December 5th, 2005

SP Web Design

continuing the laptop search

Have any of you had any experience with factory refurbished laptops? I'm looking online at refurbished laptops from places like at very attractive prices, but I'm wondering if getting a refurbished laptop is really any better than simply fixing mine. Your thoughts?

more on electronic gadgetry

Since just about everyone I know seems to own an iPod, I have wanted one for a while. Thing is, while I need a laptop for various reasons, I do not need an iPod. It is a luxury that, at first glance, I can't afford.

Put in the context of my impending move to London, though, I start to wonder if maybe owning an iPod might not be more affordable than not. I do not want to be without my sizable CD collection, but the costs of shipping all those CDs overseas will be exorbitant. It might be cheaper to buy an iPod, transfer my entire collection (some 700 or so CDs, about 2/3 classical) to it, and leave the CDs with my parents or a friend.

Of course, I know absolutely nothing about the various models of iPods. Can any of you give me your thoughts on what model iPod might be good for me, whether the sound quality is good enough for classical music, or anything else I might need to know? Thanks.

followup on iPod post

See, I told you I knew nothing about these things!

I guess portability is not all that important to me. While I would like to be able to listen to anything I want, say, while I drive, I'm usually content with the radio … and it's not as if I'm going to be driving in England anyway. And while I would like to listen to my music at work, I may not find a job that allows me that luxury.

So, now I'm thinking that, instead of an iPod or any of the other digital music players out there, I might be better off purchasing an external hard drive for my laptop (something I would bring with me to London) or for my server (which would remain here and I would connect to over the internet). This would allow me to record my music in a higher quality format than mp3 and still get everything stored. And there is plenty of software out there that would help me manage my music, if I decide to do such a thing.

Your thoughts?
SP Web Design

laptop decision made

I finally made a decision regarding my laptop.

Several people (not least of all Tubby, who I know is tired of seeing me use his computer) have given me lots of advice and have sent me links to websites where discounted laptops are sold. I went to the "super computer sale" at the Bayside Expo Center, looked at models in computer stores, and have spent several hours over the past week browsing through several websites.

When I bought my A31 about three years ago, it was considered Thinkpad's top-of-the-line model. It is a solid computer that I have been very happy with. Everything that is currently being sold at a price I can afford is either a refurbished model, usually older than my A31, or simply does not come close, specification-wise, to what I already have.

Basically, my choices boiled down to: (1) buying a refurbished older model (like the A30 or the T23) for something in the $400 to $700 range, (2) buying a new computer (probably the T43) for about $1900, or (3) fixing mine for $625. Despite the advice from several people that I should not bother fixing laptops, I have opted to get mine fixed. I simply cannot afford to spend another $1900 (and potentially more, since certain accessories would not be compatible) right now, and if I'm going to pay in the vicinity of $600 anyway, why settle for something significantly inferior to what I already own. I see no reason why my repaired laptop shouldn't last me another two years or so, at which time I'll be better prepared to invest in a new machine.

My laptop should be ready to pick up Friday after 3. It will be a relief to get this over with. Thank you, everyone, for your help and advice.