RE: Telecommuters: laptop or desktop?

Subject: RE: Telecommuters: laptop or desktop?
From: Chris <cud -at- telecable -dot- es>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 10:10:16 +0200

When I made the move to contractor I started with a laptop. I had the added reason that we moved to Europe, and I knew a laptop would work with the different curent, I could buy it in America and bring it with me, has a US OS, etc. I bought an HP because it was solid, had a 3-year warranty, and I could get it with NT (a long story there). At the time it was a pretty hot machine, but it's pathetic already (4 years). I got a y-cable for the keyboard and mouse - you *must* do that if you'll be writing, just to save your wrists. Other than that, I had no peripherals - not even a printer. I took files to a local shop if I needed something printed out. This setup lasted for 2 years... I loved the quiet, the contained package, and the small size of that machine. And I basically had an uninterrupted power supply, which came in handy when we had the electricians re-do our house.

Constantly using the laptop had two down sides... The heat from the constant use sort of warped the super-thin aluminum base for the keyboard, and so the keybard sort of arches upward now. I don't think it pushes against the screen when I close the lid, but it is a little goofy. Also, the battery isn't at optimal condition because I wound up charging it significantly more than discharging it.
When I was established enough, and tired enough of a small monitor, I decided to get a new machine. That, plus I was sick of NT's lousy font problems and I needed more power for a regular gig I got to generate huge catalogs in PDF... 233 mHz didn't cut it any more. I got a machine built by a neighborhood shop, and installed my own Win 2000 (from the US). And, since apartments are small here (hence my desk is small) I got a 15 in flat screen. The whole thing cost about $3,000 - 6 months later I saw laptops with 15 in screens 20 meg disks, 1 gHz, R/W cd - basically the same machine for about $3,000 but a laptop. I will say that I benefit from adding another HD and a DVD, but otherwise I would prefer a laptop. (Oh, and I finally ponied up for a printer.)

I still need my laptop from time to time when I go to a site.
So what's the point? I guess a laptop is where I suggest you start, and right about when it becomes obsolete you can buy a desktop machine. A 15 in screen is good enough for gvmt work - I got by with 12 in for years. Travel light (minimal peripherals) and you'll have fewer issues. Get a Pentium, whatever you do. Get a fast connection to the net.

Chris Despopoulos, maker of CudSpan Freeware...
Plugins to Enhance FrameMaker & FrameMaker+SGML
cud -at- telecable -dot- es

Buy RoboHelp Deluxe starting at only $798: you'll get RoboDemo, the hot new
software demonstration tool that's taking the Help authoring world by storm,
together with RoboHelp Office. Learn more at

Your monthly sponsorship message here reaches more than
5000 technical writers, providing 2,500,000+ monthly impressions.
Contact Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) for details and availability.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Sub-sets of DocBook
Next by Author: RE: the correct wording for "the" United Kingdom
Previous by Thread: Re: Telecommuters: laptop or desktop?
Next by Thread: RE: Telecommuters: laptop or desktop?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads