Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Buy Now (Late Edition)

  • Wednesday Off For Computer Shopping
  • Tuesday Night Off
  • Boring Tech Issues
  • New Word Announcement
New Word.
Attention Blog Readers, for your information, this post contains my first ever use of the word "galore," in the history of this blog, to include the "lost years" somewhere between 2006 and 2009.

I stayed in last (Tuesday) night doing some much needed research on how I should go about spending whatever money I have.

$165 USD

Buy Now, hmm...

Above is a pretty-much-exact replacement* for the now moldy and dusty laptop which sits on a table by my bedside like the rusted out hull of a ship, long ago stranded on a sandbar.

It is almost exactly what I paid for what I will heretofore refer to as "the first one."

The first one came, right out of the box, with a defective CD/DVD drive, defective that is, unless its function was to make a clicking noise and not play discs. I had actually overlooked this, in my exuberance to plug the Snowball microphone in and get right to work using the thing as a recording studio.

*technically, this would be a slight upgrade, as it is loaded with Windows 10, while mine was Windows 8. But, I can remember getting messages from Microsoft whenever I was online, asking me if I wanted to upgrade to Windows 10 by merely clicking there. This machine might just be one that got that particular upgrade.

I want to run Ubuntu Linux on it. Anyway.

I think that, with an Internet connection, I could find free software from the Linux community that would allow me, armed with Audacity on the laptop, and a cheap tablet like Howard's, to make videos that have random scenes, shot with the tablet, synchronized with music recorded in my room.

I want to make interesting videos, darn it!

Plus, I write better on a keyboard. Penmanship slows me down so much that my train of thought disappears over the horizon ahead of me. I would like to get back to composing blog posts and running them through my program that formats it.

It is just a simple program that inserts HTML into the document so that a browser will render it with the first three words of every paragraph (separated by a space from the previous one) will appear larger and in a different font from the rest of the paragraph which will be a different hue of color from the previous one.

It also gives a word count at the end, to the reader, "You have just read x words," and to myself : "Wow, you wrote 7,118 words today..."

And, it gives me a chance to write a script in the Perl scripting language which is still fluently spoken by programmers. I like computer programming as a hobby, along with jigsaw puzzles.


Toshiba Satellite C55A Laptop

would be $165 bucks on ebay...right now.
There is $227.94 on my plastic card, and Rose and Ed have just paid me back the 40 bucks that I lent them.

There would still be 63 bucks on my card and I would have a refurbished version of my old laptop on the way.

Idea Of Swapping Drives Swapped For Other Idea

I no longer am thinking of popping the hard drive from the dead laptop into whatever "refurbished" one that I buy. Too many issues with having to renew Microsoft licenses, update drivers, and reinstall Windows.
I plan upon putting a Linux system on the thing.
I can get, for under $20, a docking station that will turn my old hard drive into an external drive that I can plug into the new laptop's USB and use files off of.

Part of my decision came based upon listening to some of the music that I recorded on the old laptop which was copied off of it before it died.

The issue that I considered this morning is, how much of a run down hovel am I willing to sit in, while I mess around with my laptop when I get it?

And, how much should I invest in my music business?

OK, this just in:

No need for me to rush into a decision, but at this point I have pretty much refined my expectations of what kind of laptop I can get for less than 200 bucks, and further bargain hunting is going to be a waste of time on a "return on time invested" level. Do I really want to spend valuable time trying to find the $138 Dell Lattitude listed somewhere else at $129?

I have jumped around on e-bay (for a reasonable amount of time) and found refurbished laptops (galore) almost identical to the one I fried in specifications, for between $100 and $175. That's more like it. 'Bout time I found a seller who is probably in some part of the world where 100 USD's is a good chunk of money.

Now, I am definitely thinking of using only about half of my current fortune on a laptop.
I am gambling that a "refurbished" laptop is one that has had its weak links upgraded including the swapping out of all of the components that have the shortest life spans; that would be nice. If 90% of that particular model comes in for repair for a power supply and then goes back to the consumer who never has another service issue; then, why not put reliable power supplies in the things as part of any routine refurbishment? Right?

It (refurbished) probably means taking care of all of the cosmetics on the thing -putting a crystal clear shiny new screen on it and sanding, buffing and Armor All-ing the outer casing, maybe even affixing brand new colorful stickers to it, extolling the machine's specifications, and then just playing Russian Roulette with the warranty period.

Investing In Street Musician Daniel

The laptop can be justified as an investment into my business, in that the CD's that I can burn onto discs that might cost me 50 cents each, I can sell alongside me as I play, at perhaps 20 times that amount.

The music can be recorded, in the first place, on the thing.

If a tourist comes by the Lilly Pad and say's "Tomorrow is my wife's birthday. If we come by and you are singing 'Caroline,' by the Beach Boys, I'll give you a hundred dollar tip!" then the laptop would make it easy for me to go to Starbucks and plug in, and then download that particular song, so that when I get to my room I can play it back through my house speakers, and learn it, and then get the 100 bucks.

And, of course my upcoming series of novels are going to eventually be written on the laptop...

So, I have pretty much settled upon a $153 Lenovo "Thinkpad" that will do all of the things that I need it to do.
Pretty much settled upon...

A lot of the laptops seemed to have fallen into my price range by virtue of having robbed Peter to pay Paul. You know, if Peter was a smaller screen, and Paul was more USB ports.

So, the $153 laptop will get me from point A to point B. The $179 one just looks nicer, though.

I just cant help thinking that the $240 ones would be nice and solid and shiney and plush and two hundred and forty dollar-ee.

But, there is something to be said about life going on uninterrupted in the background while such a major purchase is made. Harold the cat shouldn't have to use old litter because Daniel wanted one with even a webcam, even though he doesn't Skype...

Getting new strings and harmonicas and a new spotlight with what is left over after the laptop will keep me going in the short run.

1 comment:

alex carter said...

Just find a local place, a pawn shop, used computer store, etc., and find a laptop they'll honor a 30-day warrentee on, and personally, I'm really happy with the Dell Latitude I got, 4-hour battery life, got it with a 30-day warrenty, and it's been serving me very well.