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View Full Version : Asher, I need some laptop help


TCO
02-06-2009, 12:14:32
I have a Dell (c. 2002?) Inspiron 2650. It was working fine, then a few years ago developed a problem where it crashes (not to a blue screen, but just stops.) I took it to a local place and they did a diagnostic and loaded some memory and the like and charged me 250. And it worked for about a half hour, then back to old problem (btw, the crashes are immediate. I can't do anything, happen right after start and looking at icons screen.) One other syptom, my battery is dead, so I'm using the power cord. Other than that, it looks clean and pretty and doesn't have a lot of junk programs on it (although it might have some spyware or something picked up from web surfing.) Should I:

1. take it back to the Richmond Computer Geek and complain they never fixed it and try to get them to fix it?

2. As above, but pay them for more repair attempts?

3. Buy a battery?

4. Buy a new computer?

(If so, need some advice. I basically need a Windows machine (XP professional is my comfort zone) with Powerpoint and Word and Excel. Purpose: independant consulting. Just word processing and professional activities. (I would also use it for surfing the web for entertainment, but no gaming.) Needs to be a laptop in that case, since I may need to travel. And should I just buy another Dell? I like the convenience of how they ship ot to you.

Warning: I have a bad tendancy of buying $3000 laptops and never using them much. In 1987 did that and just never learned how to operate it. In 1995 I did that, but school machines were more convenient and had internet and the like. In 2002 I did that and then got hired at a place where they gave me a work machine (and I just used it for work and personal.)

If I get a new machine, it would be for home office to start out with, looking for work and gigs and the like. Then would go on assignments.

Funko
02-06-2009, 12:24:04
Definitely do 1 first. $250 is half the price of a new laptop! They shouldn't have done that much work without telling you that first IMO.

But 7 years old for a computer is ancient probably needs a replacement at some point.

Definitely don't pay them any more money, not worth it. And a decent laptop that you aren't gaming on should be well under $1000, I'd probably aim for $600.

TCO
02-06-2009, 12:27:37
Thanks. I need the Windows Office suite though, so that will add 300ish

TCO
02-06-2009, 12:28:22
Do you think maybe if I had a new battery, the problem would be fixed?

TCO
02-06-2009, 12:28:49
The computer really had pretty low usage...

Nav
02-06-2009, 12:47:17
Are vbulletin payments working yet so TCO can pay the $100 he owes Funko for tech support?

Funko
02-06-2009, 12:49:52
Yeah, sorry I wasn't counting Office but that's a fixed cost whatever machine you get really.

The battery is probably an issue too but I really think it's of limited value spending much mroe money on such an old machine.

You might as well get Vista if you're getting a laptop now I think. Not sure on best current laptop suppliers, but I wouldn't ever recommend Dell.

Funko
02-06-2009, 12:50:25
Are vbulletin payments working yet so TCO can pay the $100 he owes Funko for tech support?

v good point.

qchan
02-06-2009, 12:53:29
Buy a new laptop. You can get Windows netbooks for lower than $600 these days; I'd recommend netbooks like the Samsung N20.

http://lifehacker.com/5273096/five-best-netbooks

http://gizmodo.com/5196883/samsung-nc20-first-via-nano-netbook-on-sale-for-550
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/02/05/samsung-n20-advances.html
http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/29/samsung-nc20-sees-foreign-review-universal-appreciation/

techietone
02-06-2009, 13:02:48
ahhh Funko my young padawan you are learning :P

Funko is quite right take it back either they need to refund you the money as they have failed to do a complete fix or fix the machine correctly

also Funko is quite right a 7 year old laptop is about as good as a door stop these days.

Although netbooks are good if a person is doing a large amount of work in office or really anything but just mail and webserfing they are limited. the screen size means a lot of scrolling about. they are pretty under powered really as most use the atom processor

as to office Microsoft have a Home Student version now that includes all the basics except Microsoft Outlook and to be honest unless your using Outlook with Exchange then there are a lot better pop3 / smtp email clients out there for free For example Thunderbird for one the Home Student version sells for about $120 i believe in the US or £70 UK but depending on what you use office for another option and i am suprised Funko didn''t suggest this is Sun Star Office what is free

Hope this helps

Funko
02-06-2009, 13:07:25
Home/Student is fine if you aren't using it for commercial stuff.

Nav
02-06-2009, 13:08:51
Sorry I can't quite picture Funko as a 'young padawan'.

oh on the subject if you can afford it get a MacBook Pro. Can run windows either via bootcamp or virtualisation.

Lurker
02-06-2009, 13:11:02
:lol: @ Nav trolling Asher.

Funko
02-06-2009, 13:11:31
http://www.counterglow.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42774

Aren't we trying to get him not to spunk loads of money on an overly expensive machine he doesn't need? That's 3/4 times the cost of what he needs!

Funko
02-06-2009, 13:11:51
I don't know if Nav is trolling, I think he just got himself one. ;)

TCO
02-06-2009, 13:15:16
I'm going by there, now. Will talk to the dude.

