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RE: Laptop (Follow Up)

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From: Bill Allen [mailto:T.W.Allen(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 5:02 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Laptop (Follow Up)



Ø       Freshly armed with the knowledge (mostly paranoia reduction) gained from this list, I went to the computer store this weekend.

Ø       My firs decision when I got there was that I wasn’t willing to pay for the small footprint I originally wanted. The only models with

Ø       the small footprint on display at the store were mostly Sonys (most people told me bad stories about Sonys) and one Toshiba.

Ø       All were more than I wanted to part with just to have the potential of taking it with me on my motorcycle trips. The small footprint

Ø       models ranged in price from $1,800 to $2,500.

FWIW, I have had a Sony VAIO Laptop for about a year and a half, and it has been a keeper. I love it.

Ø       Those who told me that there was a good “bang for the buck” factor if I was willing to live with 7-8 pounds were absolutely right. I

Ø       found a Compaq with an AMD Athlon processor (2.13 gHz), 512 mb memory and 60 gb HDD for a net of $950 (which included

Ø       $350 in rebates). The features, along with the great display, are all equal to or better than my desktop. I also got a 3 year

Ø       extended warranty. I still can’t believe the price. My 386SX laptop cost $3,500, but then my first cell phone cost $1,200. I believe I

Ø       just dated myself :o).

That is a great price. And Compaqs are very good machines. 

Ø      The unit has wireless capability but I really can’t see the benefit of WiFi for me.

That’s because you’ve never had occasion to use it. Around the house it is very nice. Out in public, using a “hot-spot” (which are becoming rather ubiquitous), WiFi is “killer technology.”

Ø      I wouldn’t want to replace my existing router just to be able to surf the net from another part of my home and then expose my system to yet

Ø      another venue for hackers.

With respect, spoken like someone who isn’t up on things. In the first place, WiFi security is so easy it’s ridiculous. Second, the reason you hear all the “horror stories” is that people are stupid, and don’t take the few seconds it takes to set up security (the same class of people who never back up their computer’s hard drive).

Ø      I can’t see paying $40/month (T-Mobile) just to be able to sit at Starbucks and surf the net.

To each his own. For me, it isn’t about “sitting at Starbuck’s and surfing the net.” It’s about having access to email and indeed my home network server at any time, and practically any place (I no longer use WiFi “in public,” however, because I need 100% access, so I use a wireless service from Earthlink—a wireless modem). It has been immensely useful for me, like on a field project I had where we were sitting in an office trailer on the back side of a rural airport.

I think people still have the wrong idea about the ‘net. It isn’t about entertainment, if you choose to look at it the right way. It’s about information.

Ø      I seldom fly or stay in hotels. However, I _do_ want Internet capability and my cell phone provider (AT&T) has a pretty logical solution. They offer

Ø      a GSM card (about $300) which will allow me to reach the ‘Net anywhere my cell phone works.

That’s pretty much what I have. Mine is from Earthlink and uses the Cingular Wireless network.

Ø      T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)