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MAILLOT JAUNE

Laptops - Advice

I've got an HP Pavillion dv6000 - I bought it off a friend who told me that he'd had to have the motherboard replaced within about 6 months to a year of having bought it. I'm now having all sorts of probs with it, which I've googled and there doesn't seem to be a solution only many disgruntled customers.

Anyway, I'm thinking of maybe buying a new laptop and was wondering if anyone could recommend a bomb proof laptop with Wireless capabilities. I need to transport it occasionaly but that's not a major issue. Mostly use it for surfing the web.

Any ideas greatly appreciated.
cadence

Re: Laptops - Advice

MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:


Mostly use it for surfing the web.

Any ideas greatly appreciated.


Anything from Apple, less problems with viruses and such....
grrr

Re: Laptops - Advice

cadence wrote:
MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:


Mostly use it for surfing the web.

Any ideas greatly appreciated.


Anything from Apple, less problems with viruses and such....


or if you don't want to spend that much money I would go for a Dell Latitude with Windows 7.  We've used the Latitudes at work for years and they seem pretty robust.  

Significant savings can be made by using Open Office instead of Microsoft Office for word processing, spreadsheets, etc and by using Microsoft's free virus protection.
bianchigirl

Have to say I love my Samsung NC10 - no issues at all, easy to upgrade memory, goes in my handbag and everywhere with me - only possible issue for you might be screen size but the netbooks are so cheap now (or 'free' with some mobile broadband contracts) - my brother has one for the bedroom/bathroom and living room all networked Wink

The Toshiba's are supposed to be good - thinking of getting one as Tom'd birthday coming up and he really wants my little Sammy Wink
berck

Stay away from HP's unless you spend more $$. The cheaper HP's are made by the old Compaq division. Compaq's hardware has had problems for years.

Apple is a great choice. For the price, you get lots of great working software. If you need to stay in a Windows world, I would suggest getting a Dell.
Biosphere

The trouble with this type of advice is you get lots of different suggestions, all of it good, none of which helps you narrow it down, so the advice becomes pointless Smile

I'm thinking of this one

http://www.trustedreviews.com/lap...ng-R580-JS02UK---15-6in-Laptop/p1

friend bought one a month ago and is pleased.

edit: meant to post that you can also get a 64bit Win 7 version

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-n...ech-data/B003EEUUU4/ref=de_a_smtd
TNG

Bio is absolutely correct, of course.....plenty of 'found this to be OK' comments, but at the end of the day there are way too many variables involved. I've always taken the approach of putting together a system spec based on what exactly my needs are, adding a bit for an element of 'future-proofing', and another bit for the 'gadget factor'....the result is nearly always a Thinkpad, though of course they can be a bit pricey.

If you seriously only really need it for web browsing, then a netbook would certainly be the cheaper option (or you could of course even think about an iPad....I love my iPod Touch, and the iPad is just a bigger version of that!).

Although you mention HP troubles, we recently bought one of these for our son:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/lap...ion-dv6-2113sa---15-6in-Laptop/p1

on the advice of a very trusted friend who also happens to be a WAY bigger (and better) techno-geek than me. He currently works for HP, and uses their laptops and was happy to recommend it. Comes with Win7 64bit and thus far he has been very happy with it. Looking at Bio's Samsung, there's very little difference between the two in terms of review score (or indeed system spec). You will probably find quite a few similar spec laptops in the 450 to 550 price range, whether any of them will suit your needs will depend totally on what those needs are....
MAILLOT JAUNE

Thanks for all your advice folks - much appreciated. I always feel that I'll get unbiased advice from you guys and I prefer that to just taking a wild punt at googling for reviews on certain things.

I seem to have sorted one of the problems with my laptop, now just got to see if the Wifi will work in my hotel tonight. So, fingers crossed I might not have to buy a new laptop.

But thanks again for your efforts.
ventoux

Joined in a bit late here, but if you do have to buy, AVOID DELL....   Crying or Very sad
MAILLOT JAUNE

I think the thing is that you only find out how good/bad a computer is when you start having problems.

