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Friday, November 18th, 2005, 5:58 am

Giving up a Laptop

Windows 98

Windows 98 screenshot from the 6-year-old Compaq Presario (click to enlarge)

THIS blog post is not concerned with giving away a laptop, but rather about my recent decision to give up laptops altogether. In this item I have collected some notes on my reasons for neglecting the world of mobile computers that are simply over-sized and are thus not contributory quite so often.

For increased productivity (e.g. dual-head, fast Ethernet), I find desktop machines to be an absolute necessity. I have learned this over time and I recently gave up the laptop which I had lugged for 6 years. It used to serve me fairly well while travelling, yet travel is the exception, which does correspond with daily requirements.

There are endless issues with laptops: hardware upgrades, components that become difficult to replace or even find (e.g. built-in speakers). These are just a few among the more prominent factors. One cannot ignore inflexibility with regards to hardware probing and peculiar vendor-specific drivers. I am not necessarily referring to Linux to Windows (or vice versa) migrations, but also to ‘intra-O/S’ migrations where drivers may be missing and so-called QuickRestore CD’s (factory defaults) can never resolve recurring incompatibilities.

I ultimately decided to stick to a PDA, preferably with folding keyboard. Along with desktop wordstation/s it works flawlessly unless one travels all the time. I have become accustomed to this over time. Synchronisation of memos with the desktop gives me the convenience I have probably sought all along.

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