atw: Re: Buying a new laptop

A bundle of good points Michael - I disgree with some of them (ie I
still want a laptop), but it's good to refresh my memory to see if I
still feel the same way about some of them!

I'm also glad to hear (well, not "glad to hear", more "pleased to have
confirmed for future reference") the fact that Word for Mac is still
crappy - I had heard that it had improved, but I guess MS is not so
interested in upkeeping a program for a competing operating system! (not
that I'm accusing them of being anti-competitive... plenty of other
people do it so I don't need to!).



=20

-----Original Message-----
From: austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Michael Granat
Sent: Tuesday, 18 May 2004 1:48 PM
To: austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: atw: Re: Buying a new laptop

Dear Elizabeth (Fullerton),

This raises many issues.

1. Laptops are a hot property among thieves these days.
(VCRs are now worth almost nothing so laptops go.)
2. They are almost impossible to secure.
(Leave them anywhere, including at work and they vanish.)
3.  When they do go, so does all your data.
(Backed anything up off-site lately?)

The big issues with choosing a Mac anything over a PC
running any recent flavour of Windows are that:
1. Take it on site and your customer might refuse it.
(They won't provide support just for you.)
2. The Mac version of Word is really awful.
(The key strokes to activate the menus aren't the same.)
3. The single button Mac mouse is next to useless.
4. You cannot use them to capture steps for Windows.
(Most of the IT apps we must document run on Windows
capturing them and documenting them on the same box
saves heaps of time and effort.)

As for laptops in general, from my recent experience
with a top of the line machine:
* The keyboards are woefully inadequate.
(Too cramped! Where's the numeric keypad!)
* The scratchpad mouse / joystick mouse are dreadful.
(Get a real keyboard and mouse.)
* You have to sit bang up against the screen.
(So they use a resolution for that, which makes
for horridly small objects and text - the Microsoft
concept of high resolution being "make it smaller"
not give it better definition and greater clarity at
the same size, which is what it should be.)
* Most laptop screens have a very limited viewing angle.
(Except for the best Thin Film Transistor TFT screens)
* All laptops have shimmer and blur problems with fast
scrolling items, due to inherent refresh issues with
their Liquid Crystals and, as such use an unacceptably
low refresh rate of around 60Hz.)
* If you set them to a standard pixels resolution for
a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitor the text becomes
uneven and blurry for you to use.
(Unhelpful for tying to capture what users will see.)

Plus, despite their title:
* They are dangerous to use on your lap.
(...and very fragile.)

Why, apart from portability, would anyone
want one of these things?

Better to buy a ZIP drive instead that you can take
with you.

...and a paper notebook.  The type that doesn't crash
and lose your data when it drops.

Worst of all, they are outrageously expensive to
buy and to reconfigure (laptop memory and other
components are sold at a premium) compared with
their usually much more powerful desktop brethren.

Tax breaks or no tax breaks, I'd never use or own
a laptop by choice.

Sincerely,

Michael

Michael E. Granat
Technical Communicator
Without Prejudice. E&OE. Private & Confidential.
=3D20

-----Original Message-----
From: Elizabeth Fullerton [mailto:Elizabeth_Fullerton@xxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: 18 May 2004 12:53
To: austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: atw: Re: Buying a new laptop


I'm about to be in the market for a new laptop, too (since mine was
recently removed from my house by someone whose fingerprints identify as
a transient).
<snip>
My flatmate had a Mac laptop (until it was removed by
=3D20the same fingerprinted individual) - and
<snip>=3D20
Do people have preferences for Mac or PC laptops? and why?


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