next_to_normal: Cosima in black and white (Cosima)
Yes, I am typing this post on my shiny new Toshiba laptop. \o/ After four years, my poor Samsung has officially kicked its bucket, so my mother and I took a trip to Best Buy while she was here this weekend to get a new one. And I managed to do it without endlessly spamming y'all like last time, so good job me.

I also managed to acquire some kind of medieval plague this weekend, so that's fun. Apparently it disturbs Chelsea, if the withering stare at my death rattle is any indication. Earlier, I hacked up a lung and she went and hid under the piano. WHO'S GOING TO FEED YOU WHEN I'M DEAD, YOU UNGRATEFUL CAT.

oh god she'll probably just gnaw on my corpse

* Teaser for season 6 of Community on Yahoo.

* Outlander has already been renewed for a second season. I've only watched the first episode, but I like it so far, so yay? The Leftovers, which I've seen enough of to like, also got a second season renewal.

* There are neurological reasons why we're so attached to the music we listened to as teenagers. Maybe that's why the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack hit #1, despite being a literal mix-tape of previously released songs.

* If it makes you as happy as it makes me, enjoy dancing baby Groot.

* Will Guardians of the Galaxy's success make Marvel too cocky?

* A biologist uses science to explain how to make superheroes.

* A spectator shot a possibly spoilery video of Agents of SHIELD filming season 2.

* Here's a handy round-up of links for historical context for Steve Rogers as a dude from the 1940s.

* NBC is developing a TV musical version of Robin Hood.

* Director Rob Marshall talks about the Into the Woods movie, ostensibly to reassure us that he's being faithful to the original, but actually mentioning even more changes (the flashbacks, no "Ever After," retooling the second act) I hadn't heard reported before.

* Tom Hiddleston is being considered for a remake of Ben-Hur.

* George R. R. Martin doesn't understand why women want him to write more gay sex scenes, because apparently he (and they) have never heard of the internet.
next_to_normal: (Hardison geek)
In which I solicit technology advice before purchasing something. \o/

I am fed up with my laptop. It's becoming more and more of a pain. The battery (the second one, btw) gave up the ghost a while back, so it needs to be plugged in all the time, defeating the primary purpose of a laptop. Now it seems to overheat at the slightest provocation, and crashed about 10 times while trying to stream Orange is the New Black this weekend (I only made it through 6 eps, so nobody spoil me!). Also, the letters have worn off some of the keys, so it's a good thing I learned touch-typing in school.

The question this time is... do I want another laptop, or do I want a tablet? I figure that another laptop is probably best suited for my needs, but my mother keeps suggesting why not a netbook or a tablet instead (not that she would know, having never used either on a regular basis). So, you know, something to consider.

Reasons I do not need a tablet:
  1. I already have a Kindle Fire, though I only really use it for reading books, because I don't want to pay for 3G on the Kindle, so I am reliant on wireless hotspots for internet access.
  2. Now that I also have a 4G smartphone, that generally takes care of all my internet-on-the-go needs, so a tablet would seem to be redundant.
  3. Obviously, because of power cord issues, my laptop has been rather stationary of late, but even before that, I rarely used it outside of the house. Even when I travel with it, I rarely use it outside of my hotel room. So it's not like I need something especially light to carry everywhere.
  4. Currently, I use my laptop primarily for web browsing, email, streaming video, icon-making, and hard drive storage, because I have not yet migrated to the cloud. If I did want something more portable, I technically could do all of that, except the storage and icon-making, on the Kindle.
  5. However, I have no idea how well I would be able to make icons on a tablet. I'd definitely need some kind of wireless mouse and/or keyboard, because I imagine doing graphics with just a touchscreen would be a pain in the ass.

