The Metropolitan Cathedral in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 5, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Our old laptops

Wow...slept in this morning! Ruth looks at the clock and says "that can't be right!". It was 7:45am!

But it was correct. It's a bit of a dull morning with some rain, so it wasn't very bright outside. Plus, I had been up until 11:30pm or so counting the weekend's receipts to be handed in, so I guess I was tired.

I was typing away on my old laptop the other day and I realized that it was in August of 2007 that we bought it. A full 7 years ago. That pretty much makes this laptop an antique in laptop years!

My old workhorse 17" HP

You can even see where the mouse pad is worn right through. Still works great though. 

We paid just over $800 for it at the time. Pretty sure that was money well spent! It's running Windows Vista. Not sure why so many people complained about it, Vista has worked just fine for me. Haven't run any updates for years. 

What doesn't work so great is that it can't keep up with playing videos. Our camera takes really nice HD videos, but the processor in the laptop can't keep up with playing them. They're all jumpy. And I've noticed recently that some movies don't play very well, and probably for the same reason.

Ruth's laptop is going on five and a half years old. It's a little 10" Acer netbook.


Anyhow, I guess the point of this post is that we're going to be in the market for something new soon.

Don't want a "phone" style, I think the screen would be too small for my liking. And I'm thinking about a tablet style, but I'm not sure I would like the typing aspect where you have to flip back and forth from the on screen typing pad.

So I noticed this morning's deal of the day on Amazon...


Click here to check out the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9"

It's another one day sale, and it's a really good deal for the model that is wi-fi only. I'm not ready to buy yet, but it did start me thinking about these kinds of things. I feel like I'm really out of touch though with some of these new products. Has anybody else got a device that has replaced your laptop? Or maybe you still have a laptop, but you've bought some kind of tablet for portability? Like I said, I don't want a phone...but something more portable than this big old laptop would be convenient.



38 comments:

  1. My son gave me his old 7" Samsung Tablet. I gave it a try but what kind of turned me off was the fact that there is no memory in it, you can't save anything. I added a 32 Gig SD card but have yet to really give it a chance to see how well this works. I also did not like the fact that it does not have a keyboard, just one of those touch screen keyboards. I do like the fact that it actually fits in my front pocket.

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    1. Yeah, not having the keyboard is a turnoff for us, I know that you can buy a fold up one but then you have to spend more money and also it's another thing to carry around. More research in needed before we decide.

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  2. The age of the laptop is just about over. The only reason to buy one these days would be to run some antiquated piece of Windows software not available on a tablet. Windows tablets are starting to make the scene, but they are ridiculously expensive. No need to buy a Windows tablet if your old laptops still work.

    I would not get a Kindle though---it locks you into the Amazon ecosystem. Much wiser to get a pure Android tablet like the Google Nexus 7 or wait a few months for their larger version. Tablet touch keyboards take a bit of getting used to. If you do a lot of typing, you might consider a full-size Bluetooth keyboard.

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    1. But once you add a keyboard you are back up to the laptop size package.

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    2. Yes but you only use the "laptop size package" when you need to do extensive typing. Most of the time you would just use the tablet's keypad.

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  3. I forgot to mention that printing is another issue. To print from a tablet, you generally need a wireless printer. If you have an older printer that still uses cables, keep the laptop around, otherwise you'll need a new printer too. I have an old cheap $300 laptop just for printing and three pieces of software not supported by my Nexus 7.

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  4. We hardly ever do any printing, however we do have a printer in the motorhome. Yes, this old laptop would remain in the motorhome. It does still have a 17" screen, and it does still work perfectly for watching *most* movies.

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    1. Good point, tablets simply don't do DVDs or Blu-Rays---no drive! But tablets are awesome for watching movies wirelessly, since their high screen resolution blows away most laptops. Of course, that's only if I'm the only viewer---hard to share a tiny screen with an audience. That pesky issue is beautfully solved using the $35 ChromeCast, which blasts the tablet's screen to any modern TV.

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    2. Wow...I am so far behind the times with this stuff...lol.

