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Author Topic: Cheap Laptops  (Read 5973 times)
Yampa Bob

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« on: April 30, 2008, 11:43:24 PM »

This might be considered train related as some modelers are controlling their locos by computer. 

I get tired of paying over a thousand dollars for a new laptop, then a year later it's junk.  The new cheap laptops are junk to start with. This time I'm going refurbished.

This company has been in business over 10 years, all units fully guaranteed.  I checked out several outlets but this one impressed me.  I got a great deal on a Dell, free shipping, and with my preferred operating system. They were very patient, and helped me find exactly what I wanted.

They also have factory new discontinued models.   

http://www.laptopoutlet.com/index.html

Bob

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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2008, 07:48:14 AM »

Interesting website. They don't have my favorite computer, made by Fujitsu. If someone would like a reconditioned Fujitsu (and these are really superior products) they can go to Ebay and find the Fujitsu store which sells refurbished machines.
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2008, 05:06:43 PM »

Give the "outlet" a call, it's toll free.  They might be able to come up with one. I was told they have hundreds of models that aren't listed on the site.

If someone wants to only spend $100 for a laptop, they will find one.  Their note says they sell to users from students up to Fortune 500 companies.  It would have cost well over $1,000 to get all the features in a new one, and be stuck with Vista.  I paid less then $300.  Three for the price of one.!!

Talk about caring, they sent me 3 emails, one to acknowledge and thank me for the order, one to confirm billing and expected shipment date, and a followup with tracking information.  One had a note saying that if I had any problems or concerns at anytime, to please contact them. 

Some specialized accounting and database programs I wrote many years ago require a parallel port, and the USB/parallel "spoof" programs aren't bilateral. So much for progress.  I use 98SE exclusively and never have a glitch.

Bob
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2008, 06:27:31 PM »

One thing often forgotten is that an older computer running an older operating system can still do everything it could do the day it was brand spanking new.  It may not run some of the latest programs, or it may run them so slow as to be useless.  But then again, our new computer may not run our old programs, the ones we have already paid for and spent the time to learn.  Don't get me wrong - I love my newest computer and its ability to process video files.  But sitting beside it is a ten year old relic running Windows 98 so that I can use my favorite photo massaging program, a program that lost out to Photoshop only because it lacked the catchy name.  Another relic, this one running Windows 98 SE, is part of my H0 railway.  Mostly I use it for DCC programming with Decoder Pro and keeping the railway inventory up to date.  A forth computer, a refurbished Toshiba laptop running Widows 98 SE, I bought specifically to use with our group's large scale portable.  It runs Decoder Pro for programming locomotives on that layout and can also be used for showing slide shows of our other large scale layouts.  It is the only one of the three relics that was not free - I paid all of $100 for it.
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2008, 07:10:52 PM »

I may know the name of the image program you mentioned, though can't recall it at the moment.  What was it?

It certainly tells my age when I once worked in DOS 1.1, actually before that with a Vic Commodore 20.  Only ROM, had to write my own programs in BASIC.  I became quite familiar with "Syntax Error".

I took a semester of programming in order to write programs to help me pass my calculus class. When the teacher asked how I improved in the class, I admitted to cheating by using the computer.  He gave me an A anyway for original thinking.

I thought I had really arrived when I discovered XTREE gold, which allowed me to read the code of any file.  The first image viewers I had were VGIF.exe and VPIC.exe. Somewhere in a box I have every PC operating system written.  Anyone remember the first "Windows" system?  My all time favorite was Windows 95, still use it on an old 386.  The slower speed is better for card games such as Solitaire and Hearts. 

Bob

« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 07:29:40 PM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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SteamGene

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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2008, 07:27:48 PM »

Jim,
How much do you know about Decoder Pro?  I have it installed on a Mac laptop and cannot make it work.  They can't help me apparently, because it's a Mac, though a Mac developed the program. 
Gene
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 07:30:55 PM »

I agree with Jim.

My first computer, 1984, was a KAYPRO 4X that used m-basic - it did everything I needed it for then.