Reasons I kind of want a tablet:
  1. The Kindle Fire was supposed to be a compromise - without the full capabilities of a tablet, but a lot cheaper - so it has the reflective touch screen like a tablet. But it turns out the only thing I use it for is reading, and that's like the one thing the screen is NOT good for. I kind of wish I had just gotten a tablet + a Kindle Paperwhite (optimal for reading) rather than the Fire. (Then again, I already have the Fire, so I'm not sure how this ended up in the "pro-tablet" section, since it involves me buying two new things I don't need to replace the one I don't really use.)
  2. To be fair, though, I would probably use a tablet more than I currently use the Kindle, especially if it is meant to replace my laptop.
  3. I am apparently getting a laptop through work, because I travel a fair amount now. Obviously, I am limited in how much personal stuff I can do on the work computer, so it can't be my only computer, but work laptop + personal tablet might be better than having two laptops.

I also briefly considered the idea of getting a desktop, since they're cheaper and you get more processing power than a laptop, but I don't really have any place to put a desktop in my apartment. (I typically use my laptop at the kitchen table or sitting on the sofa, neither of which is a particularly good permanent home for a computer.)

So... laptop. Maybe. Probably.

Either way, I also need to investigate cloud storage options for things like my iTunes collection and all the icons I've made. I have a tendency to keep a shit-ton of unnecessary stuff on my laptop, which is probably one of the reasons why it runs slow. I couldn't keep all of that on a tablet, which would force me to do something about it, but there's no reason I can't do that now with the laptop, except that I'm lazy and fear new things.

Thoughts? Advice? How do you manage your technological devices and digital... stuff?
next_to_normal: (Heidi thinky)
My mother has decided that it's time for all of us to upgrade our cell phones (and possibly our service plan), so while they were here this weekend, we started looking at options and were immediately overwhelmed.

1. Apparently we are all getting smartphones? I currently have the LG EnV Touch, but the touch-screen is really temperamental and it's so slow that it's mostly useless except for checking email and the occasional simple web search. My parents both have non-smartphones (dumb phones?) without touch-screens. So I would like a better phone that can do ALL THE THINGS, whereas my parents are probably fine without all the bells and whistles, but they both think they want smartphones for some reason.

Thoughts or suggestions for brands/models you like? Keeping in mind that we're trying to keep them within a reasonable price range (so... probably no iPhone). Any features I absolutely need? Or phones that are good for Luddite parents?

2. We have had Verizon Wireless for as long as we've had cell phones, I think, but my dad hates Verizon because they get terrible cell service in their house, and my mom wants a cheaper plan (even though they are going to have to add data plans with their new smartphones). We currently have a family plan for the three of us, and from what I could tell, it seems like it's not going to be any cheaper to switch to another carrier, unless we go to one of the no-contract prepaid plans. I'm assuming it's still cheaper to stay on the family plan, rather than get my own, but I'm open to options.

Recommendations? Anybody who actually LIKES their cell phone provider? Or has any experience with those prepaid plans?

Blast!

Aug. 4th, 2012 12:31 pm
next_to_normal: Tony Stark pouting; text: *pout* (pout)
Vacation's over, but I still can't catch up on my flist. Discovered that my laptop wasn't charging the other day. Turns out I need a new power cord, which I've ordered from Amazon. On my kindle until it gets here. :(
next_to_normal: (Buffy OMG)
This is simultaneously awesome and really creepy: a computer that plays rock-paper-scissors. It analyzes your patterns to see what your next selection is likely to be and counters the most probable outcome. It totally kicked my ass.

(On a completely unrelated note, if anyone needs me, I will just be over here building myself a battlestar so I have a means to escape in case our artificial intelligence decides to rebel and annihilate us.)
next_to_normal: (kitty reading)
I've been watching Less Than Perfect on Hulu (I've now watched all of season 1 - which is all that's there - and must search for the rest via other sources), and so I've seen that Friskies commercial at least fifteen times now. You know which one I'm talking about? The trippy "Across the Universe for cats" one? I actually played it for Chelsea, but she was totally unimpressed. Me: "Chelsea, look at the kitty! Doesn't that look like fun?" Chelsea: *withering look*

In other news, I've discovered that I can adjust the volume on my work computer by kicking the tower. Which is handy, I suppose, except that if the volume would stop cutting out all on its own, I wouldn't have to kick it to get it to come back on.

I'm going to visit my parents for the weekend, and my mom called yesterday to tell me that Patches (their cat) had peed on my bed. It's like she knows I'm coming...

