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Advice on buying a new laptop

Hi all,
I am looking for a new laptop for graduate school. I currently have a very old desktop; I need a decent laptop for basic applications. Does anyone know whether laptop prices will go up or down after Vista comes out? Should I buy now or wait?

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Just discussed.

In reply to: Advice on buying a new laptop

The bet is that prices will hold steady as Vista rolls out.


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On the other hand...

In reply to: Advice on buying a new laptop

If you only want a "basic" laptop then consider getting something that's enough to run Linux. Linux has become very intuitive over the past years and there are lots of Windows-like software for it. You can install OpenOffice and save money on Ms Office. You can use GIMP to do photo editing stuff. I don't know about your work but if you have to use a tool like LaTeX for publications, Linux might be a safer option for various reasons. If you're serious about your work, Linux can turn out to be less distracting than Windows too.

If a laptop can run Vista, it's not a "basic" laptop by today's standards Happy Or in other words... you can do basic things with much less hardware.

Just mentioning a possible alternative...

Good luck!

(Btw, I'm doing a PhD)

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In reply to: On the other hand...

Thank you so much for your tips! I have to run statistics programs such as SAS, SPSS and Lisrel. My school provides Windows and Mac licenses for students' office and personal computers. Do you think Windows- or Mac-based programs would work on a Linux system?

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In reply to: .

Unfortunately I don't think I'm familar with those particular software. The only way to get a Mac or a Windows program to work under Linux is if you have the source codes of the apps so that you can recompile them under Linux. Even then there might be a bit of adjustments involved which may not be worth doing if the software is complex... if there are multimedia related things in your software I wouldn't even bother.

I'm quite sure there should be free maths software for Linux... There are lots of serious open-source/free software for Linux even if the same people don't make a version for Windows. You might want to Google around a bit.

However, if you can get the free licenses, then you can have the cake and eat it too. So in your case PC+Windows might be a more appealing option over Linux. I wouldn't