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Old 04-05-2008, 06:34 AM   #1
George
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Default Coffee Shop Laptop

I have never owned a laptop. But maybe I should try one just for revising stuff I write at coffee shops. So I was looking on e-bay at used ones. I think, maybe, the Centrino is nice. Maybe, it's too much for what I will use it for.

So can anyone give me some advice. Like I have to check out the battery to see how much it's used or something. And the keyboard has to be fairly big, I guess. And the monitor. I don't know.

Also maybe at times I'll connect it to a digital projector...who knows. I might get to like the thing for different purposes, or I might hate it and never use it. But I think I'm at the point that it would be real good for revising at coffee shops. I write a lot with coffee and rolls and a different atmosphere.

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Old 04-05-2008, 06:39 AM   #2
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Considering how many questions you have about whether a laptop would be useful for you (or how), why don’t you rent one for a month.

I did that several years ago before I bought my first laptop. Like you, I wasn”t sure how I would use it, so I took a trial run. It was relatively expensive (more than one month’s cost of ownership), but the renter set it up to my requirements, and it did let me test it out.

   
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Old 04-05-2008, 07:37 AM   #3
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why don’t you rent one for a month.
That's interesting. I never thought of that. I don't know, maybe.

But how do you like using a laptop? Do you find it useful?

When it was first suggested to me a long time ago to use a laptop, and I looked at them, I thought it was insane. But now that computers have influenced how I write so much... well, it's starting to make sense, and they are bigger now.

But I do a lot of stuff from the gut. There's a time for logic, and there are times thinking too much gets in the way. But then, one has to know the times....

Hmm---
Rent one...??...??....who knows...

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Old 04-05-2008, 08:32 AM   #4
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To tell the truth, although I have owned three portables (as well as that rental), I have never really adapted to them. Most of the issues have to do with ease or use or comfort, like these:

I have short arms, and laptop keyboards are often several inches back (to accommodate the navigational device, usually). It is tiring to hold my arms straight in order to use the built-in keyboard.

Besides, I am normally a fast touch-typist, and like a standard keyboard. So I use a separate wireless keyboard. Not in and of itself a big deal, but extra stuff.

I also prefer a mouse to the stroke pads now common on laptaps; so I also use a wireless mouse. Also not a big deal, but more stuff to shlep, keep track of, etc.

When I am in the house I plug the laptop in (more stuff, but you would want to keep it handy anyway), so the possibility that the battery will expire is unlikely. But when I was a traveling woman, I had to carry a battery recharger and, later, a second battery. More stuff, and some anxiety about how long the battery would last, timing the recharging, and so on.

Now the laptop sits in the dining room. In theory, Jack uses it to comment on his wines and I post checks as I write them, something I usually do on the dining room table. But in reality, we mostly use it for browsing or other ordinary computer functions.

None of those problems may affect you, of course. But a rental (or borrowing) period might give you some ideas.

BTY: I have many friends who basically have no desktop computer any more, who do almost everything on laptops. One friend travels with two of them. After all, a well-set-up 17-inch laptop with a large-capacity hard drive is better than most computers any of us owned until a couple of years ago.

Let us know what (and how) you decide.

   
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:03 PM   #5
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My experience with, and comfort with, laptops is virtually the same as Kathleen's. I would go crazy if I had to use a laptop every day, but have many friends who prefer them to desktops. Given that wide variation of opinion, I'd have to agree that trying one out before buying is the way to go. Every year I am stuck using a laptop for three straight weeks when we travel on business and I've never become accustomed to it; I am always so relieved to return to the desktop in my office! Maybe I'm just too old to become completely comfortable with a laptop....