I've also got a Dell Latitude (in another location) and haven't had any technical problems with it, but did have problems with customer services as they had sent me the wrong language disks, they eventually sent me English language disks but then pestered me to pay for them! Fortunately they gave up.....
ventoux

I bought a Dell for my daughter, and only afterwards did I start picking up from friends/colleagues that they didn't have the best reputation for reliability.... in just over a year she's needed a new keyboard, a new battery and a new mains adapter....  

I have a 4 year-old Fujitsu, very heavily used, with (almost) no problems....
MAILLOT JAUNE

Well, I managed to hook up to the free Wifi hotspot in the hotel last night - brilliant! Then when I switched it on this morning, all network connections had disappeared!!!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhh.
Looks like I'm on the hunt for a new laptop, my personal one is just too unreliable.
Fontfroide

Just got to England with the MacBook.  I can send and receive mail to France, my wife anyway, and receive mail form English pals, but when I send it back, reply, it does not work.  I will note the message they send me.  Using my usual mail client, Thunderbird, in the usual way, just asking for my mail and it comes.  Just can't send.

anyone have any ideas.  Might go to the Orange office, my provider in France, in Lancaster to see what they say.

'An error occurred while sending mail. The mail server responded:  5.7.1 <cosmic51@btinternet.com>: Relay access denied. Please check the message recipient cosmic51@btinternet.com and try again.'

The cosmic is my pal's address.  I write him from France all the time, same address.

thanks if anyone knows anything.  I will ask around here too, so no pressure.  I CAN logo onto the forum so that's the most important.  Or any website.
maffy

most email sending servers check to see if you are logged on from their own network/IP addy. you aren't, so it does not work. it would be better if they had a email sending server logon, but they don't.

find a smtp server with a proper login/pass before you go away next time. in the meantime, check your isp/orange france's website for a webmail section and use that, or a.n.other webmail account. or your pal's isp's smtp server might allow you to relay through it.
berck

It maybe what maffy says, but they maybe just blocking certain ports for reaching an SMTP server. Yahoo suggests (your btinternet is really using Yahoo servers) changing the SMTP port number to 587. Most ISP's usually don't block that port.

You should check your ISP's help pages for more information
SAP

berck wrote:
It maybe what maffy says, but they maybe just blocking certain ports for reaching an SMTP server. Yahoo suggests (your btinternet is really using Yahoo servers) changing the SMTP port number to 587. Most ISP's usually don't block that port.

You should check your ISP's help pages for more information


I just had to do this after years of having no problems with my outgoing mail (AOL using Outlook and Verizon FIOS).  Suddenly I couldn't send email and had to change the SMTP port to 587--no warning or notice from Verizon...And it took some time for me to figure this out.  Duh. Frustrating when it comes out of the blue after working fine forever.
berck

SAP wrote:

I just had to do this after years of having no problems with my outgoing mail (AOL using Outlook and Verizon FIOS).  Suddenly I couldn't send email and had to change the SMTP port to 587--no warning or notice from Verizon...And it took some time for me to figure this out.  Duh. Frustrating when it comes out of the blue after working fine forever.


Yep, same thing for me with my ISP. It was working, then one day no longer. Once I switched all my SMTP servers over to 587, I've had no problems on any ISPs.
Fontfroide

Thanks for the help.

So I have tested it out and I can send mails if I go to the Orange site and send from there.  Of course I have to copy the address from the email and then go back to Orange and paste it in, so it is not so easy.  Hardly a tragedy though.

So port 587.  Where would I find this port and what do I do once I get there.  Again, MacBook, running Snow Leopard, using Firefox and Thunderbird.  

Would changing the port to 587 affect anything else, or mail when I get back to France?  I still don't get why I can send mail to France and not to England, but maybe I don't need to know.

What port do you reckon I use now?  How could I see that, never gave it a thought really.

Keep in mind that although I love using my computer, I have no real knowledge about the gubbins and am not very keen to find out, so any advice should be be for a simpleton.
last km

My two penneth...yes Macs are expensive..but Ive had mine a year now, and its never let me down

When I think of the hours /days I wasted friggin around with Windows problems...as I consider my personal free time at a premium, personally its been money well spent.
berck

FF,

Please reveiw your ISP's help pages for the SMTP setting for your email client. They will probably be similar to that for Outlook Express. The issue is that if the SMTP port is set for 25, just changing to 587 won't do any good. 25 is a less secure open port. 587 requres some security to use. From what I can tell, your ISP uses yahoo for its email. If thats the case, they currently use a port number of 465, which all you have to do is change it in that case...

