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#216441 - 07/27/04 08:47 PM I wanna get a laptop
BBoyd Offline
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BBoyd
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I'm trying to decide if I want a laptop at home and need some input. I currently have an eMachine (PC), and it runs okay, but I have a laptop in my office and love the portability of it. I'm wondering if any of you have home laptops, the pro's and con's of it and so forth. I primarily use the computer for emails and maybe saving music CD's and pictures from disk. I do use MS Word and Excel some, as well as Publisher.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Things I should keep in mind/consider? Or should I just stick w/my eMachine?

Thanks!
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#216442 - 07/27/04 08:48 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Bengals Fan Offline
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Quote:

I'm trying to decide if I want a laptop at home and need some input. I currently have an eMachine (PC), and it runs okay, but I have a laptop in my office and love the portability of it. I'm wondering if any of you have home laptops, the pro's and con's of it and so forth. I primarily use the computer for emails and maybe saving music CD's and pictures from disk. I do use MS Word and Excel some, as well as Publisher.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Things I should keep in mind/consider? Or should I just stick w/my eMachine?

Thanks!



Do you move your computer at home?

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#216443 - 07/27/04 08:49 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Tink Offline
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Are you planning to get, or do you already have, wireless internet?

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#216444 - 07/27/04 08:59 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
BBoyd Offline
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In answer to the first 2 questions, no, I don't move my PC at home (would love to, but it's rather bulky) and yes, I have thought about the wireless aspect. I know Dell seems to have some awesome deals, but as I looked at their site and started adding the things I already had just to see the cost - it doubled! I'm relatively ignorant about some of the bits and bytes, so I'm sure that doesn't help. I'm also used to floppies, and I understand there's new technology for saving and storing information (and no, I don't mean CD...
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#216445 - 07/27/04 09:01 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
GreatBlue Offline
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I just moved from a desktop to a laptop at home. I also purchased a port replicator, so when I'd rather just sit at my desk and use my regular keyboard, mouse and monitor, I can do that. So far, so good.
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#216446 - 07/27/04 10:19 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
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When my home desktop committed suicide I opted for a laptop and it's the best money I've spent. I sat down and figured out what I wanted to use it for, both personal and business, and then had an IT guy at work help me with upgrading memory, etc. so that it would function the way I expected. The upgrades will boost the price but it's well worth it.
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#216447 - 07/28/04 12:23 AM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Andy_Z Offline
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You say music and video/pictures. If you are saving them this way, get a big hard drive. You can do more upgrading on a desktop than on a laptop.

That said, I have two desktops that I use daily at home and a laptop. I do have a wireless LAN and I do use it from the backyard. Love it.

If money is an object of consequence, you'll go farther with a desktop and a nice big monitor. If you want the ease of going from home office to living room to bedroom, a laptop is the only way to go.

If you do get a laptop, learn from my experience. I bought a nice Sony VAIO. When I opened it from the box, I discovered the power supply was HUGE, as big or bigger than a brick. If portability matters and you know the battery won't last as long as you will, or if weight matters, look at the whole package first.
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#216448 - 07/28/04 02:44 AM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Pale Rider Offline
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This is of probably no consequence to your decision, but if you or your kids ever want to play games, especially online, the miniturized components found in laptops are not the best. My college age son found this out to his detriment and he got the top of the line system from Alien (which is the company for laptop gaming systems). I also second Andy's comment on upgrading, it is not easy with a laptop.
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#216449 - 07/28/04 04:12 AM Re: I wanna get a laptop
CRAatBOK Offline

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Further South than I wanna be.
I finally broke down and bought a lap top. I have an E-Machine with a Microsoft router and Roadrunner. All my stuff is down stairs and the computer is upstairs. I even got a wireless mouse. I feel like Pinnocchio (no strings).
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#216450 - 07/28/04 01:21 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Chi Offline
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Posts: 606
New England
Quote:

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Things I should keep in mind/consider? Or should I just stick w/my eMachine?




Looking at the list of things you do with a computer, a laptop will suit you well. A modern laptop can easily handle the demands you will place upon it by running those applications.

The great thing about home networking (especially Wireless) is that even though you have a laptop, you are still afforded all of the luxuries of having a desktop. You can set up a printer to work off the wireless network. No worries there. In terms of harddrive capacity, I would recommend picking up a networking harddrive. Basically it's a harddrive that sits on your network and you can upload data to the harddrive without slowing your laptop's harddrive and bogging down its performance.

