Laptops and convenience

A friend from work asked me the other day why I just don’t buy a desktop PC. After all, for a similarly priced laptop, I could get a desktop PC that’s multiple times more powerful and faster machine. I admit that I do miss the power offered by a desktop PC from time to time, specially when I’m playing PC games. However, I wouldn’t trade the convenience and portability that a laptop offers over more power and speed.

I want the option to be able to use a computer wherever and whenever I wished more than being able to play any PC game at full spec mode. If I really wanted to have an amazing gaming experience, I’ll just go out and buy a Playstation 3 or something.

As an example of how having a portable PC is handy, I’m actually at Toyota Werribee having my car serviced as I’m typing up this blog. I have like a couple of hours to kill while I wait for my car and I’m thankful I have a laptop. While sitting here waiting, I was able to listen to my own music, watched a bit of Back to the Future 2 and played a few minutes of Call of Duty 4.

And I don’t have to take my laptop outside the home to appreciate its portability. Having a laptop that connects to the network via Wi-Fi means I can have a PC experience anywhere in the house, be it in the bedroom or in the lounge room. I don’t have to be in a separate room and be stuck there if I want to use the PC. I could be using the PC in the same room as Raquel as she is watching a movie she likes.

Another advantage of a laptop is its battery. In the event of a power failure, my machine won’t just suddenly turn off. It has its own in-built UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) or back-up power.

As for games, I have a powerful enough laptop that it could still handle the newer PC games in the market today. I wouldn’t be able to play them in full-settings, sure, but the games are still pretty cool even with the settings turned down to what my laptop can handle. In exchange for a minor loss of visual quality in games, I get to play my games on the go, like on an hour’s train ride to and from work.

Now, if only Melbourne has free city-wide Wi-Fi like San Francisco. I could surf anywhere in the city then. For now, I’ll just have to settle with going to the few establishments that do offer free Wi-Fi in the city for Internet access (such as MagNation, Australia on Collins, Collins Place and State Library of Victoria).

Time to end this. The car service is done and I’m out of here.

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Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

New PC frustrations

I don’t have the time to do much blogging recently. I don’t have much time to do anything, really, ever since I got my new PC from Dell about a week ago.

I was in the market for a new PC. Something with a bigger screen, more memory, more hard disk space, a better graphics card and more power. I chose to get the new PC from Dell due to multiple factors: I get to choose the components that go into the machine; they are cheaper (if you compare a Dell machine with other brands’ similarly spec-ed machines); and I get a 3% discount from my company on top of the cheaper price. The only downside was that I have to order the machine online and wait for it to be assembled in Dell’s factory and shipped to my address.

Anyway, instead of relying on the company discount, I was lucky enough to have timed my purchase on the weekend that Dell decided to give out massive discounts. For the machine I wanted to buy, the discount was 15%! That’s certainly a lot better than 3%, right? But before committing the purchase, I gave my specification request another look to see if I forgot to add anything.

That’s when it hit me. If I add something to the machine that will make it go over $100, I get to have 25% off instead of just 15%! So, I added an external 160Gb hard disk to my request and recalculated the final price of the machine. It was so unbelievably cheap for what I was getting. I was so happy.

I expected the machine to arrive after three days max, but it didn’t. The reason? The Dell representative I talked to told me that the delay was due to an out-of-stock part of the machine. They already ordered for the missing part and once they have it, they will promptly send me the machine. Out of curiosity, I asked which part was missing. She said it was the external hard disk! Great. I had to wait several days more for my new PC in exchange for getting it cheap.

A few days later, I finally got the new PC. I was happy again. I couldn’t wait to take it home and start customising it according to my needs and desires. This meant installing a lot of apps I had installed in my old laptop. The problem was that not all of the apps I had in the old laptop that had Windows XP on it was compatible with Windows Vista Ultimate, which is the OS of my new PC. I only found out about the incompatibility of some of the applications after I had already installed them. So, installing, uninstalling and looking for a viable replacement app took way too much time.

Now, I think I have most of the things I wanted installed on my Windows Vista machine. Maybe now, I can finally continue playing my relatively-newly purchased game, Call of Duty 4. Maybe now, I can finally get to enjoy my new PC. Maybe now, I can finally rest and relax again.

Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 12:33 am  Comments (2)