Author Topic: Five months without my computer?  (Read 1012 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Five months without my computer?
« on: September 03, 2018, 06:41:57 PM »
As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm going to be spending the winter in Maui. Just shy of five months. I'm sick of winter, even Spokane's relatively mild winter, and I love kayaking and canoeing, which are year-round activities in Maui.

I need to decide what to do about a computer.

I've been away from my computer for six weeks at a time, pretty much every summer for the past decade, and 2 to 3 weeks at a time at other times. I take my iPad with me when I travel, and for travel I have found the tablet to be adequate. But I'm wondering about five months. The iPad is almost a computer, and when I'm traveling I usually don't do much writing. A short daily journal entry and the occasional email. But I don't get on chat boards, and I don't use any of the apps that really go easier on a desktop computer.

So I could ship my iMac over to Maui for the winter, but it's heavy and fragile. I could make do with the tablet, for which I could get a keyboard, which would make typing easier, but I still could only run apps available on the tablet. I will NOT even consider anything that runs Windows, so a cheapo PC is out of the question, though I might consider a cheap Chromebook. I actually don't know much about Chrome OS. I gather that basically it's like a computer that can only run Chrome. Not sure if that would meet my needs or not. I don't think I'd want to spend $1,000 for a Mac just for the 5 months, and if I do end up moving there (which if it happens would probably be in a year from now) I would either ship my iMac over along with other stuff I don't want to lose, like my art collection, or upgrade to a new one when I get there.

Thoughts on computer for a one-time snowbird?
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2018, 06:51:14 PM »
What would you foresee doing on a computer?
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline John Albert

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2018, 07:14:30 PM »
Get a cheapo laptop and install Linux.

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2018, 07:41:39 PM »
Not sure why you wouldn't want a cheap windows laptop,

Windows 10 is much better than any previous version and much easier to use.

as John suggested you could get a cheap windows laptop then install linux instead of windows (MINT would be free and the easiest, we can talk you through the instal but its not difficult)

Linux MINT will work much like windows (on the surface) with a few differences. Not much of a learning curve

Even better you could keep windows and run mint from a USB stick while you decide which one you want to stick with.

Chromebooks suck bad, its a similar OS to an android tablet so you mite as well just get a keyboard for your Ipad, If you find windows to be frustrating you may very well hate your chromebook even more. especially since you are used to Mac stuff


something like this would be cheap and easy. Perfect for internet browsing and writing/office type apps. Windows or Linux

http://www.microcenter.com/product/510310/inspiron-15-3565-156-laptop-computer---black

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2018, 09:31:21 PM »
What would you foresee doing on a computer?

I think the main thing would be that I keep track of some of my financial stuff with NeoOffice, some document files and some spreadsheet files, and some of those live on my desktop computer because I don't really want to put them on the cloud, though I could put them there. Also chat boards like this one, where I find a desktop computer easier than the tablet because of the proper keyboard and the upright screen at a proper desk.

I'm already using the tablet for streaming media because for that I'd rather be sitting in an armchair, so I don't need the desktop computer to do that.


Not sure why you wouldn't want a cheap windows laptop,

Windows 10 is much better than any previous version and much easier to use.

as John suggested you could get a cheap windows laptop then install linux instead of windows (MINT would be free and the easiest, we can talk you through the instal but its not difficult)

Linux MINT will work much like windows (on the surface) with a few differences. Not much of a learning curve

Even better you could keep windows and run mint from a USB stick while you decide which one you want to stick with.

Chromebooks suck bad, its a similar OS to an android tablet so you mite as well just get a keyboard for your Ipad, If you find windows to be frustrating you may very well hate your chromebook even more. especially since you are used to Mac stuff


something like this would be cheap and easy. Perfect for internet browsing and writing/office type apps. Windows or Linux

http://www.microcenter.com/product/510310/inspiron-15-3565-156-laptop-computer---black


I quit using Windows when the security software started using up more of my computer's resources than my applications did. I used to subscribe to a free on-line security newsletter from Ziff Davis or some such. Every week there were several new security loopholes, and about half of them were memory overflow bugs. The first thing I learned when I was programming with C was every time you allocate memory you check for overflow. A software company that does not enforce this rule does not get my business. So no Windows for me. I don't even want to give Microsoft money by buying a machine that paid Microsoft for a Windows license.

