A new notebook

20th September 2008 – 5.14 pm

I've been thinking about buying a new notebook computer for a while, even toying with the idea of getting an Eee a few months back. The main impetus for getting a notebook is to let me write more comfortably by sitting on the sofa rather than at the computer desk. Whilst the computer desk is hardly uncomfortable, if I have been playing on the computer for a while, with World of Warcraft, EVE Online or City of Villains being current favourites, when I stop playing I want to get away from the desk if only to give myself the impression of progress with a change of scenery. A notebook computer would allow me to remove myself from the desk whilst still being able to write e-mails and journal or blog posts.

Even so, a notebook computer is something of a luxury, particularly as a glorified typewriter for the internet age. However, a notebook sitting alongside my desktop computer has other uses, which I remember from my previous and now-broken Powerbook. When playing games full-screen it is inconvenient to have to use cmd-tab to come out of the game to check e-mail or surf the web, and IM conversations are difficult to maintain. A notebook to one side removes the need to abandon the game for these purposes, and even encourages IM conversations and web surfing whilst performing the less-interesting aspects of MMORPGS, like travel, whether on gryphons or between stargates. I can also check the details of missions with the game screen visible and available for input.

I finally decided to buy myself a new notebook, sticking with Apple because the operating system fits me perfectly, even if it scuppers gaming considerably. I didn't buy from Apple directly, instead going to a John Lewis department store, mostly because I have one locally to me and Apple hardware is rarely discounted anywhere, so I get the same deal wherever I shop. A nice bonus was finding out that the generally good John Lewis guarantees extend to computers, and the store offer a second year guarantee on top of the standard one-year Apple guarantee, for no extra cost. I bought myself an Apple notebook and brought it home.

Once home, I got everything out of the box and got the power supply connected. I created my user account, and went through the preferences panel setting up the various options the way I like them. Then it was time for the software update, and I left the system downloading a few hundred megabytes of updates to install. After that, I copied various applications, utilities and data from my desktop computer. It had taken a while to get everything sorted, but my new computer was ready to be put to use! It was at this moment that the 'k' key on the keyboard came loose.

The key had not just shifted in transit and initial use, as I examined it and one of the two hooks underneath, which hold it on to the keyboard, had broken off. I had endured the chore of setting up the computer and didn't even get to use it. I took it back to the shop but they had no replacements, so I got a refund, not knowing when I would be able to pick one up when they were restocked. Of course, had I known I would have been commuting in the car a couple of days later, owing to a flat tyre on my motorbike, I could have stopped off on the way home from work.

Luckily I wasn't too discouraged by the experience and was still able to see the reasons why I wanted to buy a notebook, and managed to pop in to the shop again at the end of the week when new stock was available. I have been through the whole process of getting the computer set-up again, and this time it remains in one piece, which is nice. I am now able to write more comfortably whilst sitting on the sofa, which is where I am now, with a kitty on my lap as well. I think this has ended up working out quite well so far.

  1. 2 Responses to “A new notebook”

  2. Would be interested to know if/how well EVE-online runs on a standard Macbook. Mulling that or a MBP for my portable gaming and computing needs...

    By Darkplasma on Sep 22, 2008

  3. I actually ended up getting the cheapest MBP. I loaded EVE Online briefly to change skill training and popped out of the station in my Drake. Everything was smooth as silk, but I haven't tried any serious mission running or mining with it yet.

    By pjharvey on Sep 22, 2008

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