Techie Talk

It’s time for a little “techie talk.” Some of you may be true techno-artists or geniuses, able to zoom around a keyboard, formatting a new computer at lightning speed, or deleting junk programs that the computer company loads up on its new machines. I am simply in awe of and greatly enjoy that which is inside large and small computers, appreciating that which they allow us to do. Since my old Sony Vaio was alternately freezing or dying, it was time to bite the financial bullet and get a new desktop. (Yes…I love desktops!) So, after piddling around with the new, beautiful IMac (whose operating system I’d need to study and learn), I consulted with my techie guy, stayed with the PC’s, and ordered a 23” all-in-one, touch screen Hewlett Packard. I got the newest technology—Intel Core i7, 8 Gigs of Ram, etc. and am delighted with its performance. It’s soooooo smooth. Fast, interesting, so easy to view 2 pages at once (or more) plus other goodies. In time, I shall master its finer capabilities as I learn what they are, such as how to enjoy the touch screen. Haven’t quite figured out the printing out of multiple pictures on one page, but I shall!
Given that my old (beloved) Toshiba Satellite laptop was also pooping out—more accurately, moving at record-slow tortoise speed—I bit a second bullet and anteed up for a new small Toshiba. You see, I get the urge to write in the strangest places where a really light laptop would come in handy—the bathtub, while watching a program or a movie in bed, while riding in the passenger seat of a car, and so on. (No worry—I don’t take anything electrical with me into the tub.) So I decided to opt for a Portege R700 13” screen, 3lbs. 2oz. It is lighter than most books! I love that! It feels no heavier than a large notebook. I got the i7 Intel core on this machine as well, and a solid state hard drive (no moving parts). Its operating system (32 bit) manages only 4 Gigs of Ram memory (I wanted 8), yet it’s faster than an Olympian snow boarder. Only 4 Gigs? My old one barely had 1. So this is good. I think I like the touch, and I know I’ll love having a 6 hour battery rather than 20 minutes on the old one. Nonetheless, I think it’s a good little “fella.” Just think: I can write for 2 hrs. on a flight to Seattle, and then watch a 2 hr. movie with battery life to spare! Heaven!
Now, I don’t have (nor do I want) an I-phone; I simply use my phone for calling out when I need/want to, once in a blue moon. I might check out the I-pad (‘cuz I saw a little kid watching a movie on the plane to Alaska, and it looked very fun). However, since my little Toshiba is a whiz-bang and can play movies, I may not “need” the I-pad. Must look into it, though, after catching up from these purchases. If you have an I-pad, do tell me why you love it! I know you can do a gazillion things with different “apps” once you have them in your system.
Since I spent so much time figuring out what would serve me well, I thought I’d blog about these computers. I’m hanging on to my old Toshiba 17” heavier laptop since I love the touch for extended writing (4 hrs. or more a day) on retreats.
In the meantime, if your computer(s) is pooping out or slowing down to tortoise speed, I hope you have a great time figuring out your techno-needs as you seek out a new machine. There’s so much out there that’s wonderful, amazing and fun. Just be sure and do your research first so you’ll get exactly what you need. For example, three sales people at Best Buy got into running around their laptop department with me, trying out keyboards as we searched for the lightest keyboard touch. (The cheapest laptops have the lightest touch, interestingly enough.) I also learned that computers in the stores are low to mid-price to appeal to the masses. If you want certain specs to fit your computing needs, it’s best to configure your own unit on the internet or with an internet sales pro over the phone. My techie guy and I configured my HP on their website; I found Toshiba’s folks to be excellent and helpful, (except for one person I spoke with who knew less than I did). I do go into stores and try out actual computers in the flesh before ordering anything on line, however.
I always consult my terrific techie guy before buying a computer since he knows about the new technologies. I would not have known, for example, that a solid state hard drive was terrific—especially for laptops—since it doesn’t have moving parts that can get jostled or damaged during movement. Apparently, it contributes to the speed of this little bugger, also.
Remember to simply take one step at a time. When you go shopping, trust your gut, your body’s responses, process your thoughts (and your techie folks’), and you’ll find what’s exactly right for you.

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