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[2019] : What kind of laptop do you use to write on?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by v_legolas_gleaf, Sep 10, 2019.

What is your brand of laptop(s)?

  1. Lenovo

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  2. HP

    4 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. Macbook (Apple)

    5 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. ASUS

    7 vote(s)
    35.0%
  5. Acer

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Futhark

    Futhark Inkling

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    Acer Aspire. Wasn’t my first choice but it was in my price range at the time. Always had issues with it, though I think most are due to windows updates. One day I had enough and after 3hrs of research, plugging in commands, and waiting 5hrs for it to do its thing, it works ok now. It does fit nicely on my lap when I sit in the recliner, which is great as I don’t have ‘writing space’, much to my chagrin and frustration. Still, we don’t have a good history, and that’s always going to be part of our relationship.:cautious:
     
  2. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Sage

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    I'm going to be in the market for a new pc, too. So, I'm going to keep an eye on this thread. I'm personally planning on shopping for larger model laptops, preferably with a backlit keyboard if at all possible. I do most of my recreational writing before bed, or of I can't get (back) to sleep. Being able to crack open a laptop without lighting up my room like a stadium to see what I'm doing sounds reasonably indulgent. I do a lot of pen to paper writing, and have to say the as-seen-on-tv Mighty Bright is kept with my notebooks.

    My HP Laptop was not a terrible choice from a technical specs standpoint, but it's now closing in on 7 years old and I think it wants to crossover to retirement running auxiliary media device functions. I'm going to try and remove the majority of the files to an external hard drive and see if freeing up disk space can buy me some more time. I have been dreading computer shopping for a long, long time. I'm tired of deceptive sales practices and the corporate-scripted salesman hipster hype...and the thought of plunking money into a device that is astronomically marked up when it's designed for near-instantaneous obsolescence makes my head spin.

    However, back to the OP's survey: I offer a word of caution which may still be relevant. HP did have some of the most proprietary software glitching-buggy bullsh*t ever. I'd go so far as to use the word "gremlins" in the machine.

    I don't know if it is still true of HP these days, as mine is rather old, but you could never fully remove or uninstall or deactivate default program settings on the proprietary HP software without it catastrophicly effecting other functions. This is my 2nd HP, and I don't think I'm going to be tempted to try a 3rd. The 1st HP's bugginess I blamed partially on the Vista OS ( yes, I know. Vista. In my line of thinking, I was buying a massively over-built graphics and GB powerhouse that could get a new OS upgrade and still be less expensive than other graphics and gaming models with similar tech specs. But, that didn't pan out as well as I hoped.)

    Now, this may sound like a paranoid tin-foil hat moment, but I am also convinced the HP on board pre-installed software programming was designed to sabotage and crash other competing software, which included the Windows OS. It came preinstalled with McKaffe (or is it MkCaffee? I hate it so much I've mentally blocked out the actually spelling) anti-virus software which I immediately swapped out to an existing preferred subscription: to this day, I am still finding root files buried in the HP drives for programs I uninstalled. It's performance has gotten worse since the Windows 10 upgrade, because all of the HP programs violently refuse to not be the default settings or preferred actions. Now, this may all be a thing of the past, but if you get an HP and are plagued by inexblicable driver errors, files that cannot be found through windows apps but can be found by manually searching the hard drive, default setting malfunctions, and other difficulties, take it back to the store. You've probably got enough problems in your life, HP Gremlins don't need to be one of them.

    And, I do miss full sized plus 10 key boards and the raw computing power, so... another desktop may also be in my future (especially because of video editing). And the touchpads on laptops seem to be getting smaller in favor of touchscreens which, for writing purposes, might be a hardsell on a fullsized laptop. For mobiles and tablets, sure. But if I'm clacking away on a real full-sized keyboard I want to edit with a mouse, not have to fumble around for a stylus to poke at the screen on a desktop.

    Otherwise, as far as writing goes, I would favor processing speeds over hard drive space. Most pc's are going to cloud servers, and backing up files to other media and across devices is getting easier.
    Proportedly, my smartphone and the gremlins that run my laptop can't seem to agree on wireless bluetooth printing. In fact, I also own a Schodinger's Printer by Epson, which simultaneously confirms its existence and connection to my network, but is perpetually offline and unavailable to print. *sigh*

    This is why my first drafts are written on paper.
     
    v_legolas_gleaf likes this.
  3. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    Oops, that's an Acer, not an Asus. For some reason I had it down wrong in my database of 'things I own.' Obviously, I was on my desktop, not the laptop, when I answered! BTW, the on/off switch is wearing out on it which is a definite pain.
     
