PDA

View Full Version : Girl without a clue needs help



blue girl
27-07-2006, 05:14 PM
I so need help!!!! Want to buy a new laptop, know nothing about all those funny numbers and thingey me jigs. Even went into computer store and the guy there just kept spitting out numbers. I don't need numbers I need helppppp!!!

I'm a post-grad university student. Basically the only thing I do with my laptop, is sit on my bed with it on my lap and write a long thesis documentey thing on Microsoft Word. And although I want a lightweight computer, as I do heeeaps of typing, the keys need to be OK to type with.
(so criteria 1: Don't want a computer that will burn my thighs ;) )
(and criteria 2: It will need to have Microsoft Word, and preferably compatable with my old essay Microsoft files on version 98)

I occasionally want to paste in a jpg. The thesaurus / dictionary thing is useful for me if it has that and definitely a spell-checker.

Then I walk to uni with my laptop, home, to the bar with my girlfriends.
(so criteria 3: Can't be really really heavy. My current laptop is killing my shoulder as it is so heavy :eek: )

I'd also love to be able to use the internet from my computer.

I've got up to $1,000 to spend on a second-hand laptop. But can push it up a bit more, depending...

So if anyone has any good ideas????

Any help so appreciated!

Would the Dell X200 be ok, as I saw one of those and it is meant to be quite small????

pcuser42
27-07-2006, 06:02 PM
Correction: You DO want a computer that can burn things, as it will burn (or write to) CD and/or DVD.

TGoddard
27-07-2006, 06:13 PM
I believe MS Student & Teacher edition sells at around $200 nowadays. If you're willing to learn a slightly different interface you could cut this cost by using Open Office (www.openoffice.org). You could open all your old files and save in MS Word format as well, but by default it saves in a different format (ODT). Unless the notebook comes with Office, it's at least worth trying out for a few weeks.

I'm afraid I know very little about buying second-hand laptops. You can get a new entry-level laptop not far above your budget though.

Graham L
27-07-2006, 06:20 PM
Secondhand laptops usually have dead or "on the way out" batteries.

New laptops come with a guarantee (and are new. ;)) You can buy a new one for about $1000.

When you are writing a thesis, whatever time you have allowed for this task is too short. By a factor of 2 or more. :D Any computer problems will not help.

netchicken
27-07-2006, 06:29 PM
Basically you can get away with ANY new laptops out in the market, and most 2nd hand laptops for sale.

Watch out with 2nd hand laptops, because of their portability they may have suffered, and their batteries might not work, meaning you have to have it plugged in all the time.

If you are working on it all the time make sure the screen is good enough for you to use, and the keyboard is big enough not to cramp your hands.

Around about now the schools must be starting to exchange their teachers Toshiba laptops, they would be cheap to buy (around $700 or less) that would do you fine.

Surely the uni you are at has second hand machines advertised? Or there is a shop there that can advise you on laptops?

Cicero
27-07-2006, 06:45 PM
Here is a nice selction.....

http://www.dse.co.nz/cgi-bin/dse.filereader?44c852f9084c71782741c0a87f99071b+EN/catalogs/CTG0001995

pctek
27-07-2006, 06:47 PM
I so need help!!!! Want to buy a new laptop, know nothing about all those funny numbers and thingey me jigs.

Basically the only thing I do with my laptop, is sit on my bed with it on my lap and write a long thesis documentey thing on Microsoft Word.

Can't be really really heavy.

I've got up to $1,000 to spend on a second-hand laptop. But can push it up a bit more, depending...



Acer Aspire 3623WXCi Notebook Celeron M 370 256MB DDR2 RAM 1.5GHz processor $898.00 Dick Smith Electronics


Includes 128MB USB Microdrive Acer Aspire 3623WXCi Notebook Celeron M 370 processor $1032.98 Dick Smith Electronics (Nationwide)


But I have no idea what colour it is........ :D

technicianxp
27-07-2006, 09:17 PM
Yeah I'd agree it's best to get a brand new as laptop batteries aren't really something you'd count on to last too long when you don't know who has been using it.