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    3. Google Chromecast now on sale at Amazon for just $30 :)

      http://www.amazon.com/Google-Chromecast-Streaming-Media-Player/dp/B00DR0PDNE

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  5. My laptop died last year and could not be saved so I had to replace it. But I went with another laptop. I can't even imagine trying to type comments or blog posts on anything else. I also had Vista and didn't mind it at all. Worked just fine but the computer gave up the ghost. Not sure if or when I'll ever move to a tablet thingie.

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    1. I think when we replace Kevin's laptop it will most likely be for another laptop. It could be a different story with mine, it maybe more beneficial to replace it with a tablet, then we would have the best of both worlds. We'll wait and see on that though as I can probably get by with another year on mine unless a fantastic deal comes up.

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  6. Laptops are cheap now. My Toshiba is a dream and I paid $297 last September. I couldn't imagine life without a screen. I have a tablet for work and I don't like the touch screen, I guess it takes a lot of practice.

    So my question is, Are people using "clouds" to save documents nowadays or jumpdrives or other externals?

    We use a VGA cable to hook up the laptop to the large flatscreen and surround sound system. Easy to do, same with watching Mexican and U.S. national news that we stream.

    I know on our trip a lot of people looked at us funny with our giant laptops but I love the keyboard and the large screen. When we went to Office Max with my sister in Reno to pick up her laptop, the guy told her she could get some apps on line. He looked at us and said, "well you guys have smartphones, right? Wrong :)

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    1. I Kevin is a definite laptop kind of guy. He does lots of typing so if he were to get a tablet then he would have to purchase a collapsible keyboard as well, so we would have another thing to carry and another thing to buy, doesn't seem to make sense. As for storage, we have never run out of storage with either of our computers, like in life we don't collect "stuff" so we don't worry about running out of storage either but a tablet wouldn't have enough storage on it and we don't trust these sites like "Cloud" too many things that "could" happen to your "stuff".

      The research continues...

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  7. I have the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 8.9. Use my Samsung Galaxy SIII phone as a hotspot.

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    1. Then we would have to buy a phone too!

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  8. I have a Kindle Fire that I absolutely love, do a lot of reading on it etc, games, free books, free music via AMazon, but if I want to comment on something I have to get the laptop, typing on a tablet is an exercise in frustration, so I got a refurbished Dell Latitude E6400 off Amazon, approx $100, for movies and writing, but would not be without a Kindle, now my husb wants one!! Waiting for a super good deal.

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    1. Yep, I think Kevin would get totally frustrated trying to type on a tablet. Maybe looking at a refurbished laptop might be the way to go.

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  9. People are absolutely obsessed with storage space on tablets! If you fill up 16GB, you really need to examine all the stuff you've stored on it, and do some serious spring cleaning. As Bill Gates famously said back in 1981, "0.00061GB ought to be enough for anybody." By saving space, he became a billionaire.

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    1. We don't require much storage but don't really like the idea of using "Cloud" or other sites like that for our storage. We prefer to have our own. Having said that we don't use lots either, for example my computer says that I have 142GB of storage in my hard drive in total but I still of 82GB of that, that I am not using and that is after almost 6 years of use. We have never had to use an external drive to hold any of our excess because we don't have any excess. We keep what we need and get rid of the rest other than our photos, but even then we only keep the good ones. I have to admit I do like having the photos on hand.

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  10. I just got a Samsung Galaxy Pro 10.1 16 GB and still have my old lap top. I like that it is small and easy to take in the truck. We just got our new Millenicom internet jetpack yesterday 20GB $90 a month. Going to get rid of the Verizon phone and go with Consumer Cellular for $15 a month no contract. They use ATT equipment.

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    1. We certainly like the idea of the tablets being small, especially with some of the traveling that we do, but I still think that Kevin would have a hard time giving up the laptop. Having a tablet might be a good idea for me though, so that way we would have both for whatever opportunity comes up. 20GB for $90 sounds like a great deal compared to what we have to pay here in Canada.

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  11. I dumped Verizon in January and got the Millenicom jetpack in its place. For phone calls I keep Verizon's good coverage by using the Talkatone app on my tablet and a Bluetooth headset. Free texting and incoming calls. Outbound calls cost just 1.7¢ a minute.

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    1. Sure wish we could get deals like that here in Canada!