  4. Vaporo

    Vaporo Inkling

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    Ewww. Cloud storage. Gross. The day I trust Google or Microsoft with my personal files is the day they go out of business.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I have clients come in with this attitude toward cloud services as well, but it's well off-base in my view. Files in cloud storage are often more secure from loss than storage at home. The services use sophisticated, redundant systems. I have Google Drive files going back to 2009, and Dropbox and OneDrive files going back to 20078 or 2008. They're all still there, intact. I use TFA as a security measure on my end, and the files are encrypted at rest and in transit. In addition to that, the files on my laptop are encrypted before they are uploaded to the cloud services. Our law firm even uses enterprise-level OneDrive for file storage. The idea that cloud services aren't secure or trustworthy really isn't supportable, at least not with respect to the major services.
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  6. Vaporo

    Vaporo Inkling

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    I've heard these arguments before and it still doesn't make me like it. It's a bit of a principal thing. Why trust a stranger to do something that I'm perfectly capable of doing myself?

    Plus, I question the "more secure" argument. Nobody's probably directly targeting my laptop, but I can't say the same about the OneDrive servers.
     
  7. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Sage

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    Cloud services... It's a trend that's not going away, for better or worse. But additional storage devices are getting cheaper and easier to integrate. From my cursory overview at retail display kiosks, the manufacturers are building laptops reflecting this both in the"offsite storage" marketing and in the actual physical tech specs. Core processing speeds and dedicated memory to operate are increasing, but the actual average C drive space... isn't. There was one with 1 TB dedicated for the processor and 500GB for the personal hard drive. My seven year old HP and the doomed Vista had 500GB hard drives, which were huge back in the day. But, here I am, today, reluctantly looking at flashy salescards wondering how 500GB in a new modern laptop could possibly be adequate... when the little salescard noted that it came with something like 5 TB cloud storage for free... hmm. I guess that gets the manufacturer off the hook for having to engineer more hard drive space into increasingly smaller, lighter packages. I got a used Chromebook given to me a while back, and my single subject spiral notebooks are heavier ( and sturdier, as I need to replace a damaged screen :facepalm: )

    Which, makes me wonder how quickly all of these playstore apps and programs are going to bog down that 500GB. And I'm a believer in redundant systems. I have my personal files backed to my 2TB external hard drive, but also back up to One Drive and Google Photos to access stuff quickly across multiple devices. And, having an offline copy is crucially important due to both security and the fact that rural high speed internet accessibility in the U.S. is a joke, and public wifi is too sketchy to use with any confidence. The best VPN in the world won't help if there's no wifi signal, and the best wired connections are sadly DSL-dial-up garbage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    It's not so much about targeting, it's more about damage or other loss (fire, theft, etc.), which however unlikely is more likely than someone being able to access my work because they're breached my cloud service.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Night GardenerNight Gardener

    My cloud services sync to multiple devices as well, providing offline access. If all those devices are in the same house, it's less secure than if they aren't, but it's a pretty good to way to have multiple local copies.
     
    Night Gardener likes this.
  10. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Sage

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    Due to the sad and wildly unpredictable state of my HP laptop, I have found myself heavily dependent on using my aging smartphone and cloudware services. Which, is not my first choice for more sensitive or larger files but day to day activity is fine. I've had to deal with massive files and PDFs, and going through the excuciating process of zipping files only to have them still be too large to upload to a cloud server or email is maddening. Until that is remedied, cloud services -while convenient- will be secondary.

    And, it doesn't help that most ISP's throttle down and cap your data services. If I'm constantly having to be online to work on, access, upload and download my files and data, it will just become yet another slow, glitchy pain in the ass- that I then have to cough up additional money to use effectively because "unlimited data" doesn't mean it's going to have unlimited high quality once I hit their arbitrary data cap. Cloud storage is fine, but has it's limits with current ISP and cellular data package tiers.

    So, other than having another copy offsite away from presumptive damages to the physical device like a tornado or fire, I won't be fully impressed until ISPs stop artificially constraining their services which render so much pc tech and virtual data storage and useage options essentially compromised.

