RE: Telecommuters: laptop or desktop?

Subject: RE: Telecommuters: laptop or desktop?
From: "Jonathan West" <jwest -at- mvps -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 10:28:12 +0100

Hi Jeffrey

> Question for telecommuters, particularly contractors who visit customer
> sites on occasion---do you use/prefer a desktop machine or a laptop with
> docking station?

I use a desktop machine at home and I have a rather elderly laptop (which is
due for replacement!) which I take on site as necessary. I have them
networked to each other at home so that I can transfer files between them

What arrangement will suit you depends very much on how you anticipate your
work being organised. If you anticipate having to go to customers' premises
fairly often to demonstrate your work or do a bit of work on-site, then a
laptop is probably going to be necessary, and that should be your first buy.

It doesn't necessarily need to have a docking station though. Most laptops
these days have a video output port and enough other ports for you to
connect an external keyboard and mouse, so you could buy those items
separately, and work at home almost as if you have a desktop.

Later, if you decide that you want a machine with a bit more oomph behind it
and want to buy a desktop, then you may be able to find a deal that offers
just the system unit without screen.

On the other hand, if you anticipate working more or less exclusively from
home, and not needing to use the computer on the move, a desktop machine
gives you more power for a much lower price.

As for choosing a major brand for the desktop or building your own, that
depends on how confident you are about pulling it apart and fixing it if
something goes wrong. This is the machine on which your livelihood depends,
so you need to have a means of getting it going again quickly or having
access to a backup machine in the meantime - and having access to your data!
Different people approach this in different ways. The way I manage it is
that I have two machines under my desk, both fairly cheap non-branded
models, and I use one to back the other up.

Jonathan West

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Telecommuters: laptop or desktop?: From: Jeffrey Osier-Mixon

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