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Patrick Donnelly
07-30-2008, 06:08 AM
So, I'll be leaving for college in about a month. I need a new computer. My current one is an 8 year old Dell Desktop running on Windows 2000 with 37GB of HD space and 256MB of RAM. I'm fairly certain that's not going to work. I don't know if there's any minimal specifications required by my college department though; I'll be calling later today.

I'm thinking: laptop, running Windows.


That's all I got. I'm really "out of the loop." Any recommendations? My budget is about a thousand dollars.

Mike ODonnell
07-30-2008, 06:13 AM
buying the latest model = waste of money

buy something 1-2 years older model you will get more value.....as it was top of the line 1-2 years ago...just now costs 50% less.

That and always backup your data on an external HD, laptop HDs have a life expectancy of like 2 years if you are lucky.....that and it costs $500+ to do data recovery of lost data....not cheap.

Allen Yeh
07-30-2008, 06:31 AM
What major will you be going into? You are better off with getting a slower processor and getting more RAM. External HD would be an essential buy as well. If you are completely non-computer savvy I'd opt going with a Dell.

Scott Borre
07-30-2008, 06:33 AM
Do you want a desktop or laptop? What applications do you plan using it for? Plan to game with it?

If it doesn't involve much in the way of high computational power and you want a desktop pick up an iMac. Fairly inexpensive, highly reliable. Can't go wrong with a MacBook or any Mac really. (I don't own one actually hah).

My last laptop was from www.ibuypower.com -- It works pretty good and is fairly cheap. Can get decent desktops from there too.

Building one is fairly simple so if interested you can go to say www.newegg.com and after a bit of research purchase the individual parts. Save lots of money if you want a Windows PC gaming machine.

Chris Bardwell
07-30-2008, 06:49 AM
For convenience and price I would consider a bottom of the line Dell laptop (http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=dndopm2&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&kc=features~laptops_great_deals). If you want something a bit nicer but are willing to pay more go for a Lenovo IBM.

These days any laptop will do a good job of browsing the web, watching DVD's and doing work on. If you are interested in things like portability you will need to pay more.

I second MOD's recommendation for an external HD they are pretty cheap these days and can save you a load of hassle.

Patrick Donnelly
07-30-2008, 06:57 AM
Re: Mike
Good call on getting an older model. I've already waited this long to buy since I didn't want to get anything that'd be outdated by the end of the summer. In all honesty, my current computer "works," despite being 8 years old. It also buzzes (loudly - a problem with the cooling fan), slows, freezes, crashes, and glitches often, but it works, and is a testament to the fact that technology doesn't have to be state-of-the-art.

Re: Allen
I'll be majoring in physics - so, the computer would be important, at least you'd think so. I just got off the phone with the head of the department, and he really couldn't give me any specifics. Simply put, he said that if I went with any of the Dell computers UMD sells, I'd be fine. Of course, one must wonder if that's his answer or UMD's answer...

Re: Scott
I'm not much of a computer gamer. StarCraft 2, maybe, but that's it.



The page for UMD's Dell computers requires a student log-on, but I'll get some printscreens for you guys.

Is a SD/Transflash card slot standard on laptops? My cellphone uses a MicroSD card for additional memory, which I use frequently. (I have a MicroSD to SD card adapter and my family's computer has a place for it.) I'd hate to loose the ability to use it.

Mike ODonnell
07-30-2008, 07:14 AM
Allen brought up a good point...you will most likely NEED to buy more RAM....especially if you are getting anything with Windows Vista (a memory hog....hell I bought a new laptop and had to format the drive to reinstall XP to make my computer work fast....that and more RAM....did I mention I paid $350 for it off Best Buy's website and it works like a charm? Knock on wood). A slow computer will drive you insane. So count another $100 or so for more RAM. Not familiar with Apple ibooks but people seem to like them as well.

Look online at Best Buy (like I did), Circuit City, Overstock, Gateway, Dell, etc.....you will always find better closeout deals on older or non-name brand models if you look hard enough. Consider a laptop a throw away....if it breaks, it's cheaper to buy a new one....so secure your data (back it up) and then get whatever laptop works best for you.

Patrick Donnelly
07-30-2008, 07:18 AM
These (http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/673/computersil3.png) are the laptops they offer, for a price below the standard Dell student discount.

Patrick Donnelly
07-30-2008, 07:42 AM
Actually, looking at Dell's website... It seems to be that UMD's prices are higher. Significantly higher. This is odd.

