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That's that

My laptop has died. I was hoping, based on the symptoms, that it was a memory problem that I could resolve by replacing one of the two memory cards. No such luck. At this point I believe that there's a problem with the system board -- probably due to all of the bumps and shocks of being a 'field laptop' for the first couple years of its life. The machine is just shy of 4 years old, and 10 months out of warranty. So, it's replacement time.

I priced out a new Dell Latitude D550, and was pleasantly surprised by the price (less than the one that just croaked). I didn’t go for the fastest processor, but I did put in some bells and whistles. To-wit: a larger main battery for about 50% more run time, a speedier hard disk (7200 RPM vs. 5400 RPM), and faster main memory (and a lot of it, though not nearly the two gigabytes Dell recommends for people planning on running Vista).

Hopefully the new laptop will arrive before I leave for India. If not, I’ll have something to distract me once I get back. Though, as I observed to matociquala, a new laptop, no mater how sexy, is not an adequate replacement for my sweetie.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
half_elf_lost
Jan. 13th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC)
Know anything about bringing a laptop overseas (not that you're doing that)?

I'm thinking about bringing mine to the UK in the spring.
netcurmudgeon
Jan. 13th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)
Hmmm. From Asha's experiences in India and my brother's experiences in Iraq, the biggest thing is electricity. Wired Ethernet is wired Ethernet the world over. You'll have to change country settings to use their WiFi, if that's in your plans.

But, first check your laptop's power brick. If it says something like INPUT 100/240 V 50/60 Hz you're good to go. The multi-voltage and multi-frequncy rating means that it will work for both US 120 volt / 60 Hz power and foreign 240 volt / 50 Hz power. Your next step then is to purchase a plug adapter that will let you plug the power brick's US plug into an English outlet.

If the power adapter doesn't say that, then you'll need to get one that is either multi-voltage or made for Europe. Most laptop power bricks these days are multi-voltage.

Alas, the one for the vintage Compaq Armada that I set up for my brother to take to Iraq wasn't, and a helpful junior officer plugged his 120 v only power brick directly into some local Iraqui 240 v power and *ZOT!* Apparently said junior officer demonstrated that he was still promotable material -- he scoured their camp and begged a spare from a contingent of Aussie combat engineers. :-)
half_elf_lost
Jan. 13th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
Thanks!

Since the power brick I've got is brand-new from Dell (the other one got fried by the lightning strike) the label tells me I'm good to go! Radio Shack used to have a cool plug adaptor that was multi-country. Got to check.

And thank goodness your brother's PC is fixed. It's crucial to keeping in touch with home.
(Deleted comment)
half_elf_lost
Jan. 13th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing her advice! I didn't realize how bloody expensive some of the cases are, but found a reasonably-priced, padded one at Marshall's. Am thinking that I might want to move to a padded backpack for England (and it'll be easier to shlep with all my other loot) on the plane.
netcurmudgeon
Jan. 14th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a good plan. I lugged my now defunct latop around in a 'plain old backpack', which was convenient for me, but not so good for it, I think.

I have some colleagues who have backpacks with padded laptop compartments -- I can ask around for opinions if you'd like.
half_elf_lost
Jan. 14th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
Padded laptops are pretty available now. ePinions and Cnet have reviews of brands too, I think. (Love reading reviews)
ashacat
Jan. 13th, 2007 10:49 am (UTC)
laptops in foreign lands
I also recommend having a well-padded carrying case for your laptop. I've brought mine to India in a regular laptop case and (this time) in my backpack. It was more convenient to have it in the backpack when I was travelling to India, but in-country I now avoid carrying it because I don't want it getting bumped around. Last time I took it around much more.

BTW, netcurmudgeon, it is nice to know that though rumpled and bug-bitten, I am still more of a draw than your new, gleaming laptop!
netcurmudgeon
Jan. 14th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
Re: laptops in foreign lands
You know, we still have not let Ed-the-starving-co-op-student forget the day he let slip that his new optical mouse was more interesting than his girlfriend. :-)

...I've met Marissa (a bright, friendly, hot young nurse), Ed plainly doesn't know what he's talking about.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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