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GeekNights 080630 - How to Buy a Laptop

edited June 2008 in GeekNights
Tonight on GeekNights we teach you how to decide which laptop to buy, if any. In the news, Netflix brings back profiles, and Rhapsody can't escape the snail.

Scott's Thing - Amazon Reviews Audiophiles
Rym's Thing - Every LEGO


  • A caution to people buying these: if you do not follow the "directional markings" on the cables, your music will play backwards. Please check that before mentioning it in your reviews.

    I was disappointed. I consider myself an audiophile - I regularly spend over $1000 on cables to get the ultimate sound. I keep my music-listening room in a Faraday cage to prevent any interference that could alter my music-listening experience. Sending any signal down ordinary copper can degrade the signal considerably. While ordinary listeners might not notice, to somebody with even a rudimentary knowledge of sound, the artifacts are glaring. Denon should have used silver wiring (hermetically sealed inside the rubber sheath to prevent any tarnishing, of course), which has a significantly higher conductivity than copper. Furthermore, Denon needs to treat the wires they use in the cable with a polarity inductor to ensure minimal phase variance.

    Needless to say, I returned the cable and wrote an angry letter to the so-called engineers at Denon.
    Haha! Win!
  • I find the review directly under that one to be far funnier.
  • edited June 2008
    I think Monster will probably sue because they came up with the original idea of ripping off the public and now Denon is stealing their concept.
    In the show:
    If you have a laptop that is 1280x1024 then you will have trouble..
    I have a 1024x768..
    Post edited by Omnutia on
  • edited July 2008
    My laptop uses 1280x800 but I have (what was in early 2007) a desktop replacement laptop, so I use a 17" external CRT as a secondary. I have a lot of freakin screen space.

    If you want a high end laptop these days, I say go with a Falcon Northwest Fragbook DRX. I love these guys.
    Post edited by Victor Frost on
  • What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item?

    26% buy
    HDMI Cable 2M (6 Feet) 4.4 out of 5 stars (23)
  • I got a docking station at my work, makes everything so easy. Plus, dual monitor action is full of win :-)
  • I got myself a Macbook, the top white model. Coincidentally I bought it just as the latest version was released so got a better deal than I was expecting. I didn't intend to buy a mac to begin with, but I couldn't find a good windows laptop that was as small (for flying and travel), with firewire and other requirements. Also, I had some software that wouldn't run on Vista at the time, only XP, and I didn't want to go through the extra cost and hassle of sorting it out. Thankfully, the software also worked on mac so going mac solved that one easily.

    So far I've not had any big problems. It has crashed exactly two times, both when I tried to look what Second Life was all about. Last night I had some trouble with video editing, but simply discovered the trash doesn't empty automagically like it does in Windows. After owning it for two months I disconnected a camera by accident and a program crashed. I had to look up online what was the mac equivalent of ctrl alt del. On any windows machine that kind of thing was a common occurrence.

    At home I use a 19 inch flat screen and a mouse. I'm going to get myself a keyboard too, not because the Macbook has a tiny keyboard, but because there must be something important underneath where my left hand rests as that gets HOT!

    Anyway, it is true Macbooks might not be worth the money. But I have the money and in the future I'd be happy to pay more for this much less stress.
  • I didn't intend to buy a mac to begin with, but I couldn't find a good windows laptop that was as small (for flying and travel), with firewire and other requirements
    My new Lifebook has firewire. What else did you need?
  • I didn't intend to buy a mac to begin with, but I couldn't find a good windows laptop that was as small (for flying and travel), with firewire and other requirements
    My new Lifebook has firewire. What else did you need?
    I can't remember them all off the top of my head. I do music composition and recording so wanted a small laptop that could deal with all of that. This came down to processor, memory and screen resolution. Firewire is for an external sound card and video. And I wanted a DVD burner as the optical drive, not just a DVD reader/CD burner option. Then there was the whole compatible operating system thing. To get all those things together one one laptop cut down the choice I had for the money I wanted to spend on a windows machine, and once I looked at the reviews of the final selection I knew I would have to spend that extra 1000 you mentioned for me to be REALLY happy.