Oooh! But good news for Chuck fans!

next_to_normal: (James rar!)
It's been one of those days.

1. I was irrationally angry at a jar of tomato sauce earlier today. IT WOULD NOT OPEN. (Please to be noting this was a previously-opened jar, so it's not like there was a pressure seal or anything. Apparently, the Hulk used it last and screwed the lid on a bit too tight.) I banged on the lid, I banged on the bottom, I ran it under hot water for 10 minutes, but the lid WOULD NOT COME OFF. At the point when the ravioli was done cooking and I still hadn't gotten the jar open, I finally gave up and ate my ravioli without sauce. I actually contemplated trying to smash the glass jar, but, uh... it didn't work and I was afraid to whack it harder.

2. Last night's Fringe. WTF? I was tolerant of the whole "let's do an entire episode that takes place in the past and doesn't move the plot along" thing the first time, because we definitely needed the background on Walter and Peter, and it was better to show it to us than just have Walter sit there and tell Olivia the whole story. But this? A whole episode in Walter's tripped-out imagination? I mean, yeah, I get that there were supposed to be allusions to the present storyline (Peter is missing and stole Walter's heart - YOU ARE NOT SUBTLE, SHOW), but really? The noir detective motif? The singing? Which was totally bizarre and inconsistent and in no way even measures up to the Scrubs musical episode, let alone OMWF. Dude! Last week's episode ended on a HUGE development. We have been waiting ALL season to find out what would happen when Peter found out he was from the alternate dimension. And now he does, and we have to listen to Walter TELL A STORY for a whole episode instead of dealing with it? Bitch, please.

3. OMFG, I have a 15 page (single-spaced!) paper due tomorrow, and I was ALMOST DONE and Word totally quit on me and I lost 3 pages. Aside from the fact that it was a weird, bizarre technical glitch thing that shouldn't have happened (Why did it quit when I clicked "cancel"? Why didn't AutoRecover work??), talk about a momentum killer. I was DEVASTATED for at least 20 minutes. I screamed and cried and cursed myself for taking a break to watch Fringe when I thought I was almost done and now how am I going to finish in time WOE, and then I calmed down and rewrote the fucking thing and now it's done and so I feel better but I'm still kinda pissed.

I think this calls for ice cream.
next_to_normal: Dawn squealing excitedly; text: *squee* (Dawn squee)
Went back to Best Buy today (and can I just point out how bizarre it is going to Best Buy, after having watched Chuck? lol) and I purchased a computer! I went with the Samsung R480 I mentioned in my last post. I'm reasonably certain that I'll not get any papers written today, lol. I do need to get my wireless set up and install all my crap and watch movies on my new Blu-Ray player.

If you're thinking of buying a new computer, here's something to consider. Best Buy offers a 2-year extended warranty that includes one battery replacement. Generally, I don't bother with extended warranties, but considering that the price of replacing the battery is the same as the cost of the warranty, I figured it's worth it. If I'm going to get the battery eventually anyway, I might as well get an extra year of service included. And it doesn't matter what the condition of the battery is, so you don't have to hope it dies before the two years is up in order to get your money's worth. At any point, up to two years, you just ask for a replacement and you get one. Woo!

*runs off to play with the new computer*
next_to_normal: (Default)
Well, I took a trip to the Sony Style store and Best Buy today, so I could see the laptops in person and get a hands-on feel for them. It was pretty helpful - and I know there are a few people following along with these posts thinking about buying for themselves, so I'll say definitely go to a store before you buy anything and make sure you're comfortable with the look and feel of the laptop. I was able to narrow things down considerably (although I also introduced some new options to replace them, lol).

I ruled out the 15+" screen as too big and heavy. One of the reasons this laptop is basically a glorified desktop is because it's huge (17") and I hate lugging it around anywhere. So I think I'm going to stick with the 14". There was a noticeable difference even with one inch.

I also ruled out the Toshibas entirely. I though the layout of the keyboard/mouse was a little awkward and it was really hard to click the mouse. I was much more comfortable with the Sony. Also, the Toshibas are rather ugly in person, lol. The Sonys didn't look quite as nice in person as they did in the pictures, but it wasn't as bad.

