Computer Advice?

I’m considering buying a new laptop. Right now I work on a Windows system, but I’m willing to try a Mac. But I’m not sure, really, what is a good, trustworthy laptop maker these days. I don’t really need it for anything other than writing and internet connection, but no matter what I want a laptop with a low rate of failure. Can anyone sell me on what I should be looking at, the benefits and negatives of various types? Oh, and if you read my journal through a blog aggregator, please click over to the journal itself to leave the comment. Thanks in advance all you techies!



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9 responses to “Computer Advice?”

  1. Matt Cheney Avatar

    I’ve had a Mac laptop for almost five years now and it’s a workhorse. When I ordered it, I souped it up (had just gotten paid for writing something and felt more wealthy than I had any justification for feeling), which at first (as in, when the first bill arrived) I thought was a big mistake, but it’s since proved quite wise, because though the world of computing has changed quite a bit since I got the machine, it’s kept up just fine. All I’ve ever done to it is add a harddrive after the original died. (If I hadn’t had an external harddrive, it would have been catastrophic.) I’d had one Mac laptop before this one — the one I had in college, which was designed when the internet was a novelty (I bought it refurbished), and it still runs, too.

    Which is not to say that Mac is the answer, but just that it’s what I’m familiar with and have had good luck with.

  2. Tyler Clark Avatar

    I used PCs my whole life and have owned many Windows-based laptops. However, there’s been no better time to get a Mac. Since they switched to Intel-based chips, more software than ever is out there for it, and you can even run Windows on it if there’s some old piece of software you just can’t live without.

    The MacBook or MacBook Pro is more reliable and, let’s face it, cooler than Windows-based alternatives. You might even be able to check them out in person at Best Buy instead of driving to Pittsburgh.

  3. HMac Avatar

    Hey Chris – nice to see you Saturday, by the way – I, too, have a Mac laptop, and I’m totally in love with it. I hadn’t worked on a Mac for probably six or seven years, and it all came back to me pretty easily. Also, you can sign up for a service agreement at the Mac store in Legacy Village, where for like $100 bucks a year you get free classes, tune-ups at the genius bar, etc… it’s a pretty sweet deal.

  4. rob hawkins Avatar

    For what is worth, the last 4 of 5 laptops I have had have been IBM(now Lenovo) Thinkpads. The only problem I have had with past Thinkpads has been the screen. In some form or fashion the screen would break.

    I don’t have that problem with the current one, I have been using it probably for 2 (3?) years now. The one exception was a averatec, which I wouldn’t recommend based on the one I got. It gets too hot and automatically shuts down.

    Also, I always install Linux on all of them. I use kubuntu ( Kubuntu is a version of Ubuntu ( modified slightly to work better with KDE (

    I don’t have any requirements for windows-only applications so that’s not a problem. Open Office ( works great for documents, spreadsheets, etc. But I do leave windows installed since once in a blue moon I’ll want to see how a site looks in IE during web development. However, Lenovo now sells a laptop or two with Linux preinstalled, as does Dell and HP I think, and I’d probably buy Lenovo if I could find where to buy one without windows – its always hard to find. Here’s the appropriate pages for HP and Dell.



  5. rob hawkins Avatar

    oh, thought you’d like to see the following:

    Making ubuntu look like a mac.

  6. Gavin Avatar

    Typing on a MacBook here which I got (I think!) last year after using a Powerbook Mac G4 laptop for 5 years (it is now our music + print server in our office).

    It runs InDesign (opens a little slow) and all the usual things (Word, Excel, Firefox, FileMaker, Mac email program). Like Matt I rec. adding as much memory as possible. Basically spend as much as you can on the lowest model.

    Check these pages out:

    Unsubstantiated rumors have a new ultralight laptop coming later this year:

  7. Vermilk Avatar

    I’m looking into a MAC at work. I will be getting the MacBook Pro 17″. I’m adding the Parallel software which will allow me to emulate other operating systems like Windows. This way I get the best of both worlds. Also the MAC will run dual monitors without any additional hardware. I have been a PC person since the 80’s and I can’t wait to get my grubby paws on a MAC!

    How bout adding me to your blogroll!

  8. Steve Berman Avatar

    Holly has always been a huge devotee of Macs. Lately, she seems enthralled by a word processing program that is only available for Macs. Send her an email about it.

  9. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Thanks, all, for the advice. Apparently Macs are the way to go. 🙂

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