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My Life with Laptops


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#26 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:16 PM

Most companies? Nah. Many, yes. But not most. And in most companies, the management and professional portion of the work force is not the majority of the work force either.

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Just take a look at Josh's company...
But you are assuming that is the norm. It is not. Look at my old company. 400 programmers at one location and everyone used a PC. Some who traveled also had notebooks. But most did not travel.

What I see is work data stored on company networks and those that need to work from home do so on their own computers and then they access the data via networks.
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#27 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:21 PM

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Well the hardware may not fail but after awhile, the hardware cannot keep up with the software.
That's true but it works the other way around too. I look at 64-bit. Hardware has supported 64-bit for many many years - before XP came out and there was a 64-bit version of XP. But it took years, until Window 7 became popular, for software developers to embrace 64-bit.

Fact it, hardware waits for software to catch more than the other way around.
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#28 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:38 PM

When I worked at Unilever I had two (count 'em) identical desktops at two different locations on two different networks. When I went to Head Office I was out of the loop completely. Cloud storage, smartphones and VPNs were not a factor back then. Today I'd be in a hot desk environment in three locations as a scientist in product development. It made sense to give me a laptop in 2004 but I wasn't important enough I guess. It makes even more sense to equip the grunts today with what they need. Even your average refrigerator repairman has a smartphone.
I can't think of any company I've ever worked in where I went to work and never moved for 8 hours. Your mileage was way different than mine. Having a desktop back then tied me down. Today having a desktop sets me free.
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#29 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 09:53 PM

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Even your average refrigerator repairman has a smartphone.
While I agree, smartphones are not the same as notebooks or PCs, and not really pertinent to this topic.

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Having a desktop back then tied me down. Today having a desktop sets me free.
I assume to meant "today having a notebook sets me free". I say having a notebook for work ties me down, or at least handcuffs me to work. There has to be some "me time" in there.
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#30 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 06:26 AM

No having a desktop sets me free, A notebook is a PITA if you don't need it. A desktop allows me to have a big screen, longer asset life, better game experience etc.
However a laptop would be the way I would have to go if I were still working. The workplace I knew is now more mobile than ever. Maybe you wouldn't consider tablets as laptop equivalents but I do. The forklift drivers where I used to work now have them. So does my doctor.
Maybe you were important enough to choose your type of computer at work. I never was. I would be content with a desktop at work but I'd never have that option today.
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#31 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 11:34 AM

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No having a desktop sets me free, A notebook is a PITA if you don't need it.
Sorry! I misunderstood you completely. I thought you were in the camp who felt notebooks were the only way to go.

As far as work, it all depends on your work environment. Some certainly are mobile but many are still humongous cubical environments or even large open-office environments where everyone has their own desk and work area. PCs with large screens are ideal for them.

I do not consider tablets as notebook "equivalents" at all. They are not convenient for sitting down and writing a paper or creating a presentation document, for example. But tablets are superior devices for some, including doctors who move from exam room to exam room and who document patient visits by touching icons and canned texts, and ordering prescriptions and labs by touching another icon in a list. And in a warehouse, a tablet makes perfect sense.

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Maybe you were important enough to choose your type of computer at work.
It was not a matter of importance. It was about having the best tool for the job. If your job required you to be mobile most of the time, you got a notebook. If not, a PC. A PC, after all, generally costs considerably less to buy, maintain, upgrade and replace.
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#32 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 08:53 PM

To summarize where I'm at today a desktop is by far the superior PC. I have two - one Linux, one Windows. I also have a notebook for travel and holidays.
BTW I just finished installing yet another wifi printer for a neighbor who has two cheap notebooks sitting beside it in the same room - one for him and one for his wife. They are in their mid 80s and never go anywhere. It's a hopeless situation.

Edited by raymac46, 25 September 2017 - 08:56 PM.

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#33 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 09:16 PM

Honestly, I just see them as tools and use whatever is convenient for the task at hand. I have 7 computers here at home that range from a Dual Xeon with 96gb of ram to a netbook with 8gb of ram. Each have their own uses and limitations. If I need processing power and space on the go, I ssh into my main desktop which has an i7,16tb and 64gb of ram that can be accessed from a number of devices including my current smartphone. If I just need to browse on the go, I can bring a number of laptops depending on my current favorite and what I need to do or my phone. I also have a couple of high-end workstation laptops at home which are controlled via synergy (software kvm switch). The point I was trying to make is each type of computer has it's use. Depending on what you are doing you may not need a full desktop experience and even if you need the processing power, there are other ways to obtain it.

