Curse you, Gordon E. Moore!

I don't like to make decisions. I like to consider other people's stronger opinions. I like to consider all of my options for a long time before settling on one. I like it when I take so long considering options that the decision is made for me. If I am rushed to make a decision, I will inevitably choose the stupidest option possible because I feel rushed and I panic.

An example: I was in a three-person project group this semester. I had about half an hour and couldn't decide whether to try to grab something to eat before my meeting, so I called one group member to see if he'd eaten. He told me that he'd had a sandwich but he'd be willing to eat more if we wanted to get pizza, so it was up to me. I said I would call and ask the third member, but the one I was talking to told me that he was in class. I had to decide right then and there whether I would get something and then go to the meeting or wait until the meeting and get something with the group. So I went and bought a sandwich, but had forgotten that I was going to have to wait for the bus, ride the bus and drive to my group member's house, so there would be nowhere to eat the messy sandwich. And they took forever to make the sandwich in the first place. And so I was late and messy and barely got to eat any of the sandwich and everyone ended up hungry.

Uh, not that I'm dwelling on this one minor decision that I made months ago or anything...

Well, now the time has come to buy a laptop. Actually, that time came last summer, but somehow I've managed to put it off until now. And now I will definitely need one so that I can actually do work in France. I must buy a laptop, and I should do it, oh, about last week or so. Printouts from Dell.com and Gateway.com and advertisments from Best Buy and Circuit City are sitting in piles in my room as I weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each model and decide that I am lacking some vital information or vital money that will push me towards one model or another.

Computers are especially difficult because I know that the day after I buy a laptop, a new chip will hit the market that turns laptops into featherlight pocket-sized teleportation devices that wash the dog and make you hot chocolate and I will kick myself for "rushing" into a decision.

(All of this said, I will not tolerate indecision in other people. If you have no opinion, you don't make my decisions any easier and we will mull things over for hours and never accomplish anything. Maybe I need to incorporate the Veto Game into my everyday life...)

srah - Monday, 10 May 2004 - 12:13 PM
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Comments (17)

gravatar Rachel - May 10, 2004 - 1:23 PM -

Hoorah for the Veto game! Long live the Veto game!

gravatar Q. - May 10, 2004 - 2:35 PM -

Just a quick note:

With the crazy-fast processing speeds of laptops these days, they throw a lot of heat. So make sure you get a design with decent airflow, otherwise we'll end up with a flame-broiled Srah.

gravatar srah - May 10, 2004 - 2:42 PM -

Oh god, yet another factor to consider. How does one know which designs have decent airflow? I don't remember seeing anything about that in any of the specs....

And are you James Bond's Q? Isn't he dead?

(Note: That's James Bond's Q, as opposed to James Bond's queue, which is diseased)

gravatar monkey - May 10, 2004 - 3:03 PM -

blah!!!! mwhahahaha

gravatar a GWF fan club member - May 10, 2004 - 3:07 PM -

diseased, deceased... either way...

gravatar Urs - May 10, 2004 - 3:54 PM -

queues are just lines for waiting!

gravatar erin - May 10, 2004 - 4:12 PM -

don't forget you get a student discount from dell. sometimes it's not as good as just buying from their home or business section though.

gravatar MaTT - May 10, 2004 - 4:22 PM -

My biggest suggestion is to go for a Pentium-M processor (aka Centrino). They are cooler and faster (QED more efficient ;) ) than their regular Pentium 4 (or even Mobile Pentium) brothers. A bit more expensive, but worth it i believe. However, if budget is more tightly constrained, going with AMD (like the XP-M) is good if its available (like in HP/Compaq) -- AMD is making excellent chips now, and will be better than hearing your laptop sound like a hairdryer all the time (if you go with just a regular non-mobile chip)...

gravatar Jez - May 10, 2004 - 4:29 PM -

I went with Dell, and I'm happy. Except that they waited until I'd bought a laptop until they rolled out the really good offers.

My advice would be not to be tempted by all the super-duper best possible spec laptops, unless you really really need all the high spec stuff. I bought a bottom of the range Dell (but with added memory space), because I don't need all the bells and whistles (with accompanying price tag) of the multimedia options.

gravatar jday - May 10, 2004 - 4:57 PM -

On a completely unrelated note (a. because I am computer illiterate, and b. I have absolutely nothing relevant to say), I rented Donnie Darko this weekend, based on blahbacks from my fellow srahblahblah fanatics from several months ago. That was perhaps the weirdest movie *ever*. Not only was it semi-disjointed and intellectually creepy, but if I ever saw / talked to a six foot tall demonic bunny, I would not it "Frank". Ii needed to purge my psyche after watching that and had a Monty Python fest- also semi-disjointed but only minorly creepy :o) Any more recommendations?

gravatar Smuj - May 10, 2004 - 6:57 PM -

It's hard to make any meaningful recommendations without knowing what you plan on using the notebook for and what your budget is, but ...

Go to the Apple Store in Twelve Oaks Mall and have them show you a Powerbook G4 and an iBook G4. I use a Windows XP PC at home and a Mac at work. I very much prefer the Mac. It can do everything the PC does, only (usually) better and way cooler.

gravatar Matt S. - May 11, 2004 - 12:11 AM -

The long-time Q, Desmond Llewelyn, died a few years ago. Now John Cleese is Q.

But, as for the queue, I'm afraid you're probably right...

gravatar MaTT - May 11, 2004 - 2:26 AM -

Yay for Apple! (I know srah prolly won't buy one of these, but yay anyway!) And they are much cooler ;) The Apple logo on my Powerbook even glows in the dark! (you do like things that glow, right?)

gravatar srah - May 11, 2004 - 7:04 AM -

Sigh... don't tempt me. They're lovely, but I don't want to get one because my local IT administrator (srahdad) isn't familiar with Macs and it would be incompatible with the local computing environment.

gravatar Smuj - May 11, 2004 - 7:39 AM -

Macs are plug-and-play for just about everything. So much so that I'm going to tell my grandparents to get one as soon as their old Pentium II finally bites it Tupac style. You won't have any problems connecting it to your local network. I haven't found a digital camera, printer, or other peripheral that isn't natively supported. Everything just works, and it works well.

If you're concerned about not being able to get questions answered, you should get Applecare support. They're excellent.

And as for things that glow in the dark, I'm pretty sure the new Powerbooks have backlit keyboards.

gravatar Saltation - May 12, 2004 - 8:04 AM -

i used to work in amidst a sea of "roadwarriors" so got to see a lot of different ones roadtested in real life.
Dell: these are very badly built, in a physical sense. cheap, and cheap for a reason. dont' get one if you plan to move it around (eg, to/from work, home, travelling) -- they break/fall-apart. every-other-day travelling gave dells approx 3-12mth lifespans

Sony: excellent
Toshiba portege series: excellent
Apple: excellent

Big advantage of apple's current laptops (over and above the build quality-- this one is 6 years old, runs everything, and looks new) is the internal wireless card -- nothing protrudes (unlike in normal laptops) so nothing can get broken off. And all the new ones come with all the windows networking installed and auto-enabled. You should be able to use any unix or windows network transparently

gravatar QueueTip - May 14, 2004 - 5:08 AM -

I think the recent Consumer Reports rated laptops.

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