View Full Version : what would you do? laptop/desktop controversy

October 19th, 2005, 08:32 AM
My mobile Radeon 7500 has finally come around and kicked me in the ****, so now i've got a little dillema of where i should spend my money for a new computer, with a good card :KS

my school is starved for computers, a great many of the kids bring laptops. it's pretty hard to work at this school without a laptop, so i have a bit of a dillema. If i spend alot of a laptop, i can get one good for gaming, but not have room for much in terms of upgrades (and it would probably be big and heavy). If i buy a desktop, then my grades will go down a bit, and working on the school computers SUCKS (all your program settings are erased after logging out... paranoic admin).

The solution i've come up that seems the best is to buy the desktop i'm yearning for, then buy a cheap laptop for powerpoint, word processing, and internet... that's all i really need for school.

IBM Thinkpad is almost a must, i'm a devoted user - but i've been told that the quality of slightly older Dells is pretty good... i've never seen for myself.

I'm planning to spend $1000 on a desktop. At that price, 1gb ram, A64 3700+, 160gb HDD, and 6600GT are all within reach. If i bought a gaming laptop of similar specs, it would cost about $1500, with all the disadvantages laptops have. The price point for old'ish thinkpads, mainly looking at T20, T21, and T23, seems to be at about $400, judging by ebay. For that price, i can get by with a 12-20gb hdd, 700-1000MHz PIII, 256-512mb RAM, and a cd burner, if i'm lucky (only judging from BIN).

What do you guys recommend? It seems most logical to have two computers, although syncing may be a bit of a hassle.

Thanks for the input,

October 19th, 2005, 12:59 PM
I can't get on with laptops for doing actual work. They're OK for occasional use, and on trains etc, but give me a desktop with a proper keyboard, mouse, monitor etc for under pressure and/or serious use.

October 19th, 2005, 01:07 PM
I would recommend the Dell coupon deal.... If you manage to catch it.


I had gotten a dell inspiron 6000 (laptop).

In a nutshell, with this deal, any machine over $1499 (and you can upgrade it if it's less) they will take 50% off.

Be warned, they can sell out in under 50 minutes...

Anyway, Ubuntu Breezy is on an inspiron 6000, and everything worked out of the box!

EDIT: This seems to be the site where they found out about the deals.

Best of luck!

October 19th, 2005, 02:23 PM
May I suggest SLAX, with the option to backup your settings to a remote server?

You'd have to cold-boot the (presumably windows) PC at school, and then reboot it back into windows again. But ten to one your admin wouldn't even notice.

Alternatively, if your school computers are bootable from a USB key, you could run slax, puppy, or dsl from a usb flashdrive. DSL will even run within windows with qemu.

October 19th, 2005, 02:39 PM
The two computer solution is what I use at school, pretty much just as you described (started off with an old Toshiba PIII 900 for the laptop that I got for free from my dad's work, then that died so I now have a midrange Dell, it works fine; desktop's actually pretty close to the specs you described).

Stormy Eyes
October 19th, 2005, 02:44 PM
Try getting a secondhand Thinkpad. I've heard that those machines are rock-solid.

October 19th, 2005, 11:52 PM
Try getting a secondhand Thinkpad. I've heard that those machines are rock-solid.

yeah... i have one :cool:

the sysadmin has locked out USB and CD booting... i did it for a few weeks, then he blocked it :(

i think i'm going with plan 3, when i have a b'day (for parents... i already have the $$$)