For instance, I just learned today that when the current high-end technical machines (I described above) go out, they will be replaced with a standard machines that are maxed out (i7, 16gb ram with 1tb ssd). This is because most of the heavy computing is done on the blade servers now so the engineers could technically use a thin client to work with. I work in a company with around 100k employees so I would imagine that this is how it is going in today's business.

BTW I am an DXC (formally HPE) contractor at Royal Dutch Shell so its not just Shell moving from desktops but the route HP Enterprise is going as well in the enterprise market.
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#34 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 07:43 AM

I agree with you about using the right tool for the job. However many seniors today don't understand the technology and end up buying the wrong stuff. My 85 year old neighbor is a case in point. He has two laptops in the same room with his router and a wifi printer with 4 cartridges. He has FAX capability he'll never use. He could have gotten a simpler home designed HP Envy for 1/3 the price. And a desktop would have given him better service - he could even wire in to the router and get higher speeds.
Many seniors have a laptop as their only PC and think they have a better replacement for their old desktop. They just look at cost and get something slow and underpowered. Then after they trick the machine out with all the security stuff and a bunch of crapware they get frustrated with slow performance.
They'd also be better off running Linux but that is another subject.
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#35 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 08:23 AM

Yeah, sadly some salesmen do take advantage of people when they can and push for options the consumer may not need.
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#36 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 10:45 AM

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He has FAX capability he'll never use.
You would think, but actually, you cannot say that. Just last week I changed some beneficiary information for one of my insurance policies. They emailed me the forms but I had to fax the signed signature page back. Fortunately, I have an all-in-one printer device so (as long as I remember to press *70 to disable call-waiting) I can easily fax from home instead of paying $1.00 per page at my grocery store. And because of how my health insurance works (unless I want to pay out-of-pocket) I cannot have my blood labs done at my doctor's office, I have to go to another lab and they fax the results to my doctor.

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They'd also be better off running Linux but that is another subject.
Except that involves a steep (for them) learning curve to learn a new OS and the new (to them) software that runs on Linux. They love the idea of Linux and Open or LibreOffice being free, but not having to learn how to use them. This learning curve is one of the main reasons so many seniors refuse to give up their XP systems - they don't want to be forced to learn, or just have a difficult and frustrating time learning something new. Thank goodness for one of my favorites, Start10 or the free alternative, Classic Shell.

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Many seniors have a laptop as their only PC and think they have a better replacement for their old desktop.
A "new" notebook likely is better than their "old" PC. It likely is more powerful and likely has a more secure operating system. But that does not mean a "new" PC would not have been a better (and less expensive) replacement for their "old" PC - especially if they could have carried over their old keyboard, mouse and [larger, easier on old eyes] monitor. And how many of those seniors with new notebooks EVER move that notebook off their desk? Not many from my experience here - at least not as they move further into their very senior years. Of course some seniors are more active and mobile than they ever were - always traveling and doing things. For them a notebook may be the best choice. But even there, many have moved to smart-phones to stay connected.

As a hardware tech, I don't like notebooks because they are so proprietary - IF replacement or upgrade parts are available, you typically have to get them from the notebook maker, at a higher price. As a price conscious consumer, I don't like notebooks because if the computer portion fails (motherboard, for example) and it is not economically feasible to repair, you must also replace the case, power supply, keyboard, mouse pointer and the expensive monitor too.

I think all-in-ones are better for seniors than notebooks. While they are basically notebook computers mounted in the back of a large monitor, they do take up less space than a tower PC and use a much more comfortable (and easier to see) full size keyboard, easy to handle mouse (or easy to use trackball), and of course, that much easier to see/read big screen monitor. And because the AiO monitor sits up on the desk, it tends to be easier on necks.
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#37 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 02:49 PM

I know this guy and for sure he'll never use FAX. He didn't even know what the phone cord he got in the box was for. I live in Canada where all medical stuff is sent to the doctor digitally. I have not had to send a FAX since 2009 and that was to a lawyer who was too dumb to have a computer in his office. Don't ask why. My own all-in-one printer is  scan copy print.
Linux is the way to go for seniors. If I set them up with the right distro they will just go ahead and surf the Web without missing a beat. I've got 90 year olds doing it. Linux Mint Cinnamon is a lot closer to XP than Windows 10 is. Plus they don't get viruses and crapware by installing stuff off the Web.
Obviously I meant that a new desktop would have been better than a new laptop. The old desktop would be fine with Linux though. My 90 year old is running a desktop that used to run Vista.
Most all-in-ones I see around here are cheap and slow immobile versions of laptops - not many Apple OSX models or higher end Dells.
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#38 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 02:56 PM

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Linux is the way to go for seniors.
Personally, I think Linux is the way to go for many people. Don't get me wrong, I really like Windows 10, but for most people, Linux would suit their needs just fine.
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#39 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 03:27 PM

Uh... what's a DXC... or for that matter, an HPE?