In the meanwhile I've found a Lenovo (aka IBM) Thinkpad for $959.40:
Here's a link for details:
http://www.aquilatech.co.nz/productDetail.asp?idProduct=ITW076122M

This one too is pretty much on par with the Acer (although the Acer has a better screen). However my experiences with the reliability of Acer (Veriton) desktop PCs hasn't been very good at all so I'd probably reckon the Lenovo is at least worth a look.

blue girl
27-07-2006, 09:28 PM
Thank you guys so much for your help.

OK so to summarise, you think I may as well buy a new one for my money, which is less likely to have "battery issues".

And suggestions of the Acer Aspire 3623WXCi from Dick Smiths or the Lenovo (aka IBM) Thinkpad from the Warehouse. :p

Anyone have any more insight on which will be a)less likely to burn the thighs b)light and c)stylish out of the 2? :confused:

Thank God for people who know things technical!!!! :o

Cicero
27-07-2006, 09:51 PM
I like thighs,but apart from that,I think Apple do a lovely pink one.

developer
27-07-2006, 09:53 PM
I think IBM a stronger name (dont know if the reputation has changed after
the PC / Laptop business bought by Lenovo).

IBM laptops are usually heavier and has traditional looking (whether
that is stylish people have different views).

This is my personal view, and I do not own any IBM / Lenovo or Acer
laptop.

You may also be interested in finding out their aftersale services.
Have a look see if you can find local authorized service centre.
My friend bought a laptop two years ago and found it could only be
serviced in Auckland, though fixing it himself wasnt hard but would
make the warranty void.




Thank you guys so much for your help.

OK so to summarise, you think I may as well buy a new one for my money, which is less likely to have "battery issues".

And suggestions of the Acer Aspire 3623WXCi from Dick Smiths or the Lenovo (aka IBM) Thinkpad from the Warehouse. :p

Anyone have any more insight on which will be a)less likely to burn the thighs b)light and c)stylish out of the 2? :confused:

Thank God for people who know things technical!!!! :o

Siani
27-07-2006, 10:37 PM
I've got a nice little HP laptop that I bought mostly because it has nice blue lcd lights showing it is operating, rather than boring green ones. Its a nice silvery grey on the outside, quite light, and I use it for hours on the couch without burning any body parts. It was a bit dearer than you wanted though, but I'm paying it off interest free.

I liked the look of the Acer better than the Lenovo, when I was looking. I nearly bought one.

blue girl
27-07-2006, 11:01 PM
Siani - what kind of laptop is your HP / blue LCD lights. The thigh burn is important when you work on one all day!!! (And more particularly so in Summer!)

Thanks everyone so much for all your suggestions. This is brilliant!

ephesus
28-07-2006, 12:00 AM
If you know what you want and the specifications of the laptop go to this page and check out prices from other retailers. They can be cheaper than the BIG retailers. Good luck.
http://www.pricespy.co.nz/cat_22.html

Greg
28-07-2006, 01:13 AM
. The thigh burn is important when you work on one all day!!! (And more particularly so in Summer!)
I think you should keep in mind that you're not going to get a perfect solution. My first worry is that thigh-burning temperatures suggest that the unit is not getting adequate cooling, which is detrimental to the machine's life.

A suggestion could be to alter either your priorities or your mode of use. When using a laptop literally on your lap the cooling is going to be problematic.

technicianxp
28-07-2006, 11:27 AM
If you know what you want and the specifications of the laptop go to this page and check out prices from other retailers. They can be cheaper than the BIG retailers. Good luck.
http://www.pricespy.co.nz/cat_22.html

Good point I picked up that Lenovo from there too. The only other one which comes around the budget is an ECS Transmata (isn't it Transmeta?) based laptop which I couldn't really be sure on since I've never used a computer with a Transmata processor (has anyone?).

By the way the Lenovo isn't a Thinkpad (my mistake) but a C series, one of Lenovo's new laptops for home users. Also it's at an online store (Aquilatech), not at the Warehouse, although I just remembered that the Warehouse too have a Dell Inspiron 1xxx (sorry can't remember the model) laptop for around $1000 with roughly the same specifications as the two that have already been suggested here.

