The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Out of the ashes...

In the hour of my greatest need, at a time when I was at my most vulnerable, my HP laptop (AKA "Stepchild") failed me. About 3 days after the Great Kneecap Incident, as I sat with my laptop on my... uh... lap, it simply shut down. Not a spontaneous reboot. A complete power down. In disbelief, I tried to start it back up again. In vain, of course. I tried it without its battery installed (it will run this way, normally) but to no avail.

As I am efficient and persistent, I set it aside for 2 months. Finally, I decided it was time to replace the (now) Evil Stepchild with a new laptop. And as the Pharaoh said...

"So let it be written. So let it be done."

And it was. I examined laptops online and in Office Depot. Also at Sam's Club. Most good deals were on HP units. Having lost all love for HP products, I went with a Toshiba Satellite purchased at Office Depot. It has a larger HD than the old one (320 Gig), but an equivalent processor and the same memory (3 Gig) and runs Windows 7 Home Premium.

Pros - good price ($100 cheaper than the starting price of an I-Pad), large HD, same capability that the old HP (spit) had, 2 lbs lighter.
Cons - Can't increase shared memory for video, no number keypad.

There's another con... Toshiba apparently thinks you (or I) appreciate pop up reminders that they have an online backup service available and about registration issues and about various other things. I will be contacting Toshiba support to find out how to disable all that. I don't need reminders for these things.

Now, Toshiba is not alone in this, I am sure. I also get regular pop-ups by AVG (by Grisoft) to upgrade to their "Professional" security suite. I like AVG... but I use only the Free version. Not because I think they don't deserve to be paid for their hard work in creating and developing their anti-virus software but because I just don't need more than the Free version provides.

I try to keep my systems running as simply as possible. This means minimal add-ons, the least intrusive software packages I can find, and no frills. I am retired (aka "cheap" and "miserly") and on a fixed income (I don't know why it's called "fixed" when I am always broke) so I try to be as frugal as possible. I have learned over the years that simplicity also means smooth operation.

Set up was simple and trouble free. The only snag was when the machine went looking for updates to the software and found 42 updates (glitching on #11 but recovering easily enough). I removed all the adware and come-ons, as I always do, and install just what I want.

My favorites:

AVG Free
Open Office

And easily imported my email contacts and accounts.

Now I will need to find a way to get the non-integrated stuff off the HD of the broken HP laptop. I am playing with the idea of buying a replacement motherboard for the broken HP laptop, getting it working again, cleaning it up and removing all private information and selling it. If that proves to be not cost effective, I suppose I can cannibalize it for for memory and parts.

I have this love/hate relationship with computers.


Paul E. Giroux said...

Thanks again for reminding why I have an iMac, iPhone and soon to be iPad ..... of course you bitch in your blog about 'puter problems but down deep inside you love 'puter problems so you can SOLVE them ... said...

Please don't cheap out on anti-virus because you will become a bot and start sending out Viagra spam.
But if you insist: download SuperAntiSpyware too and run it from time to time.
And consider running Chrome, faster than Firefox. FF is getting as bloated as IE.
Happy Toshiba!

And Paul... the iPad is not a laptop, its a Mac-gadget.

Steven said...

I use my iPad for most things that I would have opened up a laptop for before.

Douglas said...

Paul, I would love an iPad... if it was priced according to its actual value... say $250 or $300.
But, yes, you are right about me...

Sixty, AVG Free includes a spyware check. I didn't think that much of Chrome but you are right about FF getting bloated.

Steven said...

Yeah they're making a hefty profit on the early 100%.

I switched over to chrome a few months ago and can't stand the slowness of firefox these days. it's really night-and-day