This is what Yahoo has listed in the instructions...

Incoming mail server settings

   * POP server: plus.pop.mail.yahoo.com
   * Use SSL
   * Port: 995

Outgoing mail server (SMTP) settings

   * SMTP server: plus.smtp.mail.yahoo.com
   * Use SSL
   * Port: 465
   * Use authentication
   * Account Name/Login Name: Your Yahoo! Mail ID (your email address without the "@yahoo.com", for example, “testing80”)
   * Email Address: Your Yahoo! Mail address (for example, testing80@yahoo.com)
   * Password: Your Yahoo! Mail password

Troubleshooting tips

If you still can’t send Yahoo! Mail from your mail program, you may be accessing the Internet through an ISP that is blocking the SMTP port. If this is the case, try setting the SMTP port number to 587 when sending email via Yahoo!'s SMTP server.

Mrs John Murphy

I am looking to get a new laptop. I am something of a technophobe and when I see references to RAM and Processors in the shops my eyes tend to glaze over. So my basic question is this:

What should I be looking for as 'minimum' spec for example to get games like GTA IV to run well on a laptop in terms of processors - what is the best measure of a good processor? I have no idea about the relative benefits of dual core, triple core, pentium etc etc.

What kind of RAM should I be looking at?

Is RAM more important than say processor speed?

All advice gratefully received.
Biosphere

My best advice would be to go to WH Smith and flick through the laptop magazines to find one of them that has a feature picking 10 gaming laptops and ranks them against each other using their benchmarking tests. The benchmarking tests are standardised computational tasks so machines can be compared against one another. It's like a VO2 test. It's a perennial question and one of the mags should have something along these lines. Things move so quickly that it's about the only way you'll get up to date advice.

For info

Multi cores are now defacto in PCs as the "legacy" CPUs were reaching their performance limits when it was just a single CPU. To process more information, the clock speed (the speed the CPU "thinks" at) needed to get faster and faster, which led to problems with overheating, chip architecture, etc. Solution is a team of less powerful CPUs that work together to give something powerful overall. This is referred to as multi core and it's much easier to engineer performance this way. Quad (4) cores are common now.

4GB RAM is pretty standard and I'm not sure Windows (assuming you go that route) can use more usefully anyway? Make sure you go 64 bit windows 7 too (again assuming . . .

You've overlooked a graphics card. A good one will be essential for gaming to render the graphics quickly for a better gaming experience.

You really need a magazine though that rates how these various elements have been integrated into the final package. To take an example of something like a processor look at the Intel i7 range (their high end CPUs). The table in the Wiki link shows the range of permutations that hide behind the i7 label. I wouldn't know where to start on picking one of them to build a PC around.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_i7

The i7 is very high end though so I'm not saying it's what you need - just giving an example of how a magazine will help to rank how a specific spec. of machine will handle the tasks you have in mind.
Mrs John Murphy

Thanks. That helps - I think.

Again, graphics cards are something I know nothing about.

Now this is what I was looking at:

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/ace...-3gb-memory-red-08702347-pdt.html

I have no idea if i) that is good for its price range or ii) any good for playing games.

From what you've said - I suspect not.
Biosphere

I think for games it will let you down. A 128MB video card is small in that regard AFAIK.
Mrs John Murphy

Thanks.  I have about £500 max to spend, so really I am trying to piece together what is best I can get for that.
cadence

Does it have to be a laptop, your options are much larger when you go with a desktop.
Mrs John Murphy

It does because I'm traveling around quite a bit. Work though just needs Office, email etc
TNG

Would agree with Bio, sensible advice. One thing though, Win7 64 bit makes excellent use of any additional RAM in the PC....it caches very efficiently. Ploughing through 25mb RAW files in Lightroom can quickly eat into the 12gb of RAM that I have in my desktop....it means I don't have to worry about buying an SSD for improved performance.

