It may be Ann, who’s fed up with my lefty-patriotism meme and practising her imitation of Sabrina, but so far this week, we’ve had:
1) two plumbing crises;
2) two incontinent cats (the 16 year old cat is apparently competing to be annoying with the diabetic one);
3) one leaky British motorcycle;
4) a power outage;
5) a dead laptop (don’t buy consumer-grade Compaq laptops and expect them to last more than 18 months);
6) and now, the ne plus ultra, a dead hard drive on the house file server. I backed it up last week, but in all the hoohah this week, failed at my job and didn’t back it up Sunday night. We’ll see what we can recover.
So I’ll be starting the new year by supporting the consumer economy, and giving back some of the ground we’d gained on our credit cards…sigh…
Blogging may be light as we only have one working computer in the house for the four of us; Middle Guy’s new ‘puter will show up Thursday, and mine the day after, I trust.
For a laptop, a friend just got an iBook, which seems like the bargain of the week; my only problem is that I use Visio and Access extensively and I don’t think there are any cross-platform versions or equivalents…
….so what kind of (physically durable) notebooks are people using these days?

15 thoughts on “KARMA”

  1. I’m sorry things aren’t going smoothly for you this week. Your post hit THAT button. We’ve been bickering about this subject since Veteran’s Day and we still haven’t resolved it. Had you thought about me while you were writing that post (and really, why would you?), you could have anticipated my response. Unfortunately, I’m that predictable.
    And while you didn’t want to, the good news is, you get to play with a new computer! :)

  2. I now have a PowerBook G4 that I like, but I sure won’t put it up for durability. After six months the paint is chipping and the the little nobbies that keep the bottom from scratching have come off so the bottom is scratched. Plus, the screen rubs the keypads and streaks and it’s a bitch to get them off. Apple recommended putting a cloth between my screen and the keypad when I carry it around. Sometimes form comes before function and the function suffers because of it. (Yes, I, too, studied engineering in college) But OS10 rocks and the screen is awesome (when clean.)
    I had two, no three Dell Latitudes. Two had problems. I got the three year warranty and got the problems fixed within a week. The Dell I still use sometimes is a Pentium MMX (pre Pentium II) and since I got it fixed three years ago, it has run great. Plus, I bought it through my small (completely inactive) corporation and got excellent service. For durability and banging around I’d recommend the Latitudes. Latitudes are a bit more expensive than the Inspiron for the networking capabilities and durability.

  3. I’ve been using nothing but Toshibas for years. Right now I’m using a Satellite Pro 6100. These are the only laptops I’ve seen with a non-flimsy hinge.

  4. I can recommend WinBook laptops. They’re not on the bleeding edge, but dollar for dollar you get more than with the big-name competition. I’m on my second one now, and quite happy with it. (I manage to convince management that I need a new machine about every three years. My old one was handed down to a salesweenie, and is still running.) I’m an engineer, and my laptop IS my desktop machine, plus I have to take it all kinds of places where the environment can be nasty. The company has an identical unit to mine running around with a field service guy. He managed to tear the door of the CD-RW drive, but it still works.
    The only problem I have with WinBook now is that they only seem to be offering Windows XP as an operating system. The machine I’m currently using came with 2000 Professional, which I’m quite happy with.

  5. I’ve had my Gateway Solo for almost three years and that includes dropping it a few times (shh… don’t tell nobody, ‘kay?) and slinging it around like a buttered weasel bolo most of the time. it’s still going strong… ack. it’ll probably die within 24 hours now that I’ve said that, huh?

  6. inkgrrl’s got a laptop that survives dropping? I am banned from laptops because I broke two within the first month. One has an unreadable screen. I bought it for $900 from Dell and Dell wanted $950 to replace the screen a month later. I plugged it into a monitor and made it a desktop.

  7. My condolences with the cats – hope you found out why – not a good sign. Please write again if you find out why.
    I write here to thank you for the laptop discussion. I want one but am afraid for all the reasons mentioned in your entry and in the comments.
    I hope the people who wrote about durable laptops with good screens, do write again and tell more specifically -which one in the series they have.

  8. Have you checked out Lockergnome.com? There should be a number of discussions on this over there. And the daily EMailed newsletter is a must-have.
    Of course, if you can find a “militarized” model (I have heard some are available)…

  9. Just did a quick search,
    offers a 5-year warranty including screens. Hopefully hinges, too.
    As to the screen rubbing on the keys: I use a desktop, but once a month or so i put a fresh piece of clear plastic grocery wrap on my keyboard. Keeps it clean, and if I spill coffee I don’t panic. Should work for a laptop. Slight glare problem, have thought once in a while of going to a photo store and getting a can of deglosser – one should last year or more.

  10. I’m working off of a Dell Inspiron 3800, which was a going-to-college gift from my parents. It has had its motherboard and memory replaced, a missing “Q” key, the clicker-controls (it’s early, give me a break) for the mouse pointer (not the trackpad ones) are gone, two new modems, and a new keyboard. Oh, and the battery is 100% dead. And the letters on the keys wore off on the first keyboard (not a big deal for me, but some of my slower typing friends nearly had a heart attack when they wanted to use it).
    On the other hand, it’s gotten me through a number of late night hardcore programming projects, too many drops and Mt. Dew spills to mention, and with a little threatening, it works okay. The screen is good – it survived an alcoholic-leaking-through-the-ceiling incident (the processor didn’t, the screen did). It’s made it through five moves.
    I’ve just learned to back up constantly and use the desktop for the really important stuff. I don’t think that I’d recommend Dell for everyone, but if you have the patience of a saint and the tech skills to go along with that, they’re decent as long as you be sure to copiously threaten to throw it out the window .

  11. Get an Apple and a copy of Virtual PC by Connectix (yes you can run PC apps on a Mac). It should run your Visio and Access as well as any piece of junk made by Compaq. Compaq is the reason I went back to Apple.
    Link to Connectix Virtual PC:
    Of course if you have an Apple store nearby go check it out. They usually have copies of Virtual PC running on machines.

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