Scott Borre
07-30-2008, 07:46 AM
The last one on that list is a pretty good deal. I'd go with that one. Good screen size, good video memory, decent processor, etc. It will run Starcraft 2 for ya too (I am guessing).

4 years of support for that price too is awesome. (laptops break down often enough).

p.s. Blizzard games run on Macs too ;)

Your school probably has a Mac discount too. Might want to check into it.

Scott Borre
07-30-2008, 07:53 AM
I was getting ~ 300 less from your school compared to an equally specced on their site. Though it might depend on which model (an XPS might go down in price on their site faster due to changes in the video card/processor market).

Actually, if you wanted to play something like StarCraft 2 you probably would want to go for the XPS to get the more gaming oriented video card.

Paul McKirdy
07-30-2008, 07:55 AM
I plead the 5th... ;)

Ok seriously, I actually know a bit about computers.

1st, any computer inside of three years old is enough computing power to run any nuclear power plant protection circuitry, the space shuttle, a SONAR targeting solution the space station and more. Bloatware is the problem, but that's another story.

2nd, due to number one and the law of diminishing returns buying a used computer is almost as pointless as building one anymore. For a thousand dollars from a company like Dell, who also assembles some of the best LCDs in the world, you will get a helluva machine. There's no need for an Alienware box just for browsing the web and watching videos, presentations and keep Excel spreadsheets etc.

I definitely agree with the one-or-two-year-old philosophy just find it brand new in the box, and you will still get a helluva deal.

Mind you my in-

3rd, Don't get any machine with less than 1GB of RAM, all else being equal get 2GB or 4GB. The ability to process information is only as big as the real estate that can be made available to the processor(s). Physical IO is still the biggest performance hit, electrons travel faster than read-write arms of harddrives amazingly enough, Physics is still batting 1000.

Sometimes it pays to talk to Dell directly and separately from a "group discount", everything is negotiable.

4th, the lower percentage storage capacity used the better therefore the larger the harddrive the better in most cases. Another amazing fact is that harddrives are in no way designed to operate over a sustained 75% storage capacity usage.

I could go on forever into the fine details, but processor, RAM and harddrive are the big three. Ultimately in todays machines RAM is still king on providing calculation throughput, and every operation in a computer is a calculation of one kind or another. And I have not even fingerprinted the surface of the series-parallel conversion factor packet management between buffer caches of RAM processor and disk controllers. This is the doorway however that increased RAM relieves and only RAM will relieve. Electrons move faster than read-write disk arms, but we still handle them in a limited series fashion. When we start using purely light-based computing engines or purely the parallel electron path properties(quantum-computing) then we'll see some real computing speed, and it's not far off but that is another discussion.

Paul McKirdy
07-30-2008, 08:04 AM
+1 on the last one's price point. Can't tell from the description but especially if that graphics memory is separate physical memory...

As far as StarCraft II, it's not going to run it as fast as an SLI desktop, but it should run it decently enough to play I would think. The other way to more guarantee it is to go for one of the 4GB models. I am definitely partial to my 15.4 laptops, the bigger ones get too hot in my opinion...

In most cases you won't regret spending a few extra bucks on packages that increase RAM. Time is money. If was going to invest more now, I would get the XPS M1530 in that list. The latitude D830 would definitely be second to that in this case.

I don't know much about Vista yet, as I always resist upgrading. However, I would want to buy in at the Ultimate licensing point to try and hedge possibly having to increase licesning in the future.

EDIT: I still don't like the glossy screens on some laptops, but I know they are much better than they used to be.

Kevin Perry
07-30-2008, 08:25 AM
I'll give my 2 cents but i'll try to not e biased.

Pick your priorities with what you plan to do with it. Since your going to college it is probably more beneficial to have a portable laptop rather than a desktop.

What do you plan on using it for? Email, Music, movies, word processing, photo editing, video editing, graphics, gaming, GPU intensive applications, processor intensive applications? make a list because this is a cost saver.

Simply Put, break down the technical specs as such:

Ram: Minimun I recommend to run applications smoothely 2gb

Processesor: this is redundant. Some people recommend 2.5ghz over 2.4, there is no big difference, a 1.9 something will run as good as a 2.5 IMO

Hard Drive: get something with enough space to store your files, media, etc

Graphics Card: Integrated vs. dedicated ; You won't be able to game well with integrated but the latest graphics are allowing better gaming. ( im not a gamer and it seem like you don't do much either so it wouldn't matter)

Can't really go wrong with dell, the XPS line models are expensive but the lower line inspiron models are good and more affordable and can do just about anything you would probably need.

