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    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2012

    Custom building a desktop is always going to get you more power-to-dollar than a laptop, period. Given the tight budget you are running, this is what I would recommend. However, I am hardcore geek in this particular aspect, so my view may be a bit tainted, never mind that I am willing to devote the time necessary to get the most out of this solution.

    It is worth noting that no matter how you try and swing it a desktop + tablet solution is never going to fulfill the needs of having a mobile workstation the way that a laptop can. Unfortunately, I am not as up on laptops as I am on desktops, so I cannot give you specific advice on which device to chose. Even if I could, nothing beats doing the research yourself. Everyone's computing needs are different, and ultimately only you can decide what solution fits your needs.
  1.  (10882.2)

    Leatherman tools are very common in the film industry. Basically nearly everybody has one, and they get used HARD because when time is seriously big money you can't be wasting it running back and forth to a van or digging through a toolbox. The only time I've ever seen one get damaged was about 2am when we'd been shooting since the previous morning. For some reason we'd run out of power leads and someone had decided to hook a fairly major lamp into a 10 amp household extension cord, which duly melted. One very desperate and exhausted tech decided that seeing as we only had one pick-up shot left he'd just whack another plug on it and punch on. "That's live," I said as he got out his Leatherman. "No it ain't," he replied. Then the blade evaporated in a 2-foot plume of sparks as he cut into a very live 240v line.

    I don't know how he wasn't hurt, but apart from damage to his pride and his multitool no harm was done. So yeah, put enough current through one and it will burn, but aside from that they're pretty well indestructible.
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2012
    #Multitool / #WhatHasBeenSeenCannotBeUnseen: Must remember to use more than "Leatherman" as Google search criteria in future. Must remember to use more than "Leatherman" as Google search criteria in future. Must remember to use more than "Leatherman" as Google search criteria in future.

    Cheers all.
  2.  (10882.4)

    If running Adobe CS is a priority, I'd stick with Windows. It's possible to get it working on Linux using WINE/Crossover, but not worth the hassle if you have a Windows license you can use.

    As for hardware, if you're looking for not-top-of-the-line you'd probably be content with not-state-of-the-art... i.e. used. People who are dumping 3-year-old computers as "obsolete" are often willing to part with them for very little money. With a used laptop you should probably assume that the battery is running out of power cycles/capacity, but if you budget $50 or so for a third-party replacement, you could end up with a decent machine with good battery life.

    A laptop that I personally like is the Lenovo Thinkpad X61, which is fairly light, has a respectable Core2 Duo CPU, and (something very handy with those Adobe apps) built-in Wacom stylus support for the screen: a poor man's Cintiq. The main down-side is the 12" screen. You can pick one up used in decent condition for around $200. If you don't care about the stylus support, Lenovo's conventional Thinkpads are pretty good too, and come with larger screens.
  3.  (10882.5)
    #Multitool / #WhatHasBeenSeenCannotBeUnseen:

    Leatherman and Tool will not be much safer. I'm just saying.
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2012
    #Multitool / #WhatHasBeenSeenCannotBeUnseen:

    Upon reading this, I googled leatherman. I was disappointed. You must have scrolled down quite a bit more than you needed to.
  4.  (10882.7)
  5.  (10882.8)
    @Warped Savant: I missed your question earlier, sorry. The reason for not using my real name are a)I am all too familiar with what being Female On The Internet means. For example: I haven't kept track of all the faves I've gotten on flickr from fetish guys, but I like to think it isn't more than the faves I've gotten from people who actually like my art. At least, not yet. Because I haven't been all that active on flickr lately and I have a fair amount of self portraits, those faves are currently the most consistent. Charming isn't it? So, I try to make a point of making it at least somewhat hard for less classy types to find me in real life. b)My last name is freakishly common. It's up there with Smith. If someone did google my real name, they'll have to wade through lots and lots of people. I figure that if I'm wanting people to look me up, I want the first listing to be mine. c)But really, it's mostly because I'm paranoid. I'm also going to be using things like a rented mail box so that my return address isn't my home address, etc. Sorry my reasons are mostly depressing, but on the bright side, I get to reference mythology and my love of oceans/lakes/etc in my name, so that's pretty cool.
  6.  (10882.9)
    Good reasons. I don't blame you for any of those.
  7.  (10882.10)
    A person I know is slowly going blind, and is having trouble finding resources on how to cope with losing one's sight or how to make it easier. I've been letting her borrow some of my info on service dogs, as seeing eye dogs get a fair amount of traction in literature; any computer programs or things you guys can reccomend to help make things easier for her?
  8.  (10882.11)
    -I've had very good experience with Hostgator. When my purse got stolen and I had to reset all my credit/bank cards/ account info, they gave me a few months free so I could deal with that stuff and waiting for the new cards to come in.
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2012
    @ Kay: WANT!

    (Is that a paleospork attached to it? Na, doesn't matter. Still want it.)
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2012
  9.  (10882.14)
    @Wood- durring american colonial times they had a very simmilar tool. I seem to recall older than roman ones, but nothing offhand. :P
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2012

    At this point, after researching a bunch and playing with some things in-store, I've realized I can't in good conscience get anything I can't type on, tablets included. Right now I'm looking at 14-15.6" laptops -- most of which are pretty friggin' generic. Other than the two I've seen with external volume knobs (why don't they all have those?!)?

    Brand-wise, there's one vote for Lenovos so far. Anybody else have any ideas? Even just a "I have a ______ and it's __________" would be helpful.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2012
    Allana, i have a Lenovo G570 laptop and it works. On the other hand, i believe the old master had something Lenovo that died on its arse, causing him some dismay. Then he got a new one. Or something, i could be wrong about any or all of that. Anyway, my one works and i like it.
  10.  (10882.17)
    I picked up a Lenovo ThinkPad t201 tablet this summer, it's a convertible slate. Got it new for £570, as it's last year's model, they were about £2000 a couple of years back. Love it a great deal after years of using Toshiba tablets, the build quality is a Hell of a lot better. So yeah, I'd vote Lenovo too.
  11.  (10882.18)
    I've (briefly) used someone's Thinkpad 201, and the only thing I don't like is the "widescreen" (i.e. "notverytallscreen") display: great for watching movies and HDTV, but the wrong shape for anything I'd actually want to do with it. This is a ridiculously common flaw in most laptops made these days, which are slavishly emulating TV displays rather than optimizing them for the different kinds of things people do with computers.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2012
    @Jason - Yeah, people who don't code (or write, or anything thats text heavy) on a computer don't get why we tend to prefer a portrait orientation on our monitors to see more of the text at once. Laptops are basically useless for coding on.
  12.  (10882.20)
    @Jason, yeah, that is pretty annoying, but nobody seems to make machines with taller screens these days. My old Toshiba m200 had a great screen,I think 1200 by 960 or something like that, but they're all that stupid widescreen format now.