It's been over a decade since I tried to install Linux on a computer, so I imagine it's improved since then, but I could not get it to install. Well, it installed, but there was stuff missing. The instructions said that I had to crawl around the web and find the missing stuff. The codecs for streaming media and for displaying images are proprietary so Linux could not include them. One distribution actually charged money so they could include them, and I bought that, but I could not get that one to work. I concluded that you had to be more computer-savvy than I am to get Linux to work. I think I tried 3 or 4 different distributions.

Thanks for the heads-up on Chrome OS. I use Chrome as my default browser and I like it, so I thought maybe that would be one way to go.

Maybe I should just put all my files on the cloud and use my tablet. I'm going to have to try this with some NeoOffice files and see if the tablet can read and use them. Right now, if I know I'll want to cross-access files (e.g. travel journals) I create them with Pages and keep them on the cloud. I don't like Pages, but I can make do with it.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2018, 10:21:20 PM »
What would you foresee doing on a computer?

I think the main thing would be that I keep track of some of my financial stuff with NeoOffice, some document files and some spreadsheet files, and some of those live on my desktop computer because I don't really want to put them on the cloud, though I could put them there. Also chat boards like this one, where I find a desktop computer easier than the tablet because of the proper keyboard and the upright screen at a proper desk.

I'm already using the tablet for streaming media because for that I'd rather be sitting in an armchair, so I don't need the desktop computer to do that.


Not sure why you wouldn't want a cheap windows laptop,

Windows 10 is much better than any previous version and much easier to use.

as John suggested you could get a cheap windows laptop then install linux instead of windows (MINT would be free and the easiest, we can talk you through the instal but its not difficult)

Linux MINT will work much like windows (on the surface) with a few differences. Not much of a learning curve

Even better you could keep windows and run mint from a USB stick while you decide which one you want to stick with.

Chromebooks suck bad, its a similar OS to an android tablet so you mite as well just get a keyboard for your Ipad, If you find windows to be frustrating you may very well hate your chromebook even more. especially since you are used to Mac stuff


something like this would be cheap and easy. Perfect for internet browsing and writing/office type apps. Windows or Linux

http://www.microcenter.com/product/510310/inspiron-15-3565-156-laptop-computer---black


I quit using Windows when the security software started using up more of my computer's resources than my applications did. I used to subscribe to a free on-line security newsletter from Ziff Davis or some such. Every week there were several new security loopholes, and about half of them were memory overflow bugs. The first thing I learned when I was programming with C was every time you allocate memory you check for overflow. A software company that does not enforce this rule does not get my business. So no Windows for me. I don't even want to give Microsoft money by buying a machine that paid Microsoft for a Windows license.

It's been over a decade since I tried to install Linux on a computer, so I imagine it's improved since then, but I could not get it to install. Well, it installed, but there was stuff missing. The instructions said that I had to crawl around the web and find the missing stuff. The codecs for streaming media and for displaying images are proprietary so Linux could not include them. One distribution actually charged money so they could include them, and I bought that, but I could not get that one to work. I concluded that you had to be more computer-savvy than I am to get Linux to work. I think I tried 3 or 4 different distributions.

Thanks for the heads-up on Chrome OS. I use Chrome as my default browser and I like it, so I thought maybe that would be one way to go.

Maybe I should just put all my files on the cloud and use my tablet. I'm going to have to try this with some NeoOffice files and see if the tablet can read and use them. Right now, if I know I'll want to cross-access files (e.g. travel journals) I create them with Pages and keep them on the cloud. I don't like Pages, but I can make do with it.

thats cool, you can also get some laptops with linux already installed, I found some at amazon with a quick search

https://www.amazon.com/Laptops-Linux-Computers-Tablets/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A565108%2Cp_n_operating_system_browse-bin%3A7817221011

avoid the atom processors, they are better in phones and tablets

The Icloud is not a bad idea. With a bluetooth keyboard and mouse you can do plenty with your I-pad.  You could also invest in a chrome cast or apple TV and cast to a TV for a bigger screen when its available.

I'll sell you a referb mid 2015 macbook pro for $900  >:D

“Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2018, 10:35:51 PM »
I love my mid-2015 15” MacBook Pro.  I think they really perfected the MacBook that year, and ever since they’ve just been taking away ports and addding gimmicks.
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Online brilligtove

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 10:42:40 PM »
I use a Win10 computer for 3D modelling, audio and video processing, and a couple other bits and pieces. I've used my iPad Pro (2015) for everything else for 3 years. Well, almost. I had a surface tablet first, but it was so buggy back then that I had to return it. I couldn't deal with that and chemo at the same time. Any iPad will do, though. 

If you have the money - about $120 a year - I can highly recommend Office 365 on iOS. It will work on your Mac when you get home, too.