I personally recommend macs but keep in mind they are not cheap. There is the Macbook and the Macbook Pro with the pro being top of the line but over priced IMO at $2000.

Currently Apple has the back to school special where you can buy a mac and get a free ipod and printer and with an education discount you can get about 200 dollars off the list price.

You can alsobuy refurbished (used) for several hundred dollars cheaper from the apple store. A benefit to macs:

operating system: ease of use

Multimedia programs like itunes generally run better on the MAC OSX operating system because of better management of bacground resources

You can run multiple applications at once without much if any hasle

Litte risk of viruses

You CAN run Windows side by side with OSX

those are just some.

Im not going to knock vista because I actually like Vista and I currently use a Dell XPS M1330 which is a fantastic laptop for the money but it going to a family member as a gift and i'll be moving back to a macbook.

So for the money you can't go wrong with a Dell, good product, excellent customer service, excellent rebates.

Macs are A little more expensive but excellent computers with good customer service, excellent software, and you just can't go wrong with a mac.


I also recomment visiting tigerdirect.com (w/f/s) and newegg.com (w/f/s) for some great deals on laptops that you can grab for well under $1000 and a much as $500

Another note, I wouldn't worry about getting the latest and greatest either. You probably won't use all the fany featues that makers are putting on these things and within 1 - 2 months, they become obsolete.

Paul McKirdy
07-30-2008, 08:41 AM
+1 on newegg.com. I have done business with them for at least 4 years now. Always great service!

Kevin Perry
07-30-2008, 09:03 AM
Re: Mike
Good call on getting an older model. I've already waited this long to buy since I didn't want to get anything that'd be outdated by the end of the summer. In all honesty, my current computer "works," despite being 8 years old. It also buzzes (loudly - a problem with the cooling fan), slows, freezes, crashes, and glitches often, but it works, and is a testament to the fact that technology doesn't have to be state-of-the-art.

Re: Allen
I'll be majoring in physics - so, the computer would be important, at least you'd think so. I just got off the phone with the head of the department, and he really couldn't give me any specifics. Simply put, he said that if I went with any of the Dell computers UMD sells, I'd be fine. Of course, one must wonder if that's his answer or UMD's answer...

Re: Scott
I'm not much of a computer gamer. StarCraft 2, maybe, but that's it.



The page for UMD's Dell computers requires a student log-on, but I'll get some printscreens for you guys.

Is a SD/Transflash card slot standard on laptops? My cellphone uses a MicroSD card for additional memory, which I use frequently. (I have a MicroSD to SD card adapter and my family's computer has a place for it.) I'd hate to loose the ability to use it.

Ah I missed this..

if you need an SD card reader than rule out the macbook it does not have one.

the Dell XPS 1330 and 1530 have this feature.

And if you want to game with Starcraft 2 in mind (those i don't know much abotu it but im assuming it's new which means it will require some pretty intense requirements) then maybe consider the M1550 which has a much better dedicated card and it's not that much more than the 1330, they are pretty much the same price actually and already come with 3 or 4 gb of ram and 320 gb hd I think. real good package and like Paul said, you can negotiate the price lower.

Mike ODonnell
07-30-2008, 09:18 AM
On a side note....do your school work....get out and join a fraternity....get a GF....you won't have time for Starcraft 2..3..4......

Steven Low
07-30-2008, 09:53 AM
Speaking as a former UMCP student...

1. Bring your own monitor & printer. Don't get any one of the packages basically. This will save you a bunch.

2. Get a desktop (laptops have the tendency to get stolen; well, higher probability at least since it's kinda hard to be non-conspicuous carrying out a bulky tower as opposed to a notebook).

3. Anything right now that's ~$400-500 should be MORE than enough honestly. Most of the computers on UMCP campus are P3 processor with like 256/512 RAM and small HDDs, so any of the new stuff will blow it out of the water regardless of if it's the cheapest thing around.

4. SC2 will not be coming out for a while. And it's not going to be a graphics intensive game regardless. They are (and will) make it as low specification as possible so lots of computers can run it. Anything now should be fine honestly.

5. IMO use Open Office (basically microsoft office except free open source) so you don't have to buy MS office. Well, or you can pirate MS office, but I didn't tell you that.

6. Take care of your comp. Defrag often. Delete stuff that you don't need. I have a 7 year old computer that is pretty much just slightly slower now with an Athlon 1.4 ghz than my families 2.x ghz just because I take care of it well. And it can handle games well still.