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  12. Because we're doing some traveling this winter I recently upgraded to the MacBook Air. I'd considered abandoning my PC for a tablet, but with the blog and other writing I do I didn't think a touch screen was the answer. That said, we've decided to upgrade John with an iPad. (Like you and Ruth, we're a two computer household!) John's primary function with the tablet will be to check email, post a few pics on Facebook, etc. Combined they'll be a great option, but for the serious blogging you do I'm not convinced a tablet is the way to go.

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    1. Agreed, but having one computer and one tablet might be the way to go.

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  13. Bought an iPad for portability, but wouldn't even try to do a blog post on it. For anyone who does any regular writing at all, I can't see a tablet working. So, I'll still end up taking both on future trips ... besides, the HD of the laptop works great to back-up photos ... no way will an iPad suffice for that.

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    1. Totally agree about looking at the photos, nothing compares to seeing them on a big screen. I even notice a huge difference looking at photos on my 10" screen compared to Kevin's 17" screen.

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  14. Nothing beats the Microsoft Surface Tab Pro. Small and has absolutely everything you need. You can use touchscreen and also keyboard. Plenty of storage, usb, fast, etc. and you are not restricted like Kindle. Only downfall, it is slightly heavier than the Ipad. Cost is comparable. Good luck, whatever your choice!!

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    1. Thanks for the info on the Microsoft Surface Tab Pro. Something else that Kevin will have to research. Anything slightly heavier than an iPad is still a whole lot lighter than a seven year old laptop!

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  15. I did my whole 4 months journey on my Nexus 7 bought a small key board which acts as a case it sure suited me and was able to blog with no issues les

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    1. Thanks for your input Les. As we know, you blog every day and take awesome pictures and travel light, especially this past summer.

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  16. I have an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro . . .overkill? Not for me. If I had to give up one of them it would be the iPad. I make spreadsheets for lots of things, including budgeting, etc. I use a writing app - I actually have Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point and Access) on my laptop, even though the laptop came with Apple's like application. When I want to be able to have somebody else open a document (especially a spreadsheet type document), most people have a PC and some don't have the ability to open an Apple app.
    I haven't studied the Kindle Fire. Can you use a keyboard with it? I'd definitely not like having to do lots of work - like writing a post - on my iPad, and I suspect the Kindle Fire is more similar to the iPad than to a laptop computer.
    Memory is almost a thing of the past with iCloud - I don't use thumb drives, CDs - nothing like that. I can access everything on my computer by getting it from iCloud. I also like the fact that Apple computers don't have to have all the anti-virus stuff installed and kept up.
    Okay, that's my diatribe for now. I'm currently putting together a "Computer Basics" Power Point Presentation to be given to a group of people who use computers, but don't have basic information so they can get more out of their various 'computer' machines - Smartphones, tablets, etc.

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    1. I think Kevin mentioned in the blog that we aren't Apple product lovers so I think it will be a long time before we ever own an Apple product. We don't need a phone because skype/google talk work fine for us from the computer. So it is back to computer versus tablet. Kevin will continue with his research and I am sure that whatever we get will end up suiting us just fine and if not then the research will begin again.

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  17. My husband has an ipad and I can't stand to read blogs on it, it only shows whats in the reader, nothing of the sidebar. It is handy as we pay for the internet on it so it can be taken anywhere though and still have internet without connecting to wifi (*in Canada). You cannot open attachments nor print very easily on it. I am a diehard laptop fan over tablets anyday. Just buy a small one. My hubby bought a really thin new Samsung laptop for business as he flies with it a lot and it is really light. Something like that might work for you.

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    1. Yep, that's exactly what we're leaning towards!

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    2. As an ex computer pro my job was to record the functionality my users required then, after a study, present the cheapest solution. Why does nobody make a choice in this logical manner nowadays.

      I will have the same problem as Kevin when my 2 year old Azus netbook with external disc drive conks out. The major service providers (Apple, Google, Microsoft etc) want you to store things on the "cloud" so they can look over it and choose your favorite advertizer. We have to hold the line.

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    3. We totally agree with you Clive on both accounts. This is why Kevin is looking at both a tablet and a small light laptop to see which one best suits our needs and our pocketbook. We also agree on the "cloud" storage option. We don't like the idea of someone else storing our info and photos, what if something happens, like they go down just when you need to retrieve a document or a photo or everything gets lost. We like to have control over this, not some other business.

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