scanner, CD and DVD drives and even specific files.  And now that we are wireless, I can send something to print from my deck or bedroom and it will print on the printer in our study.  If my husband wants some help with a document he created, since I'm the graphics guru at home, he just marks the file to give me permission to edit it.  Then I can make the changes for him without ever taking it off his computer.

And the neat thing is that this wireless router I just bought cost only $40.  You can spend a lot more, but this seems to work just fine.  If you have only one computer, of course, it is not of any use, but it sure beats buying a new printer and additional CD or DVD drives for each computer.

Hope that helps explain things a bit.

Susan
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Elena

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2006, 08:49:40 PM »

Thank you, all is clear - it's like setting up your own network at home.  You're right, there's just one of me, the cats haven't taken to using the computers yet, so my mind wasn't going that way.

And, after taking notes on all the good wisdom everyone gave me, and doing some other researching on the topic, headed for the local computer shop today and promptly fell in love with an iMac.  Sigh - living with me can be a challenge!

Elena
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Michele Viney

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2006, 05:41:53 AM »

Elena

So happy that you found a computer that you fell in love with. I too had an iMac and loved it, even though it was bright green! ::)

I only moved to using a laptop when it became obvious that as part of my job I would have to be more mobile. Although I know a First Assistant Director who used to lug his iMac with him on jobs. As long as there was a power source he was happy :o

May you have long and happy hours writing on your new computer.

Michele
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Susan August

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2006, 07:36:08 AM »

Congrats, Elena.  The important thing is that you found what you wanted and it sounds like you have.  BTW, our cats are very avid computer-philes.  They pounce on keyboards at inappropriate moments and sleep behind my monitor, where they have a window view.  In the days before thin screens, they sometimes climbed on top of the monitor and chased the mouse on the screen.   :) :) :) :)

Susan
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Alice

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Re: Thoughts about laptops wanted.
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2006, 10:40:42 AM »

Susan,

Your beautifully clear explanation for Elena solved some lingering questions for me.  Thank you!
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