    As far as massive data breaches go, that's par for the course. Hackers are going to find their way in if they want something badly enough. It would help if these servers and companies fully invested in their encryption more seriously....
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Night GardenerNight Gardener

    Which services are you using? I have 7 or 8 GB files on OneDrive. iCloud and Dropbox both say they allow file sizes of up to 50 GB. Are you producing files larger than those sizes? It may be worth looking into some of the services mention above if your files are within their limits and your own service finds them too large.
     
  12. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Sage

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    Not as often as I used to, but yes. Some files were well over 50GB.

    For reasons I do not fully understand, Dropbox never worked as intended for sending (or receiving) on my HP laptop. It always crashed or malfunctioned in some way. And, as this was for confidential legal correspondences, a lot of the offices refused to use the 3rd party Dropbox services or one drive file links anyway. Everything had to be an internal PDF sent to their email server directly.

    So, my only effective option was to zip files and keep them under the email servers data threshold.

    This isn't something that I have to do regularly anymore, and it wasn't my work but something I had to help with in my personal life... but it highlighted some efficacy issues and limitations of data transfers and cloud services. And, unless the industry figures out how to solve this, I see it as a major setback.

    I will be needing to revisit this issue as my digital representation grows. IRL my artwork is physical media, but I'd like to start expanding into digital prints, videos and other downloads that customers can buy to print out themselves, so big files are going to be on the near horizon.

    I haven't tried iCloud, so I'll give it a go once I get a non-possessed laptop or desktop... and also haven't ruled out pay-services as an option if it will sincerely meet my needs.

    Thanks for your recommendations!
     
  13. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    Well I'm the dinosaur here. I use a Dell Inspiron for writing, with Windows 7, and the only requirement I had for it was a seventeen inch widescreen. A full screen means a full keyboard which is useful for someone like me with sausage fingers. I don't care about the graphics or the speed - I don't run games on it.

    As for hackers, they've literally got no chance. My laptop isn't connected to the net. I have a desktop for that. So unless they're into smash and grab they'll be out of luck.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  14. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I read a news story about a writer who ran back into a burning building to save his laptop "because his novel was on it," and I remember yelling at the news, "Dude, it's called the Cloud!"

    I have had three computers commit seppuku in the past eight years. Once without Cloud storage, twice with it. Without it, I was only saved by dumb Irish luck. The other two times I reloaded the new computer with my perfectly saved and intact files and I was back to work. Guess which way I'd rather go?
     
  15. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    I use very little cloud storage, mostly because of my satellite connection and the cost of bandwidth. But everything is backed up on hard drives and duplicated on all three computers in the house.
     
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  16. AlexK2009

    AlexK2009 Dreamer

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    I used to use a macbook pro. Now I Have an IMAC. I May have to go to a laptop for mobile working and will probaby go to a lightweight (physical weight as well as cost) laptop plus cloud storage.
     
    v_legolas_gleaf likes this.
  17. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    This is the monster I work on most of the time. As you can see, a tornado has recently been through. My wife's desk, on the other hand, is pristine. 20190914_141530.jpg
     
  18. v_legolas_gleaf

    v_legolas_gleaf Scribe

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    :LOL: - WHere do you keep your notes and other things when you want to write something on a paper? Also is that the Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard I see? I used to like that but now I like Mechanical Keyboards better!
     
  19. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    All notes live on OneNote and the purple posties stuck to my monitor and, very rarely, my phone. The posties have to be purple, though I'm transitioning to periwinkle. That's how I roll.

    And yup, that is a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. I love it so much that I'm wearing the print of the letters off the keys. Doesn't help that I type like a jackhammer. I slaughter mechanical keyboards. :p
     
    v_legolas_gleaf likes this.
  20. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    I use a Das Keyboard 4 with Blue switches. Pretty sure it will outlive me. The letters are laser-etched and color-filled so they can't wear off (though I wish I was enough of a badass to buy the nifty blank one). I went through two non-mechanical keyboards and a laptop keyboard in 4 years, but this sucker hasn't even shown a dent over nearly two years of hard use. I've probably put half a million words through it, so it's at roughly 1/20 of its advertised working life of 50M keystrokes. Pricey, though; it was around $170. I compared that to buying a new ergonomic every six months and it was a no-brainer.
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
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