#1 son bought a £500ish laptop last year, the current equivalent version can be seen here: http://uk.insight.com/en-gb/productinfo/laptops/HPYAXD448E and here: http://www.johnlewis.com/231132832/Product.aspx . The current spec is a little better as one would expect, with a 512mb ATI video card. I don't know how it would perform with GTA, but he regularly runs World or Warcraft on his with no apparent problem. Fortunately though....his is black/silver, not red!

The John Lewis deal is a bit better because it gives you the 2 year warranty, but I would first check out the reviews and benchmarks as Bio suggested.
berck

MJM,

The laptops that TNG list should work for your needs (and price range). Realistically, if you are wanting to play demanding games (like GTA IV), you need an ATI or NVidia card. The integrated Intel graphics just don't have the performance.
Biosphere

This is a decent list of options. I picked gaming laptop and £400 to £500 cost.

http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/products/ids/attributeselection

Another easy to overlook thing is keyboard. Helped the mother in law pick out something from HP's Pavilion range just over a year ago. Don't know if they're all like that, but it has a lovely keyboard and I'm always been impressed with the feel the few times I used it since. Build quality feels good too. Since it sounds like you don't use a docking station, it's something else important, but a lot less tangible than clock speeds, RAM, etc . . .
Biosphere

TNG wrote:
. . . One thing though, Win7 64 bit makes excellent use of any additional RAM in the PC....it caches very efficiently. Ploughing through 25mb RAW files in Lightroom can quickly eat into the 12gb of RAM that I have in my desktop....it means I don't have to worry about buying an SSD for improved performance . . .


I see. I got my 32bit and 64bit facts and figures mixed up. I've got 4GB memory in the laptop (don't have a desktop) and Lightroom can be a bit sluggish for me. I've got the 64bit version of W7 and an 8GB SD memory card hanging around so I'll try that in the built card reader to boost the available memory (in the first instance rather than installing RAM) and see if it helps. Thanks for tip.
cadence

Here is one place I would read if buying a new Laptop…

http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/
Mrs John Murphy

OK. My free Norton trial is due to expire. I have three choices - pay and renew it, get Kapersky via work or go for AVG free.

Advice as to which is best?
berck

I've been using AVG for years. Its worked great. Even caught some viruses that got past other co-workers Norton setups.
ventoux

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
OK. My free Norton trial is due to expire. I have three choices - pay and renew it, get Kapersky via work or go for AVG free.

Advice as to which is best?


Norton is a bugger for slowing everything down, & eating resources.... I switched to AVG last year & happy with what it does, and how "lightly" it seems to do it....  I recently paid to upgrade to the "full" version, although nothing got through when I was on the free one (I'm just neurotic!)

don't forget to fully uninstall Norton when you go..... it's traces seem to linger too intrusively if you don't.....
TNG

AVG for me...been using it for quite a few years. Used to use Norton, but hated it, exactly as Ventoux says. However, that was years ago, by all accounts Norton has greatly improved in this particular area....but too late for me. I'm not Irish (I don't think), but I can hold a grudge!!  Laughing
ventoux

TNG wrote:
However, that was years ago, by all accounts Norton has greatly improved in this particular area....


No it hasn't.... it's less than a year since I "escaped" from Norton, and it was still shite then....  their sales strategy is to bundle it cheap/free on new machines, and people take the lazy option of renewing it after the initial period.... that's what I did for years, I'm embarrassed to say....  Embarassed  Embarassed
Biosphere

Another vote for AVG here. Norton was a dog when I last used. Complete resource hog. Avoid.
Slapshot 3

From one of Norton/Symantec senior sales managers.....avoid at all costs on home PC's. The system is massively resource hungry and the holistic checkers not that intuitive.

I use AVG at home and have done for a number of years.
kathy

I used to have Norton - got a nasty Virus while it was supposedly completely up-to-date.  So ditched it and have been happily using Free AVG for about 4 years.
billgull

My daughter has informed me that her laptop has finally gone kaput.
Got it for her before she started undergrad and it lasted into her
second year of medical school.