Kevin Perry
07-30-2008, 10:51 AM
Torrents are the answer to everything...

Patrick Donnelly
07-30-2008, 11:02 AM
Re: Everyone
You seem to be drastically overestimating my desire to game. I'm not the kind of guy who would stay up to 2AM playing video games. Not anymore, anyways. I play about 3 hours a week... That's plenty for me.

Re: Macs
I simply don't like them. I've used them a few times, and every time, it made me want to vomit just looking at the thing. I know some people love them, but I'm not one of those people.

Re: RAM
Yeah, I'm definitely looking to upgrade from my 256MB. If you were to total up the time I spent waiting for this computer to do things over the past three years I've had it (got it from my brother, used), it would probably be disgustingly high. Of course, one could argue that any time spent in front a computer is wasted, but that's another topic all together.

Re: Steven
Is theft a serious enough issue on campus to warrant a desktop just because it's harder to steal? I may sound a naive, but the rooms are pretty secure, right? They do have locks, after all. I'm assuming that people use them. If you do, it's not like someone can just waltz in and raid your stuff. Also, when outside, as long as you keep your laptop in your backpack (or on your lap), and your backpack with you, what's the chance of something bad happening?

Re: Torrents (to Steve in particular)
They mentioned that at orientation, trying to scare you off with the stories of students who had to pay $4000 each to settle lawsuits out of court. Now, where these kids just idiots who were downloading 10GB of illegal music per day, or are torrents something that UMD really clamps down on? There are legitimate uses for them... Not many, but there are, and I've used them before too...

Allen Yeh
07-30-2008, 11:07 AM
From what I remember of my UMCP days crime was definitely on the upswing, maybe Steven will correct me but when I started as a freshman in 1997 and graduated in 2003. Things were just getting worse and worse. Something to bear in mind.

Steven Low
07-30-2008, 11:22 AM
If you're set on getting a notebook a lock will be fine. Just be careful and keep it locked up.

Otherwise, they were/are cracking down on direct connect and other file sharing stuff. And they will send you letters of warning if you're trafficking a lot of bandwidth. I would be very, very careful. Most of the people they're going after are the SHARERS not the downloaders.. but obviously if you only download and don't share there's not going to be anything to download if everyone does the same. Torrents, for this reason, are very hard to track and are probably the safest. It's where you're getting stuff from file sharing clients like Kazaa/DC/etc. and stuff that you're most likely to get busted.

Otherwise, I honestly don't think you need a lot of processing power or anything. Just something half decent that won't break the bank.

Derek Weaver
07-30-2008, 06:11 PM
On a side note....do your school work....get out and join a fraternity....get a GF....you won't have time for Starcraft 2..3..4......

That's the best post of this thread.

Steven Low
07-30-2008, 06:34 PM
On a side note....do your school work....get out and join a fraternity....get a GF....you won't have time for Starcraft 2..3..4......
Ah yes, many things I didn't do in college. :(

Although I'm happy I did do gymnastics again. Amazingly fun which led me to various online fitness sites... so here I am. :)

Patrick Donnelly
07-30-2008, 08:04 PM
Re: Everyone
You seem to be drastically overestimating my desire to game. I'm not the kind of guy who would stay up to 2AM playing video games. Not anymore, anyways. I play about 3 hours a week... That's plenty for me.
I already plan on working as a personal trainer, and getting an internship within the physics department sometime during the 2nd semester. Then there's also Gymkana, CrossFit DC's weightlifting club, and if I can find the time (school work permitting) and place (distance, cost, and scheduling permitting), I'd like to pick up Krav Maga. Once I get there and get used to the classes, I'll work my schedule out.


Anyway, how does this one look?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834146452

Steven Low
07-30-2008, 08:43 PM
I would say get an XP one to be honest.

I don't particularly like Vista (steals sooo many sys resources) and has compatibility issues with certain programs. Depending on some stuff it runs slow as hell compared to XP.

Otherwise, it's a good choice. For some reason, you get "less" stuff (somewhat less RAM/HDD/etc.) with the XP systems.. I guess they figured they need to get rid of their Vistas for cheap since the OS is whacked out.

Patrick Donnelly
07-31-2008, 03:53 PM
I ordered the Lenovo IdeaPad earlier today. If it happens that I really hate Vista, the drivers for XP are all available on Lenovo's website. However, with twelve times the amount of RAM that I have on this old desktop, I think I'll still be pretty content, even if Vista is a resource whore.