In terms of lap burning, my experiences have been that almost every laptop will start heating up quite a bit eventually when used on a lap. I've had the same experience with everything ranging from a Pentium 3 Dell Latitude to a Core Duo Macbook 2GHz (plus many others in between). Best idea is just to place something like a 2B8 book underneath the laptop, preventing the heat from reaching you plus allowing the laptop to stay cool.

For style, my personal opinion is that I like the Lenovo more, simply because it seems more elegant than the Acer (and appears more durable too). However in the end it's really personal opinion that matters. I just thought I'd add in mine too ;)

blue girl
28-07-2006, 12:20 PM
OK Well thanks heaps everyone for all your help.

Not one of you spat out numbers and stats beyond my comprehension which was so much appreciated.

So I'm going to purchase one of those booky things to protect my thighs, and I might even go and see these models in real life to guage their sexiness and style. I'm also going to ask the post-grad department at uni advice on software and backing up of thesis (as that would be a disaster if I had my laptop stolen or something)!!!

Will compare prices on that great Price Spy thing. Ah, where would I be without you all!!! :D

Thank you, thank you.

I'm planning a purchase for late next week, so if anything goes radically on sale before then or anyone else has anymore fabulous advice, there's still a few more days in which it will be helpful and not too late. ;)

Love you all!!!!! :o

mejobloggs
28-07-2006, 12:27 PM
Btw, for backup up your thesis, i think one of the best ways would be to get a gmail account, and email yourself a copy of it every day. That way, even if your laptop is stolen, and aliens abduct your usb drive, then you still have a copy on your webmail account.

blue girl
28-07-2006, 12:30 PM
OK so one of my lecturers has a Macintosh computer, which has this little rectangular object thing that she uses to save to, and then put into another computer. It's not a hard disk size, much much smaller.

And I think that would be quite useful for me backing up, but I have no idea what the hell it is. :confused:

Another thing that would be quite useful would be there is a similar rectangular thing which goes into my digital camera, which would be useful if I could just insert into my computer rather than have to connect up a cable and download all the images etc. I think its called a memory stick???!!!

So do any of those computers you guys recommended have these features??? Or how much more money would I need to spend to get them??? :)

Cheers, cheers. :o

Misty
28-07-2006, 01:11 PM
Btw, for backup up your thesis, i think one of the best ways would be to get a gmail account
One thing to keep in mind is that gmail is still beta. If it all got lost in gmail you would simply be reminded of this fact ! Good to use but you also need an additional safer backup such as CD (not re-writable one though).
Misty :nerd:

FoxyMX
28-07-2006, 01:14 PM
I would not use either of those things (memory stick or memory card) to backup your thesis without having another backup on a CD or DVD. They can and do fail or get corrupted or "accidentally" delete files through user error.

mejobloggs' suggestion of emailing your data to a Gmail account is a very good one and you could have a combination of those three things: emailing to a Gmail account, backing up to a CD or DVD and using a memory stick. That would then cover all your bases.

Graham L
28-07-2006, 03:47 PM
And of course, keep backups separate from the computer. If a computer is stolen, often any disks or attractive toys like USB disks are likely to go too.

As the thesis nears completion, don't rely on spelling checkers. Get a human to proofread it. They don't have to understand the subject (in some ways its better if they don't); they are just looking for spelling (and possibly grammatical) errors. You can't proofread your own work.

technicianxp
28-07-2006, 04:56 PM
As for compatibility with memory cards yes both of the laptops have built-in card readers. However it depends on which memory card(s) you plan on using as there are a lot of different types of cards around and not every reader supports every format.

If it's mainstream then yes very likely it will be supported.

I would probably still recommend using something like a USB flash drive as it'll plug into any computer. (By the way Macs have never had built-in card readers so you may have to double check what the professor was using (perhaps an external card reader?)).

robsonde
28-07-2006, 05:41 PM
And suggestions of the Acer Aspire 3623WXCi from Dick Smiths or the Lenovo (aka IBM) Thinkpad from the Warehouse. :p



my flatmate just got a Acer from DSE for $999 + about $50 for more RAM.
not too heavy.

BTW look for the laptops with a dulled screen surface and not the shiny ones.
the shiny one have brighter colours and a better black but they also pick up lots of glare.

most computers come with MS works which had Word in it.

