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Mr. Slow versus Mr. Heavy


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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 07:45 PM

On the subject of First World Problems I am having a debate with She Who Must Be Obeyed about which laptop to bring along on our next holiday (Caribbean Cruise.) At the outset it must be stated that SWMBO is used to blazing along on a quad core i5 desktop with 16 GB of RAM and a 100 Mb Internet connection.
She's not really happy with either choice - both of which have Linux installed, SSD storage and decent wifi. Let's call them Mr. Slow (too slow for her) and Mr. Heavy ( too heavy to carry in her opinion.)

Mr. Slow is a 10 inch Toshiba netbook with a 64 bit 2nd gen Atom processor. It has been across the Pacific and across the Atlantic and to the Caribbean. It has only 2 GB of RAM and admittedly you won't watch a lot of YouTube on it. However it has plenty of space to store photos as a backup, it sends emails just fine and besides the wifi on the ship is horrible so you won't use it much anyway.
Mr. Heavy is a tank like 14 inch Thinkpad T430 with 8 GB of RAM and an Ivy Bridge i5 mobile CPU. No performance issues here and it'll work fine in any hotel situation. I'll be the one who'll carry it in my backpack and I'm not complaining. Probably overkill for the ship but hey...
This decision is being left up to me because either choice is unsuitable according to SWMBO. How can I go right? We do have a few days off the ship in a hotel and Mr. Heavy will rock in that situation. So right now I'm leaning that way.
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#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 07:48 PM

Bring the one with the best specs. You will barely be able to browse most websites with that Atom and only 2gb ram. Since most websites nowadays make use of a lot javascript, the "Mr. Slow" will not be worth bringing along.
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#3 OFFLINE   goretsky

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 06:34 AM

Hello,

I'd personally go with the ThinkPad T430.  You might want to make sure it has a boot password set on it as well as anti-theft software to defer trouble.

I wrote up some travel tips here at work a couple of years ago (which is based on an even older post on my personal blog).  It's geared towards going to a convention with a computer, but a lot of things still apply to a cruise.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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#4 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 06:38 AM

View Postgoretsky, on 25 January 2018 - 06:34 AM, said:

Hello,

I'd personally go with the ThinkPad T430.  You might want to make sure it has a boot password set on it as well as anti-theft software to defer trouble.

I wrote up some travel tips here at work a couple of years ago (which is based on an even older post on my personal blog).  It's geared towards going to a convention with a computer, but a lot of things still apply to a cruise.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Nice set of tips :thumbsup:
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#5 OFFLINE   Dr. J

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 08:28 AM

Hi...
My MSI U180 "Travel Netbook" has more or less the same specs as Mr. Slow, except it only has one gig of ram and a 5400 RPM drive. I had it with me traipsing around England last summer.

It certainly earns a name like Mr. Slow, but it did what it had to do, including booking a rail journey on gwr.com, which is a horrendous mess of Javascript Junk that makes my brain bleed (although I did install Chrome, since the old Firefox just wouldn't cut it).
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#6 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 12:50 PM

It's a vacation! Slow down. Have the chance to relax, read, walk the deck and see the local sites. Let's not forget the eating!

On our cruises, including one to the Caribbean, I always took along my eeepc. It is 7" and operates at a blazing 900MHz. I wanted something easy to cart around and not worry obsessively about it getting dinged or stolen. I'd be sad but not devastated. I also removed all logins and passwords of any kind from the browser before we left. I kept the info on a notecard, folded and in my beltbag that I wore all the time.

My intent was not to spend time on the computer. I just wanted to check email so I didn't have a gazillion messages to go through after being away for 10 days. (Remember, this from a woman who spends too many hours a day on a computer!)

I also had an sd card with movies on it. When my husband had something on tv in the cabin at night that I wasn't interested in, I put in the earplugs on my 7" netbook and watched a movie.
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#7 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 03:35 PM

Thanks all for the tips and the advice. I have Mr. Slow fired up now and I do agree with my wife that it is rather painful to use for web surfing. Right now I'm running Arch with Xfce and with only one tab open in Chrome I am up to 1.3 GB of RAM.
On the other hand Mr. Slow has done the job on past cruises. I know I'm not going to spend a lot of cruise time using a laptop when the wifi is slow and there are lots of better things to be doing. Mr. Slow is nice and compact to carry in a backpack. Mr. Slow would hardly be a theft target either.
Both laptops have password protection.
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#8 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 03:42 PM

One other point. My daughter and son-in-law are joining us on this cruise and they usually bring along enough electronics to equip a CES show so Mr. Slow might only get used in a pinch.
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#9 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 05:04 PM

Got Mr. Heavy on the go now and as expected way faster and more powerful. System monitor showing 2 GB in use but I have 8 GB to play with. Speedtest doesn't show a big difference in broadband speed but the processor/memory combination makes a big difference.
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#10 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 05:22 PM

Stay home. Take care of your lawn. Or, in your case, shovel snow off of it. ;)

Seriously, have a nice and safe trip! Enjoy. Oh, and leave the D***** Internet at home.

