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PHRAG

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My laptop died last night. I have had it for two years, and it was a piece of junk. The power jack on the back of the computer developed a short about three months ago, and I was quoted a repair cost of $400. That is $200 less than the thing cost new. I was hoping to limp it along until I got out of school and could afford a new one. Last night, the power jack started smelling like burnt plastic, so I reached to unplug it just as the screen popped and crackled and started smoking. I can power it up, but the screen is dead.

Crap. I have some options, so help me decide what to do...

#1. I have been hounded by members of this forum (who shall remain nameless) to buy a mac for the better part of a year. But I haven't used a mac since college, and honestly, I am not a fan of the price of macs. They seem very overpriced to me. Also, I have not one clue about which one to buy, how to use it when I get it, and if I would even like it. That is a lot of money to gamble with.

#2. I could also get another windows based laptop, but now that vista is out, I am not so sure I want this either. Will the software I am running now even work on vista? I don't even know. I have been a loyal windows customer for a decade, and yet I find myself hesitating. If I go this route, do I buy cheap (under $600) and wait until I finish school to get a decent machine, or do I buy expensive because a more expensive machine might last longer? I have serious concerns that all my old software won't work on Vista.

#3. Don't get another laptop. Honestly, I am sick of buying overpriced toys that break down way too soon. I have had three laptops, two Dells and one Gateway. Maybe I am buying the wrong brands. Maybe I should get a desktop, since I know if something goes wrong I can fix it myself. I do have a Palm pilot that I have been using to study for school. It is internet capable, but very limited.

I have never been this conflicted before. I just can't seem to get my brain to want to think this through. I have a budget of $2000. I do not play any sort of computer games. I use photoshop and dreamweaver quite a bit, but that is about the extent of the software requirements.

What do you think I should do?
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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I recently got a new Gateway laptop with Vista and all the other bells and whistles you could want from BestBuy for $700. Everything runs great on Vista so far and I'm using Premium Home Edition.

I'd also get an external hard drive. I got a 100 gig one not too long ago to back up my old laptop so if the worst ever happened I'd always have a back up copy of everything. I think this was just under a hundred bucks.

Jon
 

bwester

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i bought a macbook pro and LOVE it!!!
 

SlipperFan

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Well, I'm terribly prejudiced toward Macs...

The problem with any computer is that it will be totally obsolete in 3 years -- it used to be 5. My computer is getting old, but things have changed so much in Macs, that when I decide to buy a new one, I'll be going to a storefront, find someone knowledgeable, tell them what I use the computer for and what software I have, and see what they recommend. I will stick with Macs, but I need Windows for orchid software. Now that Macs are using Intel processors, that's made things more complicated for me, but maybe simpler for you...

Any chance there's an Apple store near you? If so, you could at least go there and check them out. You might be pleasantly surprised.
 
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PHRAG

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Jon,

This last laptop was a Gateway. At first, I loved it. Then the battery wouldn't hold a charge. Then the plug inside the laptop developed a short. Then...BOOM! I gave Dell the benefit of the doubt, but I just can't make myself even look at Gateway now.

I have two external hard drives. I have copies of all our photos, music and important documents on both drives. I learned the backup lesson the hard way back when I did wedding photos. Nothing teaches you a lesson quite like re-editing an entire weddings worth of photos.

How do you like vista? Had any software installation issues? Crashes?
 
P

PHRAG

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I just wish macs weren't so expensive. If a $600 laptop burns out every three years, it's not so hard to replace it. But $1500 or more is a lot of money to be throwing around for something like that.

It's probably time for me to upgrade Photoshop and Dreamweaver anyway. I haven't had to buy new software since...well...ever.
 

Marco

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If you don't need to around with you and it still runs you can just get an old monitor and plug your laptop into the monitor. OR you can plug your laptop to your tv with a s-video cable if your laptops has the port. I plug my laptop into my TV through svid so that i can watch stuff that I download :). but i actually would suggest you use an old monitor. if you do do that though I would get a new ac plug.

But if you're looking for a new laptop ive seen zero % interest financing at circuit city or best buy or you can always apply for those zero interest cards for a year and then you can spread the cost of a computer of 1500 over twelve months for about 125 a month. as for preference....i dont like macs....but if you use just for mainly dreamweaver, photoshop and data processing i would get the mac if its within bugdet.
 

Heather

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I know you are predicting I will say this but...

I would get a macbook. $1000, that's $300 more than what you paid for your piece of junk and it won't be a piece of junk. I don't think you need the pro tho, you just need the basic model. Because of the intel processor you should be able to quickly switch between a windows and mac desktop (and software) anytime you wish. It is the best of both worlds and you will have a good warranty for at least a year should you hate it.

The interface is a beautiful thing, in my opinion. The only drawback I see for you is that buying one now will mean you will need to buy the OS upgrade when it comes out in a few months, should you wish to, and I think you will want it, it has some nice new features. If you could wait a few months, which it sounds like you cannot, the mac would ship with the new OS. I think it has a June release date? It is close. If you can wait, I would.

I would never go back to a desktop, especially with you being in school (who knows where you might want to study?) and they are just so much more versatile.

I love my iBook, and I want a macbook really badly.

As Dot said - go to a store, play around with them. Check out things like Expose and Spotlight. There are some really classy features on the new macs.
 

Heather

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PHRAG said:
I just wish macs weren't so expensive. If a $600 laptop burns out every three years, it's not so hard to replace it. But $1500 or more is a lot of money to be throwing around for something like that.

It's probably time for me to upgrade Photoshop and Dreamweaver anyway. I haven't had to buy new software since...well...ever.
Yeah, but they don't burn out in three years...and they're only $1099 bucks. I actually think that's pretty cheap for what you get!
http://www.apple.com/macbook/macbook.html
 

adiaphane

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Well, you can get a mac mini, not a laptop, but it's $400 and it's really small. And, you could still have get a laptop and have backup.
 

adiaphane

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Oh, and I should add that I have a mac mini. I was one of those crazy people who paid close to three grand for my titanium powerbook, but I still use it all the the time and the thing is close to five years old. I would get a new one, but I still don't need to. Plus, whatever I don't do on my laptop, I do on my mini.
 

Heather

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adiaphane said:
Oh, and I should add that I have a mac mini. I was one of those crazy people who paid close to three grand for my titanium powerbook, but I still use it all the the time and the thing is close to five years old. I would get a new one, but I still don't need to. Plus, whatever I don't do on my laptop, I do on my mini.
Gary still has his titanium powerbook and although the battery is kaput (so it needs to be plugged in all the time) it is about 7 years old I think. My ibook is 5 and I am craving a new one but not because this one doesn't work. I'm just greedy and I want that cool little camera so I can video chat with all you AIM freeks out there. :)
 

adiaphane

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I replaced my battery a year ago for $120 and now I can sit for around four to five hours without having it charged. The best $120 I ever spent.
 

bwester

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Heather said:
oh pulleezzze!
I have never worn a beret in my life! :rolleyes:
Oh yes you did!! remember MacCon 2006??? we were both there....
 

bwester

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I resent that Heather, I took a dump early this morning and am thus not full of ****
 

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