Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shopping for Laptops - Belated conclusion

I finally decided to get the laptop through the HP website, and experienced several benefits by doing so. For about $150 less than the Toshiba, I got the HP Pavilion dv6t, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with everything I wanted: 15" screen, numeric keyboard, 6GB RAM, a full terabyte HDD (the new terabytes have less memory than they used to, sadly. This is because the old memory was measured in powers of 2: 1TB=1024GB. Now they round off to the decimal, so 1TB=1000GB.) over-sized battery, and dual core Intel core i5. With the free XBOX360 it came to less than $800.00. Oh, it also plays Blu-Ray. Or it would if I had any. :-) It is nice to know I have a system that is compatible with all the latest hardware and software and can still communicate with my old laptop.
Speaking of, I have a largish collection of books, movies, and music on my old system. To transfer, I decided to create an ad hoc network. It turned out to be rather simple to do, once I figured it out. First, set up the network on one computer, then connect to that network with the other computer. Voila! Now share the documents folder and start copying. It's rather slow, since the 802.11g and 11.n do not have ad hoc standards required, so manufacturers didn't go the extra mile and put them in. 802.11b is how they talk at a whopping 500 - 600kB/s. 8 hours for my music to copy... and so on. Slow, but it does the job.
I've had some time to get used to it and do some minor customization. For example, the scrolling was very choppy. I hated it. Then I realized that there's a setting for that. Set the scroll from 3 lines to 1 line, and it scrolls much better now. I'm still getting used to the two finger scroll technique. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. I've loaded MS Project 2010, and Office 2010 so I can do my schoolwork on it. The 2010 version seems to be easier to use than the ribbon used by the 2007 version. I've installed the PDF reader and upgraded the flash, and that's really it, so far.
The best thing about this laptop, in my opinion, is the boot up time. Minimal. I usually just close the lid to put it to sleep, and when I open it up it's ready to go almost immediately. The integrated fingerprint reader makes logging in to the computer much faster as well. It also saves time when going to my favourite websites. My last laptop lasted through the last few years of my AAS and my BS (about 4 years.) If this one lasts that long I shall be very happy.