Saturday, August 08, 2009

When To Buy A New Laptop

Now you can tell for sure when you need a new laptop.

I am a great little bagel shop enjoying a coffee and a bagel with salmon and capers when my mouse runs to the left of the screen like a mouse running from a cat. I find that I have to push on the key board to get the mouse to reposition itself. No good.

My laptop has a touchpad in the middle of the keyboard which according to my knowledge as an ex-tech support specialist means that the sensors are now off center. I have opened the laptop and repositioned the keyboard to try and fix the problem, but much to my dismay it did not solve the problem.

In a last stitch effort to solve the issue, I looked to disable the touch pad and just use the nob in the middle of the keyboard. However, I have found that the only options show that I can only disable BOTH or use a PS2 mouse. For those non-technical readers a PS2 mouse are seldomly used these days as they have been replaced with USB mice.

Thus, I now have to use my external USB mouse and carry my USB hub where ever I go. Which brings me to the point... when do you know when you NEED a new laptop?

My answer: when the laptop wants antiquated equipment to replace needed functions it's time for a change!
So keep posted as I will be researching new laptops and netbooks for my new travel work systems!

Best Wishes!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ASUS Eee PC 1000HA 10-Inch Netbook (1.6 GHz Intel ATOM N270 Processor, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive, 10 GB E-Storage, XP Home, 6 Cell Battery) Fine Ebony

A good laptop should be reasonably priced and easily transportable. The Asus Eee Pc 100HA is a good solution if you are looking for an inexpensive and handy laptop. This convenient portable computer at about 3 lbs. is very manageable. Forget having a note pad and a pen this laptop is definitely within your means and much more powerful than a pen and pad.

This computer contains 160 GB of hard drive space which is pretty generous considering its size and computing power. For music fans, the average song is about 3-5 MB in space. 1 GB is 100 MB. So thing about how many songs you could put on a 160 GB drive. For more technical purposes, 160 GB is plenty of space for installing applications such as Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, or any other popular software programs.

This Asus notebook includes a 1.6 GHZ processor which is plenty fast for the normal word processing user and your web surfing with videos should run pretty smoothly. There is a built in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g wireless connectivity card to access wireless networks as well. So you can be on the internet anywhere in your house that is within range of your wireless router or at your Free Wifi enabled Coffee shop.

As an avid notebook user this Asus notebook is definitely in the running for laptops while I search for a new notebook to replace my current ultra slim laptop.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Buying used laptops can be a very cost effective way to gain mobility in business and leisure.

There are a few caveats that you need to look out for when buying used laptops.

Some of these are:
1) The speed of the processor

* A slow processor can hamper your productivity. In fact, it can sometimes mean 10 minutes just to start the machine and have it ready for you to use (called boot time).
Why? Well as operating systems progress the graphics and "bells and whistles" call for faster and more efficient processing. (Personally I would have been happy if they stopped with Windows 2000) If you don't have a reasonably fast processor good luck trying to run the newest operating system on your laptop.

* On the other side of the coin:
If you’re not doing heavy processing or multimedia creation you absolutely do NOT need he latest, greatest, and fastest processors. Think of it this way... we used to use manual typewriters for documents. So why would a word processing program need high mathematical processing or the computing power to create 3D graphics.

2) Does it have wireless capability?
* In my opinion, one of the best recent innovations is Wireless Access.
These days you can find free internet in hotels, coffee shops, and even some bars!

3) Portability of the machine (size, weight, and useful charge)
* What good is having a laptop if it is the size and weight of a sewer manhole?
* Useful charge - this is a tough one to mitigate when buying a used laptop. The batteries are much like your normal rechargeable batteries. Meaning they WILL vary from battery to battery on useful life and charge capacity. Fortunately, if you buy your laptop smart and on a discount eventually replacing your battery will not be as painful since you did not pay top dollar for the laptop.

So now that you've been a little bit informed:
Here is what I like for laptops which can be found on the internet for under $400.

Weight: under 3lbs
Processor: 1.2 GHZ (or faster)
RAM: no less than 256 MB (1GB ideal)
Wireless: Internal 802 B or G

Some other thoughts about buying online:
** Buy from reputable sellers (look for feedback or recommendations)
** Try and Buy close to your home city (it's never fun to wait 3 weeks on something that is relatively expensive)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Discover the protection of Firewalls!

If you are a part of the wireless community via laptop is it very important that you be informed about the usefulness of firewalls. Firewalls can exist as either software solutions (programs) or hardware solutions (actual devices). I'm going to assume that you are not a network administrator and the you will not need to know about hardware firewalls. Although if you are a network administrator you REALLY need to do more research on firewalls if this is actually informational to you...

