Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Buying a Notebook PC (a.k.a. a Laptop)

Even though we call Dad's notebook a "laptop" I have only once used that machine on my lap, and all that time I had been nervous (lest I drop it) and uncomfy (I can't shift my thighs around, the exhaust was hot, and did I mention I might drop it?) Still, when Dad got what is essentially a high-end machine for its day and still performs better than any desktop PC I've ever used (well, considering that I have yet to get my hands on a truly high end desktop machine) makes me wish that I had one of my own.

When Ærynn and I finally move in together (we are married, after all),Dad's laptop, with a few modifications one of the very first and importantly urgent things we should purchase is a computer. At first, I would have insisted on getting a desktop PC, because it is cheaper and (I thought) I could tweak it and purchase expansion cards (like dedicated video cards, for any video editing, or sound cards, for sound editing). But I've been using Dad's machine to edit videos and, except for the dearth of hard disk space, actually outperformed F-'s machine (which we specifically had custom-built to edit videos).

So, I am much more open, nay, excited to get a laptop for ourselves.Dad's laptop, with a few modifications However, that laptop has to be what is called a "desktop replacement," that is, it is portable, yes, just like all good laptops should be; but it also must be fitted to also be a desktop computer. Just like Dad's laptop, which I was able to deck out with the following enhancements:
  • a typical PS/2 keyboard (to make typing easier as well as extending the life of the keyboard of the laptop itself)
  • an optical mouse (much easier to use than the touch pad; oh how I wish I had a WACOM digitizer instead)
  • external speakers (to make listening to music and watching DVDs much more a group appreciation thing)
  • two USB hubs (which effectively triples the number of USB ports the laptop has; essential, I say)
  • a USB floppy disk (you never know if one of those old-fashioned floppies come around)
  • and an external USB 2.0 hard drive enclosure (which contains my old 80 Gigabyte hard drive)USB 2.0 external hard drive enclosure, USB Floppy Drive, and 4-port USB Hub
Well, you can see for yourself what I've done for the laptop on the pics I included on this page (click on the photos to expand them). Once I leave for Oz, what I will be bringing with me is the external USB 2.o hard drive enclosure. Right now, I am backing up all the things that I will bring to Oz, including documents, my music collection, and all the pictures. I'm finding that indispensable now.

At any rate, that laptop will have to be a real investment, but I am unclear as to how to go about choosing something that we wouldn't regret. Fortunately, because I subscribe to Yahoo!'s Tech Tuesday, I was able to find these particular links online that will help me with just that:
Ærynn, if you're reading this, can you also check it out? What I need is a true business-class machine, so I would want to know just what limit our budget is (gmail me na lang).

Hopefully, I would finish all my projects this week so that I can start applying for my VISA next week.