I still wonder if there is a way to fix this one. When I bought it, it was top of the line (fastest processor and memory and the like.) And it already has the windows suite and the like on it.

I'm a little scared to buy a 600er. Will it be good enough for client work?

I can't get the vbulletin payments to work\, Funkie. Am pouring beer into the modem instead.

Funko
02-06-2009, 13:17:34
If your 7 year old piece of crap where the battery doesn't work is good enough, yes. :D

Between us we could probably spec out exactly what you need or recommend something.

TCO
02-06-2009, 13:19:32
Dude, assuming this doesn't get fixed, please spec it out. I can even pour expensive beer in the modem. Newcastle or Bass or something English.

Funko
02-06-2009, 13:34:21
I don't know what the best value machines are in the US...

TCO
02-06-2009, 22:20:08
They refuse to re-look at my machine since the useless repair was 1.5 years ago (I didn't care since I just used the work machine.) So now, I think I need to buy a new one. Specs? I need Windows Office including PowerPoint. I'm a little scared of this whole Vista thing. REad all these juicy stories about how bad it was. Need a laptop.

Resource Consumer
02-06-2009, 22:24:58
Thanks. I need the Windows Office suite though, so that will add 300ish


Either load your old version on or use Open Office for free - it reads and writes MS Office compatible docs/ppts etc and works in pretty well the same way.

TCO
03-06-2009, 01:28:55
I got on Dell and started to design a system. Not sure how to really know when to draw the line and when to get crap, but here is what I came to:

it was 1250

My Components
SYSTEM COLOR Black Chainlink edit
PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6400 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache) edit
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Business Edition, 32-bit SP1, Downgrade, XP Professional SP3 Install edit
OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007 - Word, Excel + PowerPoint edit
WARRANTY AND SERVICE 1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis edit
HD DISPLAY 15.6” High Definition (720p) LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera edit
MEMORY 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz edit
HARD DRIVE Size: 320GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) edit
VIDEO CARD Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD edit
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE 8X Slot Load Super Multi (DL DVD+/-R Drive + RAM support) edit
WIRELESS CARDS Dell Wireless 1397 802.11g Half Mini-Card edit
BATTERY OPTIONS 56 Whr Lithium Ion Battery (6 cell) edit
SOUND OPTIONS High Definition Audio 2.0 edit
KEYBOARD Standard Keyboard edit
My Accessories
PRINTER Dell V305w All In One WiFi Printer edit
SERVICE & SUPPORT 1Yr Ltd. Warranty- Advanced Exchange edit
DELL V305W PRINTER Dell V305w All-In-One Printer edit
SECURITY SOFTWARE McAfee 15 month edit
DATASAFE ONLINE BACKUP Dell Online Backup 5GB for 1 year edit
BAGS Mobile Edge Deluxe Backpack for Screen Sizes Up to 17-inch - Dell Exclusive edit
MICE Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse - Blue with 8gb Flash Drive edit
My Software & Accessories
ALSO INCLUDED WITH YOUR SYSTEM
PROCESSOR Studio 15 Notebook
Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9, English/French/Spanish
Processor Branding Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor

TCO
03-06-2009, 01:29:54
I'm going to dig around and see if I have the 7 year old CDs for MS office.

Asher
03-06-2009, 04:13:33
:lol: @ Nav trolling Asher.

I run Windows on a MacBook Pro...

Funko
03-06-2009, 08:22:33
Well it's going to come up in price if you add in stuff like 2 printers! I presume one's a decent one for home and one's a smaller one to take on the road?

Here's what you need TCO

http://www.amazon.com/VTech-Preschool-Learning-Tote-Laptop/dp/B000E1PY6U/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1244016235&sr=8-8

Oh no wait sorry.

This machine is about the spec of your Dell, doesn't have the 320Gb hard disk but is has 250Gb which should be fine for you and it has a better processor and bigger screen.

http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Satellite-A355-S6924-16-0-Inch-Laptop/dp/B001UQ6LZQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1244016235&sr=8-7

If you're getting a printer for home get a laser, they are relatively cheap now and you'll save the money in the long run.

and some great deals at the moment, this one's under $100

http://www.amazon.com/Hewlett-Packard-P1006-HP-LaserJet-Printer/dp/B000UZH526/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=pc&qid=1244016745&sr=1-2

Can even get a colour laser for under $200

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-CLP-315W-Color-Laser-Printer/dp/B001BXS45I/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=pc&qid=1244016812&sr=1-10

Mobile printer:

http://www.amazon.com/H470-Office-Jet-Mobile-Printer/dp/B0010Z3KZG/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

Dell are wankers, and their price isn't any cheaper than getting the stuff separately, although you do get pointless crap like their online backup.

I've spent about 5 mins looking for these links, bound to be better deals out there

Drekkus
03-06-2009, 10:19:50
You are a genuinely good person, funko.

Resource Consumer
03-06-2009, 10:36:57
what a linker

TCO
03-06-2009, 10:46:06
Thanks Funko. That Toshiba is pretty. Not sure I'm over the milling machine though...

King_Ghidra
03-06-2009, 11:07:42
You are a genuinely good person, funko.