Ignorant minds wanna' know. ;)

#40 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 03:34 PM

http://www.dxc.technology/
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#41 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 03:40 PM

Although I move in a rather well off middle class milieu there are some folks I know who just cannot afford to buy any sort of PC - used or new. I have kept my 90 year old client on the Internet for quite a while now with a combination of old desktops, Linux Mint, hand-me-down flat screens. Right now I'd like to find another desktop for her but haven't been successful. The last couple I saw that looked good, the owners decided to keep and had me install Linux Mint for them..
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#42 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 04:16 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 26 September 2017 - 03:27 PM, said:

Uh... what's a DXC... or for that matter, an HPE?

Ignorant minds wanna' know. ;)

HPE = HP Enterprise
DXE = "DXC is not an acronym. The name DXC is a reference to our mission, which is leading clients on their digital transformation journeys. The X is a reference to the company, being a force multiplier, enabling clients to seize the opportunities presented by today’s rapidly changing technologies."

HP split into two groups, HPE and HP back in 2015. HPE handled the enterprise side of the business and HP handles the home/printer market. Well a few month ago,

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DXC launched on April 3, 2017,[2] created from the merger of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and the Enterprise Services business of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

https://en.wikipedia.../DXC_Technology

Basically I work for HP Enterprise but now we are called DXC.
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#43 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 04:19 PM

View Postraymac46, on 26 September 2017 - 03:40 PM, said:

Although I move in a rather well off middle class milieu there are some folks I know who just cannot afford to buy any sort of PC - used or new. I have kept my 90 year old client on the Internet for quite a while now with a combination of old desktops, Linux Mint, hand-me-down flat screens. Right now I'd like to find another desktop for her but haven't been successful. The last couple I saw that looked good, the owners decided to keep and had me install Linux Mint for them..

Speaking of, I am sure you seen earlier where I was saying that you can find nice used business class laptops on ebay for a hundred or so. I just bought a HP 9470 14" laptop with an i7, 8gb of ram and a 250gb ssd for less than $200. I maxed out the ram to 16gb and installed Linux on it. The one I got didnt come with a battery or charger but you can get a battery for like $40. Since we used to use that model at work, I can get a battery and charger for free.

So I got a nice thin laptop for $170. Some of the ThinkPads are less than a hundred for an i5.
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#44 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 05:51 PM

Yes I am sure there are good deals out there. Probably the US has more and better deals. She could get a nice Lenovo ThinkCenter from a local refurbisher for $200 ($150 U.S.) But I don't think even that minimal amount is in her price range.
I have some decent desktops here but I'm using them. I don't mind IT support on a donated machine but It isn't really up to me to buy something better for her.
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#45 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 06:10 PM

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you can find nice used business class laptops on ebay for a hundred or so.
For those in the US if looking for a decent used system, check out Walmart refurbished computers. Most come with W10 and many even come with 1 year warranties with pretty decent prices for extended warranties.
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#46 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 07:52 AM

Lots of great choices at Walmart US.
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#47 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 09:04 AM

Yeah, they are no speed demons but if you know someone who needs a computer for their (or their kids) school work or some other necessity, short of straight give-away, these are a great option.
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#48 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 01:19 PM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 26 September 2017 - 04:16 PM, said:



Basically I work for HP Enterprise but now we are called DXC.

Ahh! I C :w00t:

#49 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 07:53 AM

Speaking of crap laptops I saw another one yesterday. I was at my daughter's home. She had a friend's laptop and wondered if I could take a look at it.
It was totally DOA. Even with the power brick plugged in, nada. At first I suspected a bad motherboard, but my son-in-law also has an HP with a compatible power supply so I plugged that in. The laptop immediately started up.
It took forever to boot but eventually revealed itself to be running Windows 10. 2009 model AMD based HP G61-429WM with single core Sempron M120 and 3 GB of RAM (DDR2 I believe.) 4200 RPM hard drive. Low spec when new and now 8 years old.
My daughter wondered about installing Linux but I don't see the point. It'll be a bit better but not much.  Probably worth $20 for a new cheap power supply. Norton antivirus had expired but Windows Defender had taken over so probably no viruses. A scan wouldn't hurt but I wasn't about to connect to my daughter's network at that point.

Edited by raymac46, 29 September 2017 - 07:57 AM.

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