11 Nov

My laptop has been giving me some problems.  It is my main computer, so it gets used almost every day.

First I had a problem with a new software that I installed, which apparently had a conflict with my anti-virus software, and caused the whole system to crash.  After a lot of work, and much pulling of hair, I eventually had to restore my computer to the first available restore point, which was about 2 weeks previous.
I have since changed my restore settings to automatically make a restore point 2 times a week and at every system change, I highly recommend you do the same.  (you can find the system restore program in your Start Menu/Programs/Accessories/System Tools folder)

So that was about two months ago, and since then my computer just hasn’t been right.  Everything I know to do has checked out fine.  I have run multiple system scans, virus & spyware scans (even online ones), defrags and a whole bunch of other stuff I won’t bore you with.  Everything comes back good.  But I’ve still been having problems.

Then last week my cd drive failed.  It will take the cd, and you can hear it spinning it, but it won’t recognize that there is anything in there.  I’m assuming that the mechanism that reads the cd has stopped working.

That was my last straw.  I could put up with little things happening, but I can’t live (long term at least) with out being able to access cds.

So I decided to buy a new laptop.  I have always bought IBM ThinkPad laptops (which are now sold by a company called Lenovo), which tend to work really well until suddenly they don’t.  I bought this one 3 years ago, and like I said it’s my main computer and it probably gets used at least an hour, but normally several hours, each day.  So I figure that’s a pretty good lifespan for a laptop.

The reason I use IBM/Lenovo laptops is because they have a unique feature called a trackpoint.  It is a little red button in the middle of the keyboard that you use instead of a mouse/touchpad.  The reason I don’t like the touchpad on laptops is that you constantly have to move your finger around to move the pointer from one side of the screen to the other.  With the trackpoint all you have to do is “lean” your finger in the direction you want to go, it doesn’t matter the distance (imagine it like a mini joystick).
Now these laptops aren’t cheap unless you get the lowest options available (they do have a prettier and cheaper line called the IdeaPad, but their ThinkPads are their more professional line).  If you get the cheap stuff on the ThinkPad they run $500 to $800.  But if you want a really good system you have to pay $1200 or more.  But they are so worth it.  And the nice thing is they don’t have “packaged” products at special prices.  So you can customize anything you want without worrying that you are loosing out on a packaged deal price.

So here’s the specs on what I’m getting:
(some of this is a little technical, sorry for all you non-geeks out there)
T500 series ThinkPad
15.4″ widescreen WXGA TFT, w/LED Backlight
2.56GHz Dual Core prossesor
2GB of ram
160GB 7200rpm hard drive
ATI Mobility Radeon 3650 graphics card
1.3 Megapixel integrated camera
Recordable 8x Dual Layer DVD drive
7-in-1 Media Card Reader  (for camera memory cards and such)
11b/g wireless network card
Integrated Mobile Broadband upgradable (which means it doesn’t have mobile broadband service, but it has the stuff to make it work if I ever wanted it)
Windows Vista Home Premium
Microsoft Office 2007 Basic

Total System Price:  $1,582

Now I didn’t have to get all that stuff, but I don’t like to cut corners with my computers.  Like the 160GB hard drive.  I’m only using 2/3 of my 60GB hard drive now.  But that was the one with the higher RPM speed (the others were 5400rpm), which the higher the RPMs the faster your info can get accessed and loaded.  And I could have gone with Vista Basic and without Office, which would have saved me $49 and $129 respectively.  I could have saved $70 more by getting the CD-RW/DVD combo drive instead of the DVD-R.  And the ATI Radeon graphics was an extra $100.
It all adds up.  But in the end I’m getting a really nice system that will last me for quite a while.  Even if I did have to pay an arm and a leg for it.

So in a couple weeks I should have a new computer!  I’m so excited!  😀  This is the best christmas present I could ever get myself.  It’s going to be hard to wait for it to come.
Is it wrong that a new computer is making me so happy and giddy?  Well if you didn’t know I was a geek already, you surely know it now!  😛

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Posted by on November 11, 2008 in Misc Stuff


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