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Debate - Queue
October 6th, 2005
12:49 pm

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Debate
So, I want to get a laptop (er, I guess the phrase is "notebook", now?) computer for checking email and whatnot when I'm away at conferences. The question is: do I get a cheapo laptop and then sometime soon upgrade my desktop computer to be everything I want/need it to be, or do I buy a laptop as a desktop replacement?

I guess price and convenience are the two considerations. I think it's possible that I could get a cheapo laptop and a tricked-out desktop for less than the cost of a tricked-out laptop. Of course, being able to play games and watch movies and all that on an airplane would be convenient. And there's the convenience of keeping everything on one computer.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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From:magid
Date:October 6th, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
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(er, I guess the phrase is "notebook", now?)
Wouldn't that be "word", not "phrase"?

Tangentially useful: for watching movies on planes, there are fairly cheap portable DVD players (Z got one for the boy for the flight to Israel).
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From:bubblebabble
Date:October 6th, 2005 07:33 pm (UTC)
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with two machines, one can serve as a backup to the other.

with two machines, you can make sure all the questionable material stays on the one that doesn't go through airport screenings on a regular basis.

with two machines, you can let visitors check their email on one machine while keeping the other off limits.

with two machines, one can be primarily *NIX, while the other is Windows.

with two machines, you can do work on the commuter rail.[1]

OTOH...

with two machines, you're never really sure if you've got the right version of a file.

with two machines, you can't find the file you're looking for at the hotel.

with two machines, you might use each of them to back up the other, but then could still be SOL if both disappeared one day (robbery or fire while you're in town, etc).


...5 to 3: the decision is obvious, right? :-) Last note: especially if you only get a laptop, please get renter's insurance that covers it. Homeowner's insurance that might have covered such a thing...obviously won't "just be there" the way it was with a mortgage.

[1] Well sure, not necessarily every day now that you're a quick walk away from work...but you'll still come in to visit us from time to time, yes?
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From:majes
Date:October 6th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC)
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For game playing, you want a desktop. You can play games on a laptop, but it's like going back in time three years - laptops just can't handle video processing the same way that desktops do. If your are only interested in playing games from 3 years or longer ago, that's fine, but odds are, at some point your going to want to play some new game, and you'll be in laptops-suck-at-video land. Plus, you could get a hella awesome desktop for the cost of an ok laptop system.

That said, you might want to get a used laptop to have for the portability factor (in addition to getting a desktop). Laptops from four years ago had DVD drives - and you can get software packs of old games to have on them, as past the time kind of things. I recommend Zuma. So does dannarra
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From:bitty
Date:October 6th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
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Zuma is teh evil.
I finally broke my addiction, and here you are, dangling it in front of me like the cruel bastard you are.
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From:majes
Date:October 6th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
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Zuma told me it was missing you. You made Zuma cry...

I have Zuma on my cell phone too. I play until my wrist hurts. It's a real problem. It's been totally interfering with my masturbation schedule.
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From:bitty
Date:October 7th, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC)
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Zuma needs to get over it. I'm always on time with the alimony. And Zuma has plenty of company, the world 'round, to keep it occupied.
From:volta
Date:October 6th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
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Trying to game on a laptop will yeild unsatisfying results unless you get a massive brick "desktop replacement" laptop, which will be too large and heavy to carry with you anyway. These days, even a cheap used laptop is likely to have DVD-player capabilities, so my recommendation would be to get a cheap laptop for portable use, and have two computers.

Of course, I am the idiotguy with (counts on fingers) 7 computers plus several portables running in my housedata center plus living area...
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From:hrafn
Date:October 6th, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
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I do not use my desktop since I got the laptop. On the other hand, I have just about 0 interest in playing computer games, so I don't "need" a desktop (and that desktop was NOT a game-worthy machine anyway). The awesome big harddrive that used to be in the desktop is now encased in its own shiny little enclosure, complete with USB connection; I use it for storing backups of my laptop's data.

For you, it sounds like it might make a certain amount of sense to go the cheaper, lighter laptop (as opposed to 10 lb "desktop replacement"), snazzy desktop route.
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