The medical school in Ann Arbor no longer uses textbooks. Everything
is on computer, including their weekly quizzes/tests. They also record
every lecture and they may be viewed/reviewed via the internet.

Also, she will be taking the first two parts of the NAMBE ((National
Association (of) Medical Board Examiners)) exams this coming Spring.
She will be needing her computer for that, also.

Have a few questions:

1) What is the maximum amount of memory on a laptop?
2) Would an external hard-drive be a good idea/purchase?
3) What is the best CPU?

Any other ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Slapshot 3

billgull wrote:

Have a few questions:

1) What is the maximum amount of memory on a laptop?
2) Would an external hard-drive be a good idea/purchase?
3) What is the best CPU?

Any other ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!


From my own experiences....

1) 4GB minimum with room for expansion.
2) ALWAYS a good idea to back things up (I have three)
3) Intel Core i7-2600K is the one doing the rounds at work, we're replacing a bunch of our secure laptops with these just now. They are not cheap though!
ventoux

billgull wrote:
My daughter has informed me that her laptop has finally gone kaput.
Got it for her before she started undergrad and it lasted into her
second year of medical school.

The medical school in Ann Arbor no longer uses textbooks. Everything
is on computer, including their weekly quizzes/tests. They also record
every lecture and they may be viewed/reviewed via the internet.

Also, she will be taking the first two parts of the NAMBE ((National
Association (of) Medical Board Examiners)) exams this coming Spring.
She will be needing her computer for that, also.

Have a few questions:

1) What is the maximum amount of memory on a laptop?
2) Would an external hard-drive be a good idea/purchase?
3) What is the best CPU?

Any other ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!


1) 4gig of RAM,,minimum, agree with Slapshot; 320 or 500 hard drives look pretty standard these days
2) no - not a good idea.. it's ESSENTIAL - I back everything to a hard drive, AND to the cloud (Box.net offers most free storage, but DropBox has a way better interface...) - if ever you've had a laptop just die (I have) you'll know this....
3) don't have a clue; I switch it on, it works - good enough for me!
kathy

Not a laptop, which I originally intended, but I've just bought a cheap and cheerfull netbook (The money I'd intended ofr the laptop was diverted towardds a new HD TV after my old TV died Laughing )

My first problem involves JC.  Although I can access my mail, other forums and things like Facebook on the netbook using my usual ID's passwords etc, it is almost impossible for me to log into JC.  I think I've managed it once!

Seeing as I can access other things, I would guess it's nothing to do with 'eenabling  cookies'?????  Any bright ideas?

Secondly, the idea of the netbook is so that I can go and sit in bars and do my writing - so I would like Microsoft Word on there.  I have an old (but perfectly legal) version of MS Office.  But of course it's on CD's.  The netbook doesn't have a CD drive.  It has an SD card input, and several USB sockets.  Can I copy the Office CD's to something useful so I can load them on the netbook?  I do have a couple of external hard drives as well, but I thought it was difficult if not impossible to copy the Office stuff other than by using a drive in a computer.  But it must be doable somehow, surely???
Biosphere

Kathy, you might be able to do something like creating an ISO image of the windows installation disk on another PC, copying the file to the netbook and mounting as a virtual drive. I've not done it myself as I've never had need, but effectively rather than copying the just the files, you copy the contents and 'disc structure' to the netbook hard disc which then appears like a CD-Drive that you can install from. Two main steps:

Making the ISO image using a PC with CD drive
Mounting as a virtual drive on netbook

http://www.isodisk.com/ which seems a bit old now but it's the type of thing you're looking for. As I understand it . . . which is quite vaguely.
TNG

I'm pretty sure that in the past I didn't need to bother with making an ISO image, I simply created a folder (called something imaginative like MS Office 20xx) then copied the contents of the CD into it. Sure you lose the autorun capability, but it's just a matter of finding the correct executable and double-clicking it. For example, with Office 2003 Pro, setuppro.exe would intall the full suite, setupwrd.exe would install just MS Word. Office 2007 was a bit different, there is just one setup file (Setup.exe) which allows you to select which components you wanted to install.

