Thursday, May 24, 2007
New Laptop Computer - 3 month report
Three months ago, I bought a brand new Toshiba laptop computer. I thought you might like an update on how I like it. Well ... it's fine, but I wish I had bought the Sony. Three years ago, Jim bought a brand new Sony Vaio. He has been SO happy with that Sony Vaio! Number one - it has the best built-in Wi-Fi that we've seen anywhere. When other computers can't see a signal at all without plugging in an external USB adapter, Jim can not only see it, but successfully connect and stay connected! The second, special feature about his computer is that the screen is clearly viewable outside in sunlight. I have no idea if the current batch of Sony Vaios would be the same, but it seems a good bet. But, Toshiba is a very good name in laptops, and we figured that built-in Wi-Fi adapters had all caught up by now. Nope. Our computers can be sitting side by side - he can connect no problem and I can't. I have to plug in a USB adapter. No big deal, just agravating. And, my monitor is very 'normal' when I'm outside. Meaning, I can't use it outside. My computer is also hanging up and crashing more than I expected. I doubt this has anything to do with the computer itself. It has to do with using Windows Vista. I normally advise not to jump on board with a new operating system until it's been out for 6 months or so. I bought this laptop the first week that Vista was released. And, I use some software like Dreamweaver 8 that is not fully compatible with Vista. Oh well, that's what you get for being on the bleeding edge. I still would not recommend anyone buy a new computer without the latest operating system. Now for the good stuff. It's great at video! And, that's one of the main reasons I bought it. As you know, this blog is full of photos and that's the way I like it. I see video as the next major direction for computers and Websites - and I want to be on board. Helping my Mom edit her video got me started. This computer is fast for importing video, and the moviemaker software that comes with Windows Vista is equally fast, easy, and impressive. This computer also has *lots* of hard drive space for storing video. It takes about 12 gigabytes (1 gigabyte = 1,000 megabytes!)per hour of video. You can expect more video from us now. A couple of minor items I really like: 1. The computer's volume control is a little wheel, right in the front of the computer. No messing around with your mouse looking for the Control Panel software to manage your sound. Want to turn it up? Just reach out with your thumb and turn the dial. 2. The fingerprint reader. I thought that was going to be a total waste, but I love it! When my computer first comes on, it asks for a password. I don't have to type anything, just run my finger over the little glass window below the keyboard. I also have several websites I visit that require a username and password. I fill it in manually once and then swipe my finger. From then on, all I have to do is swipe my finger and the computer logs me in! So, I've recorded lots of usernames and passwords, but anyone who wanted access would have to have my fingerprint. Pretty cool. OH! I *Love* my two monitors. How did I ever live without that? I can have my online bank statement displayed on one screen, while I balance the checkbook on Quickbooks on the other screen. Or, I can be answering an email about 'how do I ...' with the email on one screen and the application in question on the other. I'm seeing what I'm talking about, and talking about it at the same time, without having to switch windows back and forth. I know this has nothing to do with my new computer, it's just that, rather than throw out the monitor I had with my old computer, I now have two. You can see photos in the previous blog post.