   
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:42 AM   #6
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I'd have to agree that trying one out before buying is the way to go.
Yeah, I've been thinking about that. But I feel it's like a watch. I hate to have on my person a watch. It's just not my conception of how to use time. So stultifying. But I own a watch and use it at least once a year and probably several times, because there are just some situations where people expect me to have one, or where I actually need one. Soooo...I'll probably just buy a laptop, because I think there will be situations where I really will use it, even if limited, and then, who knows I might figure it out. I've been looking at them, and I've seen a lot that look good but none yet that have talked to me about owning them. You know, a computer or a car or some things can do that.

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Old 04-08-2008, 07:29 AM   #7
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Yeah, I've been thinking about that. But I feel it's like a watch. I hate to have on my person a watch. It's just not my conception of how to use time. So stultifying. But I own a watch and use it at least once a year and probably several times, because there are just some situations where people expect me to have one, or where I actually need one. Soooo...I'll probably just buy a laptop, because I think there will be situations where I really will use it, even if limited, and then, who knows I might figure it out. I've been looking at them, and I've seen a lot that look good but none yet that have talked to me about owning them. You know, a computer or a car or some things can do that.

George
Another thought ... if you just need to do some writing and other basic sorts of things and aren't obsessed with speed, you can get a very nice laptop for not a great deal of money (or perhaps buy a used one for even less). Or spend more and get a very small one. Better a small, less powerful PC *with* you than a sleek, powerful one (that stayed at home because it's too heavy/large to carry easily).

Fujitsu makes some very nice small laptops (or what some people call sub-notebook computers). I've used one of their Lifebook P2120s for years. The keyboard takes some getting used to (a bit cramped) but they're small, durable, and have excellent battery life. You can sometimes find them on eBay.

I recently replaced it with a Lenovo X61s that I'm very pleased with. Better, more comfortable keyboard than the Fujitsu, lighter though a tad larger and even better battery life (though it doesn't have a built-in CD/DVD device ... I got mine with a docking station but might have gotten an external USB or firewire one instead).

Of course, you'll have to temper my nattering about sub-notebooks with the knowledge that whatever other complaints people have made about laptops apply in spades to the even smaller ones. <g>

   
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:06 PM   #8
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Better a small, less powerful PC *with* you than a sleek, powerful one (that stayed at home because it's too heavy/large to carry easily).
This is an interesting point. I can't tell you how many times I've been somewhere, and I feel I have to look real quick at a Greek or Hebrew bible. So I've often found myself wishing there were someway I could download a bunch of my bibles on some kind of digital device to keep handy, the smaller the better, like even pocket size. And some Greek and Hebrew dictionaries would be nice to have along, and who knows what else. So--this laptop on the way might be just the thing, and then smaller could be more practical. Hmm--you're making me think.

I've heard of this thing called a Pocket PC. I wonder if a bunch of books could be downloaded on that. But, I have this one resources program that's pretty good and runs off a thumb stick-- so maybe, that gives me more options.

I'm still learning so much about computers and programs everyday. But there's so much, that it all takes time. I guess I can be patient.

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Old 04-08-2008, 02:26 PM   #9
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>> So I've often found myself wishing there were someway I could download a bunch of my bibles on some kind of digital device to keep handy, the smaller the better, like even pocket size.

Put them up on your own web site and view them on your new iPhone? Sounds mad but might not be so far-fetched.
Or are the books you're after available on Amazon's Kindle device?

   
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:31 PM   #10
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Put them up on your own web site and view them on your new iPhone? Sounds mad but might not be so far-fetched.
Actually, you are so right!!! I looked at my website the other day on someone else's iphone, and I was surprised just how nice it showed up and how easy it was to read. But I never thought of putting resources there. That's a very viable option. But then, I have to buy an iphone; so how much do they cost?? Maybe, a bit later. Still, this is the direction we are headed.

Quote:
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Or are the books you're after available on Amazon's Kindle device?
Hmm- probably not just yet, but they will be soon, no doubt. It amazing what's available now and at low prices, that just a few years ago was not, or only at high prices. My day is coming, huh?

I took a look at those Fujitsus on ebay. Very neat!!! I didn't know about them.

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