2006/09/24

Bought A New Laptop / NNf

The IBM ThinkPad laptop used for mD and AMW work has at least one foot in the grave, so a $400 Toshiba Satellite laptop was bought this morning from Office Depot.

Either the hard drive is dying or the motherboard is failing on the ThinkPad that's a couple years old. It hasn't worked completely right since it was dropped a year ago, but it had been starting and running reliably. Two weeks ago it began to require several restarts to convince it to boot, and death appeared imminent. A week ago the hard drive light started staying lighted continuously, and the laptop has not been shut down or taken off the power adapter since then. The battery died two months ago, so it only runs when plugged into the adapter. The cost of buying a new battery and new hard drive or motherboard for the laptop didn't seem justified, considering other problems that had been happening since it was dropped.

Online and offline laptop sales had been checked out for the past few weeks. When Office Depot had a Toshiba Satellite for $400 this morning, it was too good a deal to pass up. Although close to the bottom of specs for current laptops, the Satellite has about the same horsepower and features of the ThinkPad that's dying. It would be nice to have a 17" MacBookPro, or a 17" widescreen Toshiba Qosimo Core 2 Duo laptop with 2GB RAM and a DVD burner, but it would also be nice to have a new car and no house payments. The Toshiba will let me compute pretty much the same way the ThinkPad did, and $400 is certainly a reasonable replacement cost.

The new laptop is a Toshiba Satellite M105-S1021, 14.1" widescreen XGA, 512MB PC4200 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (with an empty RAM slot), 1.46GHz Celeron-M 410, 80GB HD, CD-RW/DVD-ROM, built-in 802.11b/g wireless with the Atheros chipset, built-in modem & LAN. With the 14.1" screen and a weight of 4.98 lbs, the Satellite is handier than the ThinkPad for everyday use outside the office. The only useful thing the Satellite doesn't have that the ThinkPad did is an IR port. That was used for printing wirelessly.

If you plan to buy an inexpensive laptop computer, check out the weekly ads for office supply and consumer electronic stores so you know the current specs and prices. Then consider buying your laptop on the day after Thanksgiving. The stores always have great sales on that day, and with Vista coming along soon, the computer manufacturers are eager to clear out inventory of laptops better suited to WinXP than WinVista.

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NEW NET at Mister Churro on Monday !

Below is the final list of issues for the Monday, 25 September 2006, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 6:50 pm weekly gathering at Mister Churro, 207 N. Richmond St., Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.
  1. Microsoft to put Works Suite onto Web? http://blogs.zdnet.com/web2explorer/index.php?p=275 This post is at the top of the weekly issues list because Google may have once again caused a sea change on the internet. When Gmail was launched, it singlehandedly cause MS and Yahoo! to increase their mail storage by orders of magnitude.
  2. Tech manufacturers rally against Net neutrality http://news.com.com/Tech+manufacturers+rally+against+Net+neutrality/2100-1028_3-6117241.html Net neutrality is a misunderstood issue or highly polarizing or both. What’s interesting is how strongly some tech companies support net neutrality while others just as strongly oppose it.
  3. New Citizendium to correct Wikipedia's wrongs? http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060919-7775.html Who watches the watchers? It will be interesting to see how Citizendium and Wikipedia differ five years from now. Have you added any articles or info to Wikipedia? If not, got to Wikipedia today and make it a bit more valuable and useful.
  4. Teeny Linux PCs proliferate http://linuxdevices.com/news/NS7561066345.html These are “tiny, gumstick-sized single-board computers (SBCs) into miniscule packaged PCs that displace around 68 cc of volume and come with Linux pre-installed.”
  5. Gonzales: ISPs must keep records on users http://news.com.com/Gonzales+ISPs+must+keep+records+on+users/2100-1028_3-6117455.html The Attorney General wants ISPs and social networks to be legally required to keep two years of internet user info for the authorities to look through at their leisure.
  6. Yahoo pulls a Scrooge with forced unpaid holiday vacation http://www.valleywag.com/tech/yahoo/yahoo-pulls-a-scrooge-with-forced-unpaid-holiday-vacation-202752.php This is a sign of how much things have changed at Yahoo! over the past few years. Almost all US Yahoo employees are told to take a mandatory unpaid week off during the Christmas holidays. Let’s hope better days are ahead.
  7. Pirate-speakin' Google not be celebratin' no Pirate day http://thenewmarketing.com/blogs/thenewmarketing/archive/2006/09/19/311.aspx Some people would call this communication from Google unprofessional. To me it embodies the friendly, start-up attitude that Google should perpetuate.
  8. Experiences with Vista RC1—a brief report http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060919-7778.html This Arstechnica update on Windows Vista is hopeful, indicating the new OS is improved from the Beta 2 version. Ceasar feels a January 2007 release is probable.
  9. It's a start: one label offers one album without DRM http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060919-7777.html Right Where You Want Me by Jesse McCartney will be available through Yahoo! for $9.99 in mp3 format with no DRM. Will other artists and distribution channels start offering more like this?
  10. Prof told to pull podcasts http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060918-7770.html There have been a number of articles in recent months discussing how podcasts and the internet are impacting college classes. Administrators at colleges around the country are trying to figure out if their business models are starting to fail…
  11. VOIP - The Details Kill The Fun http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/09/23/voip-the-details-kill-the-fun/
  12. Inconvenience of two-factor security pushes banks to "single factor plus" for online banking http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=3648
  13. Senator calls for investigation of buried FCC study http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060917-7758.html
  14. Munich begins Linux replacement of Windows http://tinyurl.com/jac86
  15. War in Iraq fuels Islamic radicalism, report says http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/09/24/MNGNSLBRUI1.DTL
  16. Solaria raises $22M to lower cost of solar cell manufacturing http://venturebeat.com/2006/09/19/solaria-raises-22m-to-lower-cost-of-solar-cell-manufacturing/
  17. Don't Push the Product; Pull the Consumer Instead http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/21/AR2006092101778.html
  18. Creative Destruction in the Software Industry http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2006/09/creative_destru.html
  19. New AIM Worm May Prove Tough to Exterminate http://www.cio.com/blog_view.html?CID=24911
  20. How to defend against VML zero-day IE exploit http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/index.php?p=323
  21. Soapbox: Microsoft enters YouTube waters http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003265044_soapbox19.html
  22. Microsoft Legal Action Aims to Help Fight Piracy http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/sep06/09-19MSPiracyCounterfeitingPR.mspx
  23. 5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post With a Bang http://www.copyblogger.com/5-simple-ways-to-open-your-blog-post-with-a-bang/
  24. Microsoft's Masterpiece of FUD http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1000097
*****

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