-spoonz-
28-07-2006, 05:59 PM
i think that DELL do a good deal on laptops for students, they are sturdy and they usually get shiped within 10 days. should be under 1 grand aswell
ant by the way if you have microsoft word it can open ANY! previous documents

spoonz

godfather
28-07-2006, 06:25 PM
BTW look for the laptops with a dulled screen surface and not the shiny ones.
the shiny one have brighter colours and a better black but they also pick up lots of glare.

most computers come with MS works which had Word in it.

The "shiny screens" outperform the "dull ones" so much even though there is more reflection, so I have to disagree there

And bugger all PC's come with Word on them. While many may have Works, its usually not "Works Suite" that contains Word, just plain old Works which does not contain Word.

My advice re a laptop is buy on weight (or lack of it) and price (or lack of it), anything that is light enough and cheap enough will be just fine. For the purpose needed any new laptop will be just fine in performance.

Cicero
28-07-2006, 07:31 PM
It seems to be forgotten,that she wants a rectangular thingy.Do all laptops have them?

little rectangular object thing that she uses to save to, and then put into another

godfather
28-07-2006, 08:49 PM
It seems to be forgotten,that she wants a rectangular thingy.Do all laptops have them?

little rectangular object thing that she uses to save to, and then put into another

A USB memory stick/memory key/thumb drive/ micro drive/ many other names for the same thing...

All modern laptops will accept them. They are cheap, from about $30 upwards depending on the capacity. I have about 3 or 4 here, as some are given away now by companies as Xmas or promotional presents...
http://www.dse.co.nz/cgi-bin/dse.storefront/en/product/XH8250

Marmion
28-07-2006, 09:30 PM
Another way of backing up your thesis would be to send a copy to your personal e-mail account that the university gives you :) Now THAT should be safe. (In addiition of course to the little rectangular thingy (aka USB drive), CD/DVD, computer's hard disk, Gmail account and your digital camera's memory stick ;))

As for laptop; anything that is 14.1" (= lighter than 15.4" which will get heavy) and within your budget.

godfather
29-07-2006, 01:54 AM
The other issue is that the lower end pricing have a lower (but still more than adequate) speed processor (CPU), which does not fry your lap with heat, as they run much cooler. A 1.5 or 1.6 GHz CPU will be plenty, but should be relatively cool

My 1.6 GHz Toshiba 14.1", 2.3 kGs laptop barely runs warm.

Above advice re backups is also sound, but remember unless the data is backed up at least with 2 separate copies away from the PC, and you have checked that you can read the backups, it's not really backed up.

SurferJoe46
29-07-2006, 07:19 AM
just a little sidebar here:

I noticed that "Re: Girl without a clue needs help" gets about 30+ kind, fatherly, affectionate and well-modulated responses...

...makes me wonder if "guy with problem" would get the same results....hahahahah

Notice that this post only got 15 returns so far.......http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?t=71138

FoxyMX
29-07-2006, 11:30 AM
...makes me wonder if "guy with problem" would get the same results....hahahahah
Of course not. :p

Cicero
29-07-2006, 12:08 PM
just a little sidebar here:

I noticed that "Re: Girl without a clue needs help" gets about 30+ kind, fatherly, affectionate and well-modulated responses...

...makes me wonder if "guy with problem" would get the same results....hahahahah

Notice that this post only got 15 returns so far.......http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?t=71138
Amazing how some get caught by the dizzy blonde syndrome.
I mean who would put a hot thing on their thighs.

blue girl
29-07-2006, 12:42 PM
Thanks for all the :help: everyone!!!!

Hearing you on multiple back-ups in different places, which is good if Mr Murphy visits and the house burns to the ground or gets burgled or whatever.

I know I'm probably outrageously exploiting the damsal in distress card, but I really am one of those, when it comes to computers. And changing tyres on cars. And where the water and oil go and what the hell they are there for anyone. (How is it that they haven't managed to invent a car that can change its own tyres, or better still have indestructable tyres. Oh and runs on things that women actually carry. Like hmmm... Impulse body spray. amd a bit of lipstick for lubrication...that kind of stuff). :p

Any additional things I have to do to my computer that I should know about too? I'm going to try and take good care of my new baby. (The laptop I mean, I'm not pregnant). :)