I still have no use for laptops, I can't get comfortable with the keyboards or the "mouse pad" on the darn things. And I have become spoiled by the speed of my HP Pavilion 1330 with mega everything.

When I do buy a computer, I always buy way more than my needs require, as a result, I have only owned 4 since that KAYPRO.

Sheldon
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 07:41:23 AM by Atlantic Central » Logged
Yampa Bob

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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 10:59:41 PM »

It took me a long time to get used to the laptop keboard but now I like it. My wife uses an external keyboard and cordless mouse.  Mainly I like the small footprint, finally moved out the desktop this winter when the monitor went bad.
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prebres

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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 11:06:00 PM »

Bob,

I remember the original windows. I even had a "windowing" program before that. My first was the Timex Sinclair ZX81 with 16k of memory. I spent many evening typing in the machine code from the back of programming books. My first bought program was a flight simulator that too 30 minutes to load off of a cassette player. That computer cost $300. My next machine was an Apple IIc that cost about $2000 and had a floppy disk drive. In my office I have a Kaypro and that Timex.
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2008, 01:11:44 PM »

I started teaching computer science with both Apple IIe and TRS-80 computers. The Apples were superior machines but were prone to breaking down - the monitors blew fuses and it was a bearcat to repair them. My school also had Commodore 64s. I detested those clunkers and stuck to my Apple IIe.

I remember doing Fortran on punch cards in college. Besides Fortran I've taught Basic and pascal. I taught AP pascal for a number of years. I used LOGO for the basis of my doctoral dissertation.

The first Mac was great - it had a screen similar to that used by windows. I believe that Apple sued Micro Soft when they introduced Windows but lost the case.

A friend has a great little Fujitsu tablet with a GPS program installed. It is as good or better than Garmin or Tom Tom but no, it doesn't talk.

After teaching computer science for several years I lost interest and now I couldn't tell Java script from html (or is that the same thing - don't tell me, I don't need to know, I'm retired.)
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prebres

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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2008, 02:56:49 PM »

I though I was the only person left who had even heard of LOGO. I learned Pascal as a freshman @ Ohio State. BASIC, C, C+, and C++ I taught myself. Like you Woody, now I could care the least bit about Visual This and Stuio That!
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2008, 05:41:45 PM »

LOGO was created by Jerome Papert at MIT to control a robotic turtle. He designed simple commands that his children could use to move the big "turtle" that was connected to the computer by a tether (thus the name Terrapin or Turtle Graphics). It was the first programming language to have a rather complete text editor.

The latest incarnation is still available in different forms. There are teachers who use the turtle graphics to work with pre-schoolers and kids with learning disabilities. Using a computer helps autistic kids develop fine motor skills and is especially useful with autistic children who cannot write.

Having not attempted any kind of programming since I taught a class in Q Basic many moons ago, I leave programming to those more talented and more patient than myself.

Back in the days of the early Apples, Commodores and the like, who could ever have imagined laptop computers and DCC for trains!(Or really great BBs like this one.)

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Santa Fe buff

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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2008, 09:00:48 PM »

Those are some of the best laptops I've seen in years. And at amazing prices too. But I suggest get the Windows XP, much better then the Windows Vista. The Vista, which is what I use, occossially has trouble and is unrealible-sometimes...
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- Joshua Bauer
Yampa Bob

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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2008, 12:33:23 AM »

I have XP running on a Pentium M, it is actually slower than this Pentium III with 98SE, and I'm still trying to get all the junk software removed.

"Vista" - Spanish (f): sight or vision. You look at it and wonder where all your stuff went.

Last night I dug out an old DOS program called "Hoyle" by Sierra.  All kinds of card games, played against animated opponents.  Crazy eights, hearts, old maid and rummy.  Man, they play a rough game, never play cards with a Cajun named Shelley LeBlanc. 
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008, 12:46:35 AM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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Santa Fe buff

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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2008, 11:18:32 PM »

Well, at least you have a CPU, I just glad to have a computer, you can do just about anything with it.
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- Joshua Bauer
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