Steven Low
07-31-2008, 05:34 PM
Keep me informed. :)

Allen Yeh
08-01-2008, 03:59 AM
Watch out for the cougar! The radio reported there have been many sightings on campus the last few days.

Kevin Perry
08-01-2008, 10:32 AM
Did you purchase off Newegg?

Thats one of my favorite places :D

Patrick Donnelly
08-01-2008, 11:53 AM
Did you purchase off Newegg?

Thats one of my favorite places :D

Yes, and I got the 2 year warranty extension with it.

Monday is the expected delivery.

Chris Bardwell
08-01-2008, 01:51 PM
Great purchase BTW, you will be very impressed with the lenovo build quality.

Patrick Donnelly
08-04-2008, 07:48 PM
Got it today. Definitely an awesome computer and well worth the money. Transferring all my files, passwords, settings, etc. will be a pain, but worth it in the end.

Questions:
1. What's the purpose of the D drive? There's C (~175GB) and D (~30GB). I assume the other 45GB (of the 250GB) is taken up by the operating system. But, yeah, what's the point of D?
2. What antivirus program would you recommend?

Steven Low
08-04-2008, 08:44 PM
1. D is basically for backup files. Vista specifically has this stupid thing with it that puts it's backup files on a different "drive" just in case the other gets corrupted. Although I'm not sure if they actually partitioned it for you or if it was another hdd they put in.

2. Anything that's free. Both Avast and AVG are pretty good; get both perhaps.

Corey Cedeno
08-05-2008, 02:51 AM
Avast + Comodo

Allen Yeh
08-05-2008, 04:31 AM
I've had good experience with Kaspersky (not free).

Nowadays an antivirus program is not enough to protect your PC from all the crap floating around. A good firewall (NOT the built in Microsoft firewall) is very necessary. You can probably get a discount through UMCP as well.

Paul McKirdy
08-05-2008, 06:30 AM
mailwasher.net the best 20 dollars I ever spent on software in 16 years of computer use. though I think it is a bit more expensive now.

lots of "malware" is downloaded via email by mistake. this software lets you delete the email on the remote server before it ever even touches your computer. downloading email is unequivocally inviting the fox into the henhouse.

Patrick Donnelly
08-05-2008, 06:21 PM
lots of "malware" is downloaded via email by mistake. this software lets you delete the email on the remote server before it ever even touches your computer. downloading email is unequivocally inviting the fox into the henhouse.

I once received an email with the subject of "Email," a message saying "see attached," and an attachment called "email.exe." Do people actually open those things? If so, I cry for them.

I only got that kind of email once though. Most of the junk mail I get is simply "FROM THE DESK OF..." and "SECOND NOTICE" type Nigeria scams.

Blair Lowe
08-08-2008, 04:38 AM
ahh, I was too late to reccomend
http://www.cheapstingybargains.com/

When I worked for one mobile computer company, we used cheapstingybargains whenever a client wanted to buy a brand new system and get a deal. We offered to either take them to the local stores or shops to guide them through the process ( for a fee ) or do it online with them. This, often went hand in hand with eventually setting the system up with them with their existing internet connection or having broadband brought in and setting it up for them ( often, some providers will charge customers for a tech to come out and install and our service was cheaper [ even if it's mostly a no brainer ]).

First off, you don't want to run multiple AV programs at the same time as it will slow down your system tremondously if they don't conflict with each other to hell. One running all the time, with another installed and de-activated while you keep it updated is not a bad idea though a bit overkill. Better safe than sorry.

You can get Zone Alarm for a personal edition though Comodo is nice. AVG currently has it's antivirus and spyware/malware consolidated in it's latest version 8. It's not the best, but it does the job. Avira antivir is one of the best for free. To buy I like NOD32, as it is low on system resources and fast.

This is about 6 months old http://www.av-comparatives.org/seiten/ergebnisse_2008_02.php, but should give you a good idea as to performance of each AV product. Products that like Norton Internet Security that tend to focus on securing your entire computer tend to be the most resource hungry ( though NIS used to be a real hog ) while suites that only do antivirus/malware/spyware/adware/rootkit tend not to be so tasking.

GData and AEC are rated the highest but I have yet to find a trial or demo to see how they run. Many of the Kaspersky based AV engines conflict with a lot of other programs, especially anti spyware/malware programs ( PC tools Spydoctor, Spybot S&D, etc ).

Webroot Spysweeper and PCTools SpyDoctor are known to be amongt the best anti spyware/malware programs out there though SpyDoctor is a system hog. I like SuperAntiSpyware and having Spybot S&D as a backup besides it's other handy features. You can actually get a free home user edition of SpyDoctor through google software.