While I was looking around, I spotted a Samsung, which I hadn't considered yet because nobody had really mentioned them one way or the other. So here's the specs of that.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Jim headdesk)
Yeah, more computer stuff. Ignore me if you wish. It's mostly for my own benefit, because it helps to keep track of everything if I can post it all in one place, rather than searching through the different websites looking for the model I saw before to compare it with the other model I saw somewhere else.

Anyway, on my previous posts, a couple people suggested that 5400rpm wasn't enough, and I'd be better off with 7200. I mentioned it to my mom, who asked her IT person, which set off what I like to call the IT Rumble. Because my mom's IT person said the exact opposite of my dad's IT person. SHE said don't get a Toshiba, and vouched for the Sony. I'm starting to think this is much like the PC/Mac debate. There is no "better," there's just personal preference. Of course, I don't actually have a preference, outside of "I want something that WORKS," which leads to all sorts of silly things like trying to be objective.

That's not really the point, though. The point is that she also confirmed the "speed is important" thing, and considering that speed is a major problem with my current computer,  I figured I should at least look at the 7200rpm, even though it's way more expensive.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Default)
You know, when I woke up this morning, I thought, "Hey, today's a good day to spam my flist with computer specs." No, really, I didn't. Sorry. BUT:

Satellite M500-ST6444 ($655.00)
  • Intel® Core™ i3-330M Processor 2.13 GHz, 3MB L3 Cache, 1066MHz DDR3
  • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 3GB DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM (2048MB+1024MB)
  • 250GB HDD (5400rpm, Serial-ATA)
  • Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator HD
  • DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive
  • Customizable, so if I want more of any of these things, I can get them.
Maybe? I don't know. I read some scary things about the Sonys and now I am a quivering ball of indecision. Seriously, it's worse than trying to ask a guy out on a date. Because dates don't cost you $700 and imply a minimum 2 year commitment.
next_to_normal: (James rar!)
So, I was all settled on the Sony Vaio, and then my doofus dad emails me saying, "Talked with our tech guru and he would not recommend Sony laptops. He said they are not as reliable as their reputation has been in the past. He fixes computers (he's the one who got your Apple going the first time) and said parts are much more for similar components. He suggested looking at Toshibas. They apparently are giving a better warranty and a much better price for the same features."

SOOOOO, anyone have any opinions on Toshibas? They seem to have dozens of models, but I just picked a few for comparison's sake.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Default)
I'm looking at the Sony Vaio, and I have two options:

Read more... )

I give up

Apr. 13th, 2010 08:49 pm
next_to_normal: Spike looking frustrated; text: goddammit (goddammit)
I have hated my computer pretty much since I got it, but I refused to get a new one because I was determined to get my money's worth. Well, it's been two and a half years, and I frickin' give up. The battery's just died, so I'd have to replace that anyway, it's unbearably slow, it crashes three times a day, and now IT WON'T STOP BEEPING AT ME.

Oh well. It's only money, right? :\

So, oh wise flist, what computer should I buy, and why?

(And if anyone says Dell, I will personally skewer you with a pencil.)
next_to_normal: (confusion)
I've just about had it with my computer. It's been running painfully slowly pretty much since I got it (which is almost two years ago), and doing all kinds of freezing/crashing things that make me want to just toss it out the window and buy a new one.

What pushed me over the edge was this weekend, when my parents were visiting, and I waited half an hour for the computer to wake up from sleep mode, and finally just manually restarted the damn thing (yay for Word's AutoRecovery). This should not be happening. The entire point of sleep mode is so that you can open the laptop and IT WORKS RIGHT AWAY so you don't have to wait for it to boot up every time. It's always, always slow waking up from sleep mode, but not usually that bad. On a normal day, though, even if the screen comes to life, it'll be a good ten to fifteen minutes before Firefox is usable without freezing, and Trillian always takes at least five minutes to open.

