Saturday, August 13, 2005

Shopping! Help!

So that I don't have to bore everyone forever about how my computer drives me craaaaaazy with freezing and being large and uncooperative, perhaps you can spare a moment of your time to give me advice.

I am now thinking what I need is a laptop, which will discretely tuck away while not in use, and also act as a music storage device which we can plug directly into our amp. I'm also thinking that I'll set up a network with my computer I already have (which can go and live in our sleepout). I'm imagining that the laptop can then be wirelessly connected to the computer and the internet will go through that. Have I lost you yet?

This is infact turning into one of those posts I'll think seriously about deleting because it is so boring.

So I need a laptop. And I want it to cost about 4 cents. We had a look in the Sony shop today. Wouldn't lotto be nice?

And what do you reckon about second hand laptops? There seem to be some good deals on trademe - like the Vaio I saw at the Sony shop - which was about $3700 - is going for about $1500 on trademe. But then am I buying the same problems we're having already?

I'm very interested in what all you lovely people (well, I guess you might be total psychos actually) use and rate.


Alan said...

I'm finding this post quite exciting, but that's because I am a psycho after all.

Buy an iBook.

And if your Woosh thingy has ethernet output, then get a Wireless base station to connect to it. Problems solved, including that virus & spyware one (Macs don't have that problem... yet).

All this stuff is quite reasonable priced these days.

Martha said...

Thanks Alan. We're pretty much sold on the iBook after looking at that site. Apart from anything else they're so goodlooking.

And they're brand new, so for about 7 minutes we'll be on the cutting edge of technology.

Mike said...

virus & spyware one (Macs don't have that problem... yet) - unfortunately not true, just a lot less of it.

Go for cheap as it'll be thrown out next year when you want to upgrade anyway. They're co,modities (comnputers) that should be looked at like shoes. said...

I'd recommend against buying second hand when it comes to laptops. With desktops it isn't so bad because you can easily replace bits of it. But with a laptop it all tends to be fairly specific to the exact model, so if something goes worong it can be expensive to fix. Better to buy new and get a warrantee.

However which one should you get?
Well thats a tough one. There are a lot of options. You can start at about $1100 these days for a basic model. And a basic laptop these days aren't bad at all, they all play DVDs have CD writers and stuff.
However if you can spend a bit more then you can get one with built in wireless networking, DVD writer, and also look out for S-Video output (this means you can plug the laptop into a TV which can be great for showing slideshows or watching tv shows that somehow ended up as a file on your laptop!)

The other big choice to make is: Mac or PC. Well there are a few other choices such as a Sun, but that's getting pretty weird. And we might as well rule out running Linux on the laptop, which while yes thats great, its not so easy. Okay so Mac or PC then. Both can pretty much do everything you want it do, and both have fairly easy graphical interfaces for everything. If you already know one system you might prefer to facour keeping that. It dpeends how much you already understand it and how much you like learning something new. But odds are unless you haev really specialised in one, you can happily adapt to something else.
Viruses: Well there are far more written for a PC, but if you avoid getting them then it doesn't matter.
Price wise is a little hard to compare because you only have Apple versus a whole bunch of different PC laptops. So you will be able to buy a PC laptop cheaper than the cheapest apple, but then these aren't compareable models as apple don't make their computers at that level. So compare the apples to a good manufacture. Probably comparable to Sony and the likes.

So if you want as cheap as you can get, go PC and get a basic model from Dick Smith or somewhere. If you want to buy a fancier one then you can chose betwen Mac and PC. Pretty much up to you. Isn't that helpful advice :-)

Support would be another consideration. I'm not meaning from the company (though important). I mean when you can't figure out how to get your email to connect, who do you turn to. So think about whom you know whom you could convince to help you with problems!
If you go the Mac way I believe Alan has volunteered to run a 24 hour helpdesk for you :-)

Martha said...

Thanks Ben! I'll write a post now about what we've decided... all good advice, so really grateful for your input.

And thanks Mike, but we're just not the disposable consumer types... prob prefer something that will last a few years.

David said...

The choices are simple:

1. Buy an Apple and have all your friends think you're an unwashed hippy who should get a haircut and a job. Or...

2. Buy some other computer and run normal person's software on simple cheap commodity hardware.

I'll be in the market for about 15,000 of the things later in the year. Maybe I can sponge off your research and avoid having to do all that tedious selection process stuff?

Martha said...

We're not familiar with those "unwashed hippy" types here in Wellington, but I assume if they're Mac users you're referring to people with designer glasses and a lot of style. Why don't you just slip in an extra order for me when you do your big purchase? I imagine you'd get a pretty good deal.