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My new computer

I’m posting this from the new computer I bought yesterday.  The neighborhood computer store didn’t have a suitable desktop, so I decided to get (or let myself get talked into getting) a new laptop instead.  It’s definitely a better laptop than I had before, though there are things I’m still getting used to, and in some ways it’s better than my former desktop, though in some ways not.  It’s between the two in processor speed, unfortunately closer to the laptop, and it loads webpages fairly slowly compared to the old desktop.  But it has 2 GB of RAM, which is 4 times the desktop and nearly 9 times my other laptop.  I’ve come to realize that lack of RAM is the main reason the old laptop is so horribly slow, especially when multiple programs are open or the browser’s been running a while or is open to a graphics-intensive page.  It also has about a 75-80GB hard drive, which is like a quarter of the capacity I had on my old desktop, but that’s fine because it’s still twice what I have on the old laptop and several times more than I’m ever likely to need.  My old desktop’s hard drive (actually one I got from my father when he got rid of his old desktop) was insanely huge.  Or rather, is.  It’s still in there and salvageable, although I doubt I’ll have cause to keep it unless I do buy a new desktop PC later, one with a slot for it.

It has lots of fancy new-fangled features too, like a fingerprint scanner and one of those little mini-joystick nub thingies in the middle of the keyboard (which I keep bumping into when my finger goes for the B key).  It even has Bluetooth capability, which means it should be able to talk to my cell phone, although I don’t know what I could do with that (maybe transfer photos and such between them without needing to unplug the microSD chip and put it in an adapter?).  It has an SD card slot,  and something called a smart-card reader, which apparently is for magnetic cards the size of a credit card, but I don’t know what specific types of cards it would read or what function they would serve.  There’s also a built-in mini-microphone, but I haven’t discovered a use for it yet.

So far loading the software has been fairly effortless, since by now I’ve done it enough times to remember what to do.  And the folks at the computer store preloaded a lot of the stuff for me, even loading the browser and antivirus I prefer.  And because the CD/DVD drive is scarily fast, judging by the sound as well as the performance.

The main drawback so far is that the battery is defective and it only works plugged in.  But the guy at the shop is ordering a replacement battery for me.   Also the screen is a little dimmer and smaller — one of those “widescreen” ones, same width but an inch shorter in height.  Higher resolution, smaller images, almost too small.  My eyes are still adjusting.  On the plus side, it has 3 USB ports (the other laptop has 2) and they’re on the sides instead of in the back right next to the power cord, their very inconvenient placement on the old laptop.  And it’s much lighter, under 5 pounds.  When I took it back to the store in my backpack this morning to tell them about the battery, I had to keep checking to remind myself it was still in there, because I could hardly feel its weight.

Oh, and they’re both HP models, so the differences are due to 6 years of progress rather than different companies.

Ooh, I’ve just discovered another drawback to the smaller size… less wrist support.  Or maybe my seat was too low, but raising it puts the screen too low for comfort.

For the moment, I’m thinking I’ll stick with using my old laptop as my work computer, for my writing, and use this as my “desktop” for Internet and mail and graphics-intensive things.  I might even plug my keyboard and monitor into it and just use it in place of a “tower,” as suggested by commenters in my previous thread about my computer woes.  That might be more comfortable to work with.

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