My dad was all, "Well, have you run defrag whatevers lately?" and started fiddling around with it. I don't actually know how I did this, since I barely know what that means, but apparently I have my computer set up to automatically do the defragmentation thing weekly, and it's still running like an eighty-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the leg.

I've decided the problem is Vista and RAM. I've been told that you need at least 2 GB of RAM for Vista to run properly, and my computer only has 1 GB. So... here are my questions for anyone more computer literate than I am. How much RAM should I get? Is the one additional GB going to be enough, or should I go for more? I don't do a whole lot with my computer - generally, Firefox, Trillian, and Word are pretty much it. I do store a lot on there - I have a crapload of music and some videos saved, but that's the hard drive (which is 120 GB) and shouldn't affect RAM, right? Two separate things?

Secondly, where should I get RAM? I can buy it off the Dell website (which is where I got the computer), but maybe it's cheaper to get it somewhere else (I found other websites that sell it, but I don't know if they're reliable). Is this idiot-proof, or am I better off going to a Best Buy or whatever where maybe they could install it for me?

next_to_normal: (Default)
Or possibly a curse on Bill Gates would do.

I'm still having issues with Word - in fact, more issues than I was having before. I'm at the point now where it crashes at least once a day, and it's really starting to fucking piss me off. Usually, it happens when I haven't been using Word for a while, and I go back to a document, and it'll give me a few minutes (just enough time to make changes, but usually not enough time to save them), and then it'll freeze up and I'll get a message that says "Microsoft Word has stopped working." It always searches for solutions, but never finds any, and then it restarts and usually I've lost whatever my most recent changes were.

I've checked at least a dozen different message boards trying to figure out what the issue is, but half the time I can't figure out what the hell they're talking about. I've run Office Diagnostics, I've deleted the normal.dotx template, I don't have any add-ins, I've downloaded some kind of patch that was supposed to fix it and didn't do a thing. Someone suggested it might be a printer driver, but I don't even use a printer. I haven't tried uninstalling and reinstalling Office, partly because that would be a pain in the ass, and also because from what I was reading, it seemed like that wouldn't help, but if someone thinks it's a good idea, I'd probably do anything.

I have a piece of shit Dell with Vista and Word 2007, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

One thing I know for sure - my next computer, I'm so incredibly going back to a Mac. I can't stand this shit.



next_to_normal: (Default)
Yep, I finally took the plunge and bought a computer. I ended up getting a Dell. It's set to be delivered on November 9th, so I'll let you all know how it works out. Thanks to everyone who offered advice and answered my questions. :)
next_to_normal: (confusion)
My poor little iBook is on its last legs, so I'm shopping around for a new laptop. I've had this one for over 5 years, and it was free, so I figure I've more than gotten my money's worth. Unfortunately, my new laptop will NOT be free, and as much as I like Apples, I'll be going for the cheap and getting a PC.

Of course, I went to college in a Mac bubble, and I know nothing about PCs. I've used an HP and a Dell laptop for work, and frankly, couldn't tell the difference (I'll be completely honest, I thought my current work computer was an HP until I looked at the top of it and realized it had the Dell logo on it). I guess if you have Windows, it doesn't really matter what kind of computer it is. The only things I really use it for are the internet, downloading music, and Microsoft Office. I occasionally download videos, but I don't store them, just watch and delete - I haven't been able to keep anything since I have practically no storage space left on this hard drive. I also store some photos, but I don't do any kind of artwork. I want to be able to play and burn both CDs and DVDs - is that stuff standard now? I can burn CDs on this comp, but not DVDs, although I do have a DVD player.

The main problem I have with this computer is that it's slow. I'm paying a crapload of money for high-speed internet, and it still takes forever because the computer's so slow. Of course, it's 5 years old, so my processor is 700 MHz, my memory is 384 MB, and my hard drive is 18.5 GB. I've just been browsing around, but the numbers I've seen are... much higher than that.

So, does anyone have any suggestions? I have no idea what the differences are between brands. There seems to be a million different types of processors, which already makes me miss the simplicity of the Apple "G" numbering method. I don't want to spend a lot of money, so what's worth the price and what isn't?
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