As for storage, I would recommend a USB Flash Drive. They are MUCH more reliable than floppy disks and they also read/write faster. Simply plug it in to a USB drive and the computer recognizes it as a drive. They're also smaller than floppies and fit on your keychain.

Because it seems you're not a overly demanding user on your machine, I think a laptop coupled with some networking solutions will suit you just fine. Think of the joy you will have sitting in your backyard, listening to some tunes, sipping on a drink (preferably with an umbrella in it), and laughing at the silly political debates here on Bankers Online.

Now, if I only can get WiFi here at my office. (Regulators will never let that happen).
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#216451 - 07/28/04 02:18 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Andy_Z Offline
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Mark, as an "IT guy", I'm sure you know what risks you face with a wireless in the office. I always thought it would be kewl to call the IT supervisor and just tell him "you were wrong, I picked up a $40 wireless router, hooked it up to my office PC and I can use my laptop in the entire department. It even reaches the drive-ups outside".

Back to the laptop, whenever someone is making this consideration I would urge them to think of what they do now, and what they may want to do. I never had hard drive space issues, until I got my iPod and started taking digital photos. Now I see myself growing thin on space and need to consider alternatives. So when you have this faster better computer, what else might you want to do with it, and factor that into your decision. This might still be a laptop, just a bigger one. The compromise is, get both!
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#216452 - 07/28/04 02:28 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
BBoyd Offline
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Quote:

Because it seems you're not a overly demanding user on your machine, I think a laptop coupled with some networking solutions will suit you just fine. Think of the joy you will have sitting in your backyard, listening to some tunes, sipping on a drink (preferably with an umbrella in it), and laughing at the silly political debates here on Bankers Online.




I think that's what I had in mind - the flexibility of it and ability to take it wherever I want (and still have my umbrella drink!)! I got spoiled with my work laptop, and now I want the best of both worlds. I even considered a Blackberry or other mobile email deal (since that's what I probably use the most) but realized I also needed the ability to do other word processing type things.

I'm finding it interesting in my quest that the new Dells come with WordPerfect and not MS Word....I didn't realize anyone still used WP (now that will start a whole new debate!)

Thank you all for your insight and input -- now for the final shopping spree! Anyone want to recommend make and model? I'm looking in the under-$1000 range if possible (maybe up to $1500) and so far am leaning toward a Dell 1150 or 1000.... I'm a little confused about the swappable drives - I have 'em here at work, but it looks like not all come with one. I have a lot of stuff on floppy that I'd have to somehow change over to the little USB version if need be.... Questions, questions....!!
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#216453 - 07/28/04 02:36 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Chi Offline
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Posts: 606
New England
Quote:

Mark, as an "IT guy", I'm sure you know what risks you face with a wireless in the office.




There was an interesting article I read on slashdot a few weeks ago that discussed the new trend of "war dialing" with wireless networks. Basically, hackers / crackers have developed a way of marking businesses with chalk (in code) so that proper network setting can be configured and anyone with a laptop that is WiFi enabled can successfully login to the system. Scary stuff.

Quote:

This might still be a laptop, just a bigger one. The compromise is, get both!




I only disagree with you Z, because laptop components are generally more expensive, and nearly impossible to upgrade. Network storage is more economical than trying to get the biggest harddrive for your laptop. I would rather sink more money into RAM, or a model with a bigger monitor before I opted for more harddrive space.

With network storage, you can place all of your MP3s and Pictures on a network storage drive and not have to keep them on your laptop and bog down the harddrive. You can still use the laptop as a medium for transferring MP3s and pictures to / from digital devices such as cameras and MP3 players. Network storage is also more modular, so if you run out of space, you can always add more.

Just my take though.
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#216454 - 07/28/04 02:46 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Chi Offline
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New England
Quote:

I'm a little confused about the swappable drives - I have 'em here at work, but it looks like not all come with one.




Boyd, I'm looking at the 1150 right now. There is a fixed DVD Drive that is upgradeable to a DVD Burner / CD-R/W Burner. Depending on what kind of media you are creating, I think you want a drive that can burn CDs.

There is an optional USB Floppy Drive. Since you use Floppies, I would recommend getting it. The Floppy Drive will plug into one of the two USB ports on the computer, and you'll be able to use Floppy Disks and transfer the data over to a USB Memory Stick if you would like to.