Sickening isn't it?

Drekkus
03-06-2009, 11:41:27
Too good, at times.

Funko
03-06-2009, 11:53:27
Don't tell Tizzy, she thinks I'm horrible.

Tizzy
03-06-2009, 11:59:53
I think they must be talking about someone else.

Lurker
03-06-2009, 12:45:33
I run Windows on a MacBook Pro...

I'm almost speechless. Either this is the Twilight Zone or I must have missed something.

Anyway, TCO, I bought a Toshiba Satellite laptop about a year and a half ago and have had no problems with it. I pretty much use it like you describe, except I sometimes play EVE on it. I was worried about Vista as well, but the worries were unfounded in my experience. I've had no problems with it doing what I do.

Drekkus
03-06-2009, 12:51:03
Was that the one you threw out of the window in blind rage?

Funko
03-06-2009, 13:03:43
:lol:

Nav
03-06-2009, 13:16:26
I don't know if Nav is trolling, I think he just got himself one. ;)
Almost, got myself a Mac Mini, about a third the price - but mainly just for testing!

Lurker
03-06-2009, 15:05:46
Was that the one you threw out of the window in blind rage?

That one broke.

Drekkus
03-06-2009, 15:19:07
how come?

Lurker
03-06-2009, 15:23:41
Wasn't a window. Was against the wall.

Funko
03-06-2009, 15:25:54
And was that because it wouldn't turn on because you didn't plug it in to charge properly?

Lurker
03-06-2009, 15:43:00
Perhaps.

Lurker
03-06-2009, 15:43:39
There are certain things you just try to forget.

Funko
03-06-2009, 15:49:24
That's almost up there with Oerdin's cider exploding for me

Lurker
03-06-2009, 15:55:02
Hehe, was pretty bad. If God's checklist includes one's treatment of electronic devices, I'm doomed.

TCO
03-06-2009, 23:25:49
Are you in Bal'more, Lurk? Kitty and I could visit your box, next time I'm up there.

Lurker
04-06-2009, 00:41:24
KH is too much of a wus to hang out with.

Funko
04-06-2009, 08:00:42
Your wife likes him though. :beer:

He'll just start singing Oh Canada then wander off anyway.

TCO
04-06-2009, 12:22:29
I found the CDs for the puter I have now. I have a CD for 2002 OfficeXP service pack 1. And I also have CDs for 2002 OfficeXP Professional with Puiblisher version 2002.

Should I just use those on a new machine or buy all new?

It still feels silly that that perfectly good 2002 puter is not working. I bet there is some simple physical or software thing messing with it.

Anyhow, I found out that I can get 10% off of a Dell with employee purchase plan. So should I just get one from them or mess around with the milling machine companie's machine?

Lurker
04-06-2009, 13:51:14
How can you activate those programs if you install them on a different computer?

TCO
04-06-2009, 18:26:37
I donno. Click on the icon?

Resource Consumer
04-06-2009, 18:28:46
they might be pre-this activation crap.

However, I have 2 versions of the same windows vista install on two different comps - maybe the MS activation does not pick it up if activated from the same IP address (and they have different hardware configs btw)?

Lurker
04-06-2009, 18:41:16
Yeah, I don't know how all that works. Question was more out of curiosity whether it could or could not be done.

TCO
04-06-2009, 18:58:38
I was asking that question too. Someone here initially told me to look for my old CDs. I found them. But I'm not sure if they will work, license wise. Also not sure if the 7 year old propgram is adequeate. I liked it fine at the time. But I don't want some compatibility issues. Guess I will just bite the bullet and buy new versions.

Resource Consumer
04-06-2009, 22:04:10
I was asking that question too. Someone here initially told me to look for my old CDs. I found them. But I'm not sure if they will work, license wise. Also not sure if the 7 year old propgram is adequeate. I liked it fine at the time. But I don't want some compatibility issues. Guess I will just bite the bullet and buy new versions.


Use Open Office - no charge and comp issues non-existent in my experience (although I haven't programmed anything in VB with it)

qchan
04-06-2009, 22:14:38
The thought of using OpenOffice tends to my my skin crawl. Yeah, it's aiight, but... it still kinda sucks.

Funko
05-06-2009, 08:00:12
I like it.

TCO
07-06-2009, 18:07:09
I think I figured it out. There are multiple copies of help center opening up and causing the machine to freeze.

Read up on this on the web and the likely cause is from a bad keyboard (this is a laptop, so not easy to test). I tried slapping the F1 smartly and turned it on and off a few times. The problem seemed to have gone away and I even went through all the time of uploading XP service pack 3 onto it (it was at 2). I did get all my old data off of it and verified that the MS office and the like were all working fine. Then the problem returned (as I was trying to type to you guys.)

So anyway, I guess I can buy a new keyboard (and battery) for the existing machine or still go and buy a new one. I'm not doing Open Office btw. So I would need to pay for new MS Office.

What do y'all think? Pack it in and get that sweet Toshiba plus Office for ~1200 or so?

Buy another Dell with all the warrantees and such (since I'm hard on computers)?

Get this old one reworking?