The Logitech K811 is the best keyboard I have ever used, bar none. Get a simple stand for your iPad (so you can go portrait and landscape as needed) and a K811. For what you want to do I suspect you'll never look back.

The only limitation to the setup above is that you tend to need a table or a wall in front of your knees to type. It's awesome on public transit and planes - the iPad rests against the seat in front of you. I find it is very rare that my use is limited by having a separate keyboard. Much more often I find the flexibility makes it much easier to do what I need to do.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2018, 10:57:48 PM »
Another interesting toy that mite be fun and usefull. I was going to make another thread but you mite enjoy it on your trip if you do any camping with your outdoor activities and bring a sheet or any blank wall inside or out.

A tiny but powerful battery powered projector with built in android (ready to go HBO, netflix, youtube) and phone/Ipad/android/PC screen sharing. WiFI, bluetooth, or hard wired. Who needs a TV when you have one of these for $200. It was impressively bright.  You can easily fill a bedroom wall in the dark.



https://www.amazon.com/AAXA-Android-Smart-Pico-Projector/dp/B072QDGKLZ

I just used these on set and they rock!

My boss got one with a laser projector and apple TV built in but it was closer to $350, not sure of the brand but I can find out. The laser was even brighter and autofocuses.
“Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Online brilligtove

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 11:05:04 PM »
I for one would like to know about the laser version. What's the resolution? 1080p or 4K?
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2018, 12:10:43 AM »
I for one would like to know about the laser version. What's the resolution? 1080p or 4K?

No way it’s 4K for that price, and probably not even 1080p.  Projectors in that price range tend to be SVGA.

Note that many projectors will advertise input resolutions rather than the actual resolution of the projector.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 12:12:58 AM by The Latinist »
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2018, 01:02:01 AM »
It's been over a decade since I tried to install Linux on a computer, so I imagine it's improved since then, but I could not get it to install. Well, it installed, but there was stuff missing. The instructions said that I had to crawl around the web and find the missing stuff. The codecs for streaming media and for displaying images are proprietary so Linux could not include them. One distribution actually charged money so they could include them, and I bought that, but I could not get that one to work. I concluded that you had to be more computer-savvy than I am to get Linux to work. I think I tried 3 or 4 different distributions.

Some of today's Linux distros are far more user friendly than they used to be. Linux Mint is very easy to install. A couple years ago I set it up on a laptop while on a 3-hour road trip, using my phone as a WiFi hotspot.

If you want something close to the Mac OSX experience, I recommend Mint with the Cinnamon desktop.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2018, 11:38:52 AM »
I think a big part of my dilemma is that 5 months is a long time to be away from my desktop computer, but an awfully short time to justify buying new equipment.

I'm actually typing now on a Logitech K750. When it was probably 6 or 8 years old it appeared to be dying, but I inquired here and you guys told me it just needed a new battery, and sure enough, an off-the-shelf watch battery restored it. The T key now has an I on it, but that doesn't cause me any problems.

I won't be getting Office 365 for all the reasons I noted earlier. I don't want anything from MS on my computer and I don't want to give any support to the company that IMO laid the groundwork for much that is wrong with computers today. NeoOffice does everything I need an office suite to do on my desktop, and I'd rather make do with Pages than support MS.

You've given me a lot to ponder. Thanks much.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2018, 05:06:38 PM »
I suggest a cheap Chromebook, as its all you’ll need to do what you describe.  Get an Intel-based one and you will be able to run Electron-based Linux apps. Acer has a 14” Chromebook with a 1080p display, 4GB RAM and 32 GB storage.  It has HDMI and two USB ports so you can attach a keyboard, mouse and external display/HDTV if you want. You can get it on Amazon for about $250.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Five months without my computer?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2018, 07:55:30 PM »
I suggest a cheap Chromebook, as its all you’ll need to do what you describe.  Get an Intel-based one and you will be able to run Electron-based Linux apps. Acer has a 14” Chromebook with a 1080p display, 4GB RAM and 32 GB storage.  It has HDMI and two USB ports so you can attach a keyboard, mouse and external display/HDTV if you want. You can get it on Amazon for about $250.

I have had very bad luck with chromebooks, I find them to be slow and frustrating. Others may have a different experience. Its basically just an android tablet with an attached keyboard that does not work as well.

 Someone with Ipad/Iphone experience my find android to be frustrating which is also why I spoke out against one.

Daniel it certainly cant hurt to go to your local electronics store and play with one for a while to see what you think. 

I still recommending MINT for a windows alternative.
“Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

 

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