    The Macbook had all the features I wanted plus a lot more, so I borrowed one from a friend and played with it for a while. I discovered even more good stuff, and simple things like the magnetic power cable, which really appealed to me. I have a German girlfriend, so discovering I could change the display language for the entire operating system very easily was a big hit, something which required re-installing different versions of XP. Finally, I often use a laptop on stage for shows and lectures, and a Macbook hooked into my shallow "check out my cool toy" side. Believe me, I looked at a lot of options, and in the end the Macbook was the best deal for me personally. Which really sucks, 'cos I hate the Apple fanboys.
  • Hey, Scott and Rym, if you want to play with Legos then try BrikWars. Maybe you could review it in a later show.
  • Hey, Scott and Rym, if you want to play with Legos then try BrikWars. Maybe you could review it in a later show.
    We already have Mechaton. We just have to get some actual LEGO up ins.
  • I bought this cable because Morgort the Mighty says he uses a $350 audio cable to strangle HIS enemies and he isn't better than I am just because he wears a belt of Fire Giant strength! I ordered this cable and it arrived on the back of a pegasus (FedExian the Winged Messenger) within 3 moons. Excellent! As an 8th level Psionic Warrior, I was eager to hop into the Astral Plane and see what kind of damage this baby could inflict against astral filchers! was OK, but this thing really needs a + THREE enchantment instead of only +2. See, it was forged on the material plane, so it becomes only +1 in the Astral Plane and that's just not enough to overcome the damage reduction of the Githyanki I'm running into all the time. It's a nice garrote, but tell me if you can find a neck on an astral ghost and I'll give you 50 gold pieces for the info! It works just fine on the Material Plane, but who cares about that? If I want to whip someone with a cable on my OWN plane, I'll just use a mighty whip +4!

    The bard Amazon sings constantly of this cable, supposedly forged on Mt. Gulfwarden by the dwarves of Denon...but I think it's just a Calimshan knockoff made from melted-down Lubaskan coppper pennies and old Athabascan smallclothing...In any case, it's at least stylish and good for astral encounters up to CR 6. But for the discriminating warrior, you're better off with a flaming greatsword or a ghost touch halberd.

    The worst part is when I went over to Morgort's yurt the other day and he showed me all his Astral trophies he keeps in a pocket dimension...color me GREEN with envy! All he kept saying was, "Oh, how's that cable of YOURS doing? "
    I lol'd.
  • edited July 2008
    I'm one of those people who has a 3 DVD netflix account and doesn't use profiles. I really don't watch the disks that often, so I might have to dick around with the queue once or twice a week. The reason why I use netflix is because absolutely NO WHERE near me has a decent rental program. Sure, there's blockbusters and some shit like blockbuster near me, but absolutely NONE of them have the selection netflix has. Right now I have Attack the Gas Station, Spritied Away, and Dogora (old skool Toho japanese monster movie). I guarantee that out of all the rental places near me, maybe 1 has Spritied away, and definitely none have the other two.

    Also, those audiophile reviews are gold.
    Post edited by Dkong on
  • That was one helluva good music video.
  • That was one helluva good music video.
    I think I almost like it more than the original. Tough call.
  • New York is in the northeast, not New England.
    New England is Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampsire, Vermont and Maine.
  • The chat about utility poles made me laugh, mostly because it was a great example of the difference between the USA and Europe in terms of what's considered 'old'. Rym thinks utility poles are really old because they were installed in the 70s, directly outside the house where I live is a route of utility poles made with insulators that they stopped making, even for maintenance purposes, in the 70s. So it hasn't had spare parts in as long as the really old poles over there have existed. :)
  • Utility Poles:

    On top: Power
    On bottom: Telephone
    In middle: Cable TV
  • edited July 2008
    "Since then, I can't find the cat, and my entire set of VAX/VMS 4.7 documentation (DEC Will Rise Again!) (Mmmmm, orangey!) has gone missing.
    Please, for the love of God, please, do not use these cables! The very existence of Earth may depend on your decision!"

    I can't handle someone losing their cat, these cables have to be stopped.
    Post edited by Nerissa on
  • The only thing that really makes a difference in cat5 cabling is the twist of the wire.

    We have older 'lower' twist wire that we use for lower grade data services and we have some very 'high twist' wire we use for high grade data. This has more to do with shielding issues as we no longer run the shielded cable in the central office.

    Either way it is on the order of costing a couple of dollars more per 500ft roll of wire. Unless you are running something higher than 100Mbs Ethernet you can get by just fine with the cheap cat5 cable you buy at Home Depot. You might not be able to reach 1GBps on that cheap cat5 cable but that's not a digital problem. I've got my books on all this crap in my desk at work.
  • <img src="">
    Dude, 4chan is extremely volatile concerning image storage. Especially /b/. Especially during US friendly hours. I think the image is even stored longer in your computers RAM than on 4chan.
  • Yeah, I realized that after I posted the pic. Too bad, because it was incredibly appropriate to the Legos discussion.
  • Hahaha, omg, awesome zoom in.
  • @myself: I loled so hard.
  • edited July 2008
    In response to the music video: I like the video, but the re-make of the song just made it sound so generic.
    Post edited by Kate Monster on
  • That was one helluva good music video.
    I think I almost like it more than the original. Tough call.
    There is an old school Space Marine rhino at 0:23 in the video.
  • 4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars These cables made Huey come alive!, July 2, 2008
    By E. Canas "Brainysmurph" (NY, NY) - See all my reviews
    Do you like Huey Lewis and the news? Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercial and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humour.
    In '87, Huey released 'Fore!', their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself.
    I can't believe someone ripped a scene from American Psycho and used it as a quote... that was awesome.
    I need to return some video tapes.
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