The firewall serves to regulate and in most cases monitor traffic between your computer and your network connection (in this case the internet). It's function is to protect you against harmful danger while allowing you to regulate what can and can not come through the firewall. Thus the name a Wall or barrier between your computer (and the information on it) from any harmful intrusions preventing you from getting burned. (so to speak)

* Picking a cheap laptop
WARNING: Be CAREFUL which networks you sign onto!

For those who have not been informed yet...
Please be careful which wireless connections you choose to connect with when away from your home and on you laptop. There are networks out there that have been setup to try and gather your confidential data from your computer. Reports have detailed that these networks can appear in close proximity to legitimate free wireless connections. Such that, if you are not careful you may choose their network rather than the business or free wifi network.

Businesses usually use their own name for the network name. So if you are going to Anna's tea house only connect to networks that mention Anna or something about tea. Avoid connecting to generic names such as ‘FREE wireless’ or manufacturer names. For instance, many wireless routers appear as linksys (the manufacturer of the router) do not connect to these networks unless you know for sure this is the network that is used by the business.

How do you know? When you order to sit down... ask what their network is named. Quick and simple, if they are not sure what the name is just look and see what is available if there isn't one that makes sense then you might want to move on to the next location. In addition, make sure you have a personal firewall running on your laptop to alert you of any suspicious activity.

* Picking a Cheap Laptop
** Be in the know on the fly!
Be in the know on the fly!

From the moment we stepped into the front door, we would smell the freshly baked pastries, aromatic teas, and brewing coffee. There was a slight buzz in the background of people having conversations, ambient music, and the unobtrusive typing on notebooks. It was easy to see that the people in the pastry shop today were having a pleasant time having good conversation or working quietly on their laptops.

I am fortunate enough to be in a city where free wifi is readily available. It is becoming more and more common for businesses like these to carry free wireless connections. In fact, even the city is moving toward making the whole city a free wireless zone to spur on business and the economy.

With these types of services you can: Drive to any part of town and map out the address where your appointment is going to be. Send a quick email to friends if you found a great place to hang out on a Friday night. Check movie listing times for that - spontaneous need to see a movie. Or just simply do some writing, research, study, or get ahead at work from any park bench or quaintly decorated coffee shop while enjoying the great weather.

You can be in the know on the fly just by a owning laptop / notebook (or some other device) with wireless capability. Luckily laptops have been around for several years. So this means that there are good bargains out there! (here are a few sources if you need help finding a cheap laptop*) Assuming you are not a high profile executive you can probably do very well with a reasonably priced used or refurbished laptop. (If you are an executive you probably already have a high end laptop issued to you by the Information Technology department) In either case, you only need one addition to your laptop for wireless capability... a wireless network device.

Wireless network devices can come in many different forms. This is a good thing because most notebooks built after 2000 or so come with either a PCMCIA bay or USB port. So even if the note book is NOT wireless ready by itself; it can be wireless ready with the additional of a wireless network card or device! This means that for $70.00 (sometimes as little as $25.00) you can have a wireless laptop even if it was not built with a wireless card by the manufacturer.

The install of these devices is usually pretty easy if your notebook is running Windows XP or later most popular network manufacturers (such as linksys, dlink, sony etc.) are already compatible with your laptop. If you have any other Operating System (OS) you may need to follow the instructions for the install, but even then they usually make things pretty easy too. Once you have it installed... usually your new device will automatically find any wireless network available and as you if you want to connect**. It is as simple as that.

Until next time.

* Picking a Cheap Laptop
** WARNING: Be CAREFUL which networks you sign onto!


Monday, November 13, 2006

Learn how to choose a good laptop without
over buying (and over spending)

Laptops are great innovations. The portability of laptops just can not be beat. They are a great help whether your in school, a busy executive, or a creative artist. But how do you pick a laptop that will serve your needs without buying wasteful bells and whistles?

Know your needs

What are you going to use the laptop for? Are you doing word processing, creating graphic artwork, or complex computing? A laptop that will fit your needs starts with knowing what you will be needing out of the system. It is true that a good notebook these days can run as fast (if not faster) than a server 5 years ago. But that is my point! If you didn't need a high end server to do what you are doing back then... why would you need a processor of that caliber now? For most people who are doing simple work processing such as msword, word perfect, or any other document application a Pentium III, 256 MB or RAM, and 20 Gig hard drive will do just fine. Anything less and your probably buying a machine that is going obsolete and running the risk of running into hard to find replacement parts (if you need any)

Buy smart rather than be sold!

With the advent if ebay and other online methods of buying and selling I would recommend buying second hand if you are looking for a cheap laptop. As will most items laptops are the most expensive when they are fresh off of the shelf, in pretty packaging, and store overhead costs to recover in selling you the laptop. If you know what you are looking for (as discussed a little above) you can find what you need at a fraction of the "in the store" cost. The better educated you are the easier it is to recognize a bargain when you see it. If you are looking for more information to help your research I've found a good website that might help you... buy cheap laptops. Until later!

* Be in the know on the fly!