There wasn't any use in stating what I reccomend as for system specs. Vista, I would say 2GB, and I wouldn't be much to look to 4GB of mem if you can expand it too that much if you're going to be running any physics programs. CPU wise, you most likely got a CoreDuo2 from the light cache variants to something mid range unless you want with an AMD x2.

Sorry, Stephen. I don't play SC and am not looking to SC2 but my roomates are. It looks like the engine is very similar to the one being used for Diablo3 ( I've seen promos of both ) so I wouldn't be surprised if you will need some impressive specs. While, typically you cannot upgrade laptop graphics, there are some adapters out there now. With most RTS, you want a nice CPU and lots of ram as rarely they are graphics limited until you get lots of units ( think Supreme Commander, a sort of new Total Annihilation ). Beware, if your laptop has a Nvidia graphics chip as there have been lots of reports of failed chips due to the dynamics of heat and cooling and solder issues on the board ( laptops tend to heat and cool much more often than desktops ).

Having your a partition that implements or images your system back to it's original state is a pretty handy thing. Sometimes, they do this instead of giving you backup media with your OS and programs. Sometimes it's generally a function of pressing F10 ( or another function key ) before the Bios boots to the OS.

I will note I love Newegg's ability to get stuff to you in 3 days. They are actually designed ( warehouse wise ) to be able to get you anything in the US in 3-5 days.

Steven Low
08-08-2008, 11:34 AM
Sorry, Stephen. I don't play SC and am not looking to SC2 but my roomates are. It looks like the engine is very similar to the one being used for Diablo3 ( I've seen promos of both ) so I wouldn't be surprised if you will need some impressive specs. While, typically you cannot upgrade laptop graphics, there are some adapters out there now. With most RTS, you want a nice CPU and lots of ram as rarely they are graphics limited until you get lots of units ( think Supreme Commander, a sort of new Total Annihilation ). Beware, if your laptop has a Nvidia graphics chip as there have been lots of reports of failed chips due to the dynamics of heat and cooling and solder issues on the board ( laptops tend to heat and cool much more often than desktops ).

Yeah, Blizzard will not make an RTS that requires significant specs. Just look at what SC required.

Windows 95/98/NT
Pentium 90 or higher
16 MB RAM
DirectX-Compatible SVGA Video Card
Microsoft-Compatible Mouse
Double-Speed CD-ROM
(Quad Speed for Cinematics)

That was in '98/'99 which was a couple years after pentium IIs came out; at the very least they had 400-500mhz computers out on the market.

Blizzard will do their best to keep system specs down so they can reach pretty much every gamer because they don't want it to be high end like some of the other games that have come out recently. Not everyone wants to buy a new system to play a game.


And stop calling me Stephen.. not sure why you keep doing that.. for like 3 years now. -_-

Patrick Donnelly
08-08-2008, 04:08 PM
Re: Blair
The AV-Comparatives.com link was broken, but other than that, thanks for all the great info. I'll be looking into all the anti-virus programs recommended here over the next few days. Also, I agree that NewEgg's shipping was pretty great, and fairly cheap. It only cost $17 to ship this laptop.

Blair Lowe
08-08-2008, 09:24 PM
ahh, it's av-comparatives.org

What sounds like SC2 leaked specs http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=189528 It's gaming so not necessarily w/f safe.


Your biggest limitation will probably be whatever video is on your laptop. Some ATI or Nvidia solutions might be decent, but ya neve know.

Patrick Donnelly
08-09-2008, 08:14 AM
Oh wow. I just used Microsoft Office 2007 for the first time today. What the hell is this garbage? Wow.

Steven Low
08-09-2008, 09:02 PM
Oh wow. I just used Microsoft Office 2007 for the first time today. What the hell is this garbage? Wow.
Yeah, try out Open Office... it's free and can do a bunch more stuff than MS Office...

Patrick Donnelly
08-10-2008, 08:45 AM
I already have. http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/1091/iconwackobz7.gif

Frank Needham
08-23-2008, 08:37 AM
Good thread here. I'm on the verge of springing for an ultra portable and am leaning towards Dell after looking at Lenovo and a few others like Mac, etc.
Here's the one I'm looking at:
http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/latit_d430?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04
The $1,299 model should have all the performance needed and I'll get XP on it. The Inspiron we have right now is pretty ok except it is heavy and has Vista ugh. We were going to buy a replacement desktop for the old Gateway in the office but another laptop with XP and an external drive seems better.