Seems like you can upgrade to a 40GB harddrive for not that much cost, I would recommend going with that. Wireless Networking comes free and standard on the system.
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#216455 - 07/28/04 02:46 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
D2Xs Offline
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I have the Dell 1150. I bumped up the RAM to 512mb. If you are going to do anything with photos I highly recommend it. I load a 1GB compact flash card to my laptop in about 10 minutes (maybe a little less). Then I burn it to CD and put it on my desktop pc for editing and remove it from the laptop. I only have 30GB hard drive and shooting 400, 9MB photos and putting them on the laptop takes a lot of room. If you don't have the cash now to upgrade to the higher memory another option is to eventually purchase an external hard drive. I purchaes a 120GB to store all of my photos. For me it will only last about 3 months before it is full but for the averager shooter who shoots in Fine JPEG it will last years before filling up.

If you don't need it for photos then the 30GB should be enough. I have never had any problems with my Dell. I like it. I even dropped it once and nothing happened. I noticed on Dells website if you need for a small cost (I think $20 or so) you can get a floppy drive that connects to your USB. That way you could still have your floppies. When you check out Dells website look at it everyday for about 2-3 weeks. They offer specials all the time and they rotate them. Some times it is free shipping. Some times extra RAM. Keep looking for the deal that you want.
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#216456 - 07/28/04 04:38 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
BBoyd Offline
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You know, that's what I love about this site! You all have been VERY helpful! Thanks so much!!!

And happy "hump" day -- it's Wednesday!
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#216457 - 07/28/04 05:12 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Anonymous
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AVOID HP/COMPAQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#216458 - 07/28/04 06:09 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
BBoyd Offline
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Gee...tell me how you REALLY feel!! I've heard they're not the best. My work laptop is a Dell, so I'm leanin' that way - and I appreciate the suggestion to keep my eyes on their site. I tend to jump in a little too soon, and end up missing the better deals.
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#216459 - 07/29/04 12:51 AM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Andy_Z Offline
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Admittedly I am not that familiar with network drives and while they sound good, when you take your laptop to a park, a relatives home or on the road, you are without that data unless you log on to it on the Net, correct? My problem is, I want it all and I want it when I need it.
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#216460 - 07/29/04 01:25 AM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Princess Romeo Offline

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Quote:

AVOID HP/COMPAQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Amen to that!!!!

I finally dumped my pathetic HP Pavilion (loaded with Windows ME no less!!! gggrrrr......) and am now happily running a CL Stewart original.

Okay - my brother built it because he was so disgusted with most of the prepackaged "cra%" as he put it, that just to prove how worthless most commercial machines were, he built his own for less than $1,000. It's bigger and faster with more features than any commercial machine for twice the money.

I was never so happy than the day I gave that HP the boot out the door.
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#216461 - 07/29/04 04:56 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Chi Offline
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Chi
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Posts: 606
New England
Quote:

when you take your laptop to a park, a relatives home or on the road, you are without that data unless you log on to it on the Net, correct? My problem is, I want it all and I want it when I need it.




With network storage, you can configure everything on your network to be accessible anywhere. So, even though you're at the park and your pictures are on your home network, you can still access them (albeit not as fast depending on signal strength).

A large harddrive with everything on it provides extra security, as you do not need to open your home network to remote access; however, with a decent firewall (usually built into most routers these days) the security risk is negligible.
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#216462 - 07/29/04 05:03 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Poopzilla Offline
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varies... tha world!
just make sure to change your routers admin name and password. I can't tell ya how many times I've been wardriving and found multiple open networks in only a few blocks of where I live.... not that I condone that type of behavior, but it IS fascinating to see how many people leave their stuff out for everyone to see. After that, routers are very secure, just stay on top of the program patches available at the manufacturers web site. Also, don't use Internet explorer... switch to Firefox/Mozilla or Netscape.

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#216463 - 07/29/04 05:15 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Andy_Z Offline
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This assumes you have an Internet connection. Often I do not as it isn't cost justified and my town isn't very wired.

Ditto on the security issues, broadcasting your SSID, etc. But we digress from the original question. Have you decided yet what you'll get?
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#216464 - 07/29/04 05:39 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
BBoyd Offline
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I'm still looking, and am now considering a refurbished 1150. They've got a great deal going right now, but they'll probably have a great one next week, too....

I hate this pressure (on myself!!).
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#216465 - 07/29/04 09:09 PM Re: I wanna get a laptop
Andy_Z Offline
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I bought two refurbished models when they had the Dell Factory Outlet in Austin. (I like seeing and touching.) Both were great and priced right. I had no problems. If you go that route, I hope you'll enjoy the same experience.
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