Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I Bought My Wife A Laptop

She has been using a 2002 era eMachines desktop for a long time, and the imminent XPocalypse (when Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP on April 8) combined with the slowness of it caused me to go look for a used Windows 7 notebook.  Windows 8 is like just hopeless -- and why spend a bunch of money for a brand new computer with an operating system that I can't stand?

Anyway, Windows 7 dual core notebooks are readily available and cheap around Boise.  I bought a Toshiba Portege for $100 and wow!  It is incredibly small -- so when we prepare the worship service (hymns, sermon notes, etc.) with OpenLP, instead of transferring it from her desktop to a Compaq NC6000 that I have, she will just do it here, and we'll take it with us.  This thing is just a bit larger than some tablet computers.  (Yes, it is 64 bit.)

She will use an external monitor and keyboard, so the relatively compact nature of the screen and keyboard will not be a problem -- but when we go on trips, this is perfect.  It is small enough to fit in her purse; it is open small enough fit in my large overcoat pocket.  And yet it still has a DVD drive in it.  What an incredibly nice piece of size engineering!  It seems to have a pretty decent battery as well.

I have been considering buying a quad core notebook for myself.  The HP DV5220 that I upgraded to Windows 7 works fine, but it is only a dual core system, and a quad core and about 8 GB of RAM would make it scream when doing video editing.  In addition, a newer system probably won't have the problem with not being able to reboot when the 4TB external hard drive is installed.

Oh yes, I am doing this blog on the Toshiba, while sitting in bed.  It is very light and convenient.


PhaseMargin said...

You need a pretty new machine to handle the 4TB drive. You'll need a UEFI system with a 64-bit OS and those have only become popular in the last couple of years.

Just wait until you try and make a UEFI system boot Windows 7 when there's a 4TB boot drive. It's a pretty fair amount of technical work compared to Linux where you put the drive in and it runs happily. And yes, I recently updated my boot drive, why do you ask?

Jim Horn said...

Would you mind mentioning what types of places have machines at the prices you mentioned? I'm facing updating my three circa-2005 laptops with Windows 7 at over $100 each. If a far more capable machine is available for that price, these will become Linux servers and be replaced for everyday use.

Many thanks, Clayton - and best to you always!

Clayton Cramer said...

Private party sales from I suspect that the large number of HP employees in the area means that there are a lot of used HP laptops for sale, depressing prices on the secondary market for other brands. The guy I bought this from had six Windows 7 laptops under $150. Some of them were 64-bit (like the one I bought); some had 1 GB of RAM, some 2 GB, some 2.5 GB. Obviously, there's some risk that you buy a used notebook and it gives up the ghost in a few weeks.