But Kathy, a netbook is optimised for, well, the net....so why aren't you considering something like Google Docs. Fully compatible with both Word and Excel, free, cloud-based (so anything you do while sat in the bar will be waiting for you on your desktop when you stagger home).  Very Happy

Got to worth a look, surely?
cadence

Or if you have a cross connect cable you can run the install off your laptop CD/DVD drive....
kathy

Thank you very much for your replies.  I'm still mulling it over, but the solutioni s really staring me in the face.  Up on the shelf, I have an external CD/DVD drive, which someone gave me years ago.  I've never used it, but if, and it's a big if Laughing , I could find the power cable for it, and then find a cable to plug into it with a USB at the other end, I could use that as a CD for the netbook when I need to.

But, thinking about what TNG said, there is something called Wordpad installed on the netbook.  I've just opened it, and it looks suspiciously like Word, so I assume it's compatible.  If I could use that, I could then transfer any work I did back and forth using an SD card (I've already checked that it's easy to download/upload to an SD card)

My other problem still remains.  I cannot log onto JC on the netbook.  I've no idea why not.  I've just tried again.  When I click on login after putting in ID and password, it just sort of - well, ignores me - and goes to the index, without logging me in!  Most peculiar!
TNG

Kathy, Wordpad is NOT compatible with the *.doc Word documents (though there is partial compatibility with the *.docx format used in Office 2007 and later).

Guessing that most of your existing documents are in the .doc format, Wordpad probably isn't the answer....it's really just an upgrade to the Notepad text editor.

So you'll probably either need to find a way to install Word (which really shouldn't be that difficult), or use an alternative such as Google Docs.

No idea why you can't login to JC, sorry. Maybe SS or Berck need to reset your credentials and then try again.
kathy

I've just done a little experiment!  I copied one of my books onto an SD card, and inserted the card in the netbook slot, and tried to open the document in the Netbook.  It informed me that I need Microsoft Word, and offered me 2 options.  I could buy (!) Office 2010, or download Office starter 2010.  So I chose the latter option, and I now seem to have Word and Excel on the Netbook!! Very Happy
TNG

Sounds good....but being johnny rain-cloud again, you probably ought to read this http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/p...ce/pages/office_2010_starter.aspx...you'll see that they are limited function Word and Excel (which may or may not be a problem).
MAILLOT JAUNE

I use the Word and Excel Starter versions on my notebook. It's OK as long as you don't want to do anything too fancy. It's just a bit of a pain sometimes when using such a small screen that there is an advertising strip on the righthand side of the screen which you cannot get rid of and so limits your view of the document.
Biosphere

Would Open Office be a better option than 'crippled' versions of MS office?

http://www.openoffice.org/why/index.html

I've not used, but was going to try it soon for its PDF creation abilities.
berck

I would suggest LibreOffice over OpenOffice. Most of the original OpenOffice programmers, and commercial company backers (IBM) moved over to LibreOffice after Oracle purchased Sun.

For a netbook though, I would most likely suggest Google Docs. Works through the web, and doesn't require the horse power of standalone office applications.

Kathy, are you using IE from the netbook? Have you tried using Google Chrome or Firefox?
kathy

Oh sh*i!

When I got the netbook, it had IE preinstalled, and I logged onto JC without any problem.  But I hate IE, so I downloaded Firefox, and IEdouldn't log on.  now tried again (successfully) inIE.
kathy

I think the office starter will do wht I want ie just type stuff, which I can move to my Pc and format properly.I won't use Excel on here because the screen is too small
Biosphere

berck wrote:
I would suggest LibreOffice over OpenOffice. Most of the original OpenOffice programmers, and commercial company backers (IBM) moved over to LibreOffice after Oracle purchased Sun?


I hadn't realised this fork existed. I'll be trying Libre soon then. Thanks Smile
berck

Biosphere wrote:

I hadn't realised this fork existed. I'll be trying Libre soon then. Thanks Smile


Well, the fork is just a bit over a year old. If you want a little bit of background, look here.
berck

kathy wrote:
Oh sh*i!

When I got the netbook, it had IE preinstalled, and I logged onto JC without any problem.  But I hate IE, so I downloaded Firefox, and IEdouldn't log on.  now tried again (successfully) inIE.


So, is it working in both Firefox and IE?

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