#11 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 05:15 AM

Zlim's solution is great.

Quote

I always took along my eeepc. It is 7" and operates at a blazing 900MHz. I wanted something easy to cart around and not worry obsessively about it getting dinged or stolen. I'd be sad but not devastated.

Quote

I know I'm not going to spend a lot of cruise time using a laptop when the wifi is slow and there are lots of better things to be doing.

So you do not really need a pc at all and can find loads of ways to enjoy the holiday. Hmmm now the SWMBO conundrum.

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How can I go right?

Simple . You agree with her that both items are not suitable. Then you suggest that she buys a laptop  to suit her needs. Win win situation for you.

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#12 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 06:22 AM

View Postabarbarian, on 26 January 2018 - 05:15 AM, said:

Simple . You agree with her that both items are not suitable. Then you suggest that she buys a laptop  to suit her needs. Win win situation for you.

:laugh:

And you get nice business class laptops off of ebay for under $200. For instance, here is one I bought that my company also used. i5, 16gb ram, 256gb ssd for around $230: https://www.ebay.com...675.m4100.l9146

Companies can only keep the machines for 3 years and then they go to disposal. The disposal companies then sell them on ebay. The only thing is many of these will come with no OS  as they have been wiped.

The one I bought was in perfect condition with no scratches. It came with 8gb ram but I  put another 8gb stick in it to max it out at 16gb.
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#13 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 09:04 AM

Well despite Eric's advice to leave the Internet at home, SWMBO will want to check email and send messages to  her sister and keep track of her mother etc etc. She'll use whatever I take along.
Besides Mr. Heavy isn't really that heavy. Countless business people have hauled a Thinkpad around and none of them suffered all that much. It'll fit right into a backpack. Mr. Heavy was an off lease machine similar to what Josh is talking about.
There really isn't a fast laptop version of Mr. Slow - about the smallest performance laptops around now have a 12.5 inch screen. Anything smaller is really a tablet.
Even if I pack Mr. Heavy in my backpack I'll be OK. It's not like I'm bringing a 17.3 inch ROG laptop. And nowadays I take a small but versatile camera instead of the SLR and a bunch of lenses I used to haul around. So the net weight is about the same.
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#14 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 09:27 AM

Oh yes and the best part on a cruise is going over to the Internet lounge to set up my wifi account. The gurus there are used to helping most decrepit old folks like me set up a password on a Mac. When I show up with a Thinkpad they ask me what version of Windows I am using. I tell them Debian Linux and watch them choke on their coffee. Good times. :devil:
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#15 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 10:04 AM

View Postraymac46, on 26 January 2018 - 09:27 AM, said:

Oh yes and the best part on a cruise is going over to the Internet lounge to set up my wifi account. The gurus there are used to helping most decrepit old folks like me set up a password on a Mac. When I show up with a Thinkpad they ask me what version of Windows I am using. I tell them Debian Linux and watch them choke on their coffee. Good times. :devil:

Nice :thumbup:
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#16 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 12:49 PM

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I tell them Debian Linux and watch them choke on their coffee.
Nice!
That's like the guys at Bext Buy and the now out-of-business Radio Shack who raced over to my husband. He shrugged and said, "I'm with her."
Best Buy got better they no longer assume the male person knows everything and the female is clueless. They also no longer assume that older people know nothing about tech.
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#17 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 02:53 PM

One of my favorite stories.
A few years ago my wife and I went over to see the store manager of the thrift shop she volunteers at. This lady had a large house in the country and her parents lived in a small granny flat attached to the house. Anyway she said her parents had a new computer (Windows 7) and they couldn't get their printer to work with it.
I asked how long they had been without a printer. "Three months" said the lady's mother. Three months?
I went to Control Panel, found the printer (it was a USB connection.) I set it as the default and the printer started working. We had to delete quite a bit of chaff in the print queue.
"You are not a young man," said the lady. "How did you know how to do that?" What could I say?

Edited by raymac46, 26 January 2018 - 02:54 PM.

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#18 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 09:56 AM

I guess I think differently than most, but how about MX Linux (or other distro of choice) on a USB stick with persistence?  Plug into public machine at internet cafe.  Doesn't get much lighter for travel than that!  Heck, take two...one for you one for her!  JMO

#19 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 10:54 AM

The ships I've been on would not let you plug anything into the USB ports. That's why bringing your own device is better.
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#20 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:53 AM

Not sure if you could use a USB stick in the Macs they have on the ship. Anyway you'd have nothing in the hotels and could not use wifi on the ship. So that would be a non-starter for SWMBO.
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#21 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 06:10 PM

touche on both responses.  I thought it was so obvious and couldn't believe no one else had suggested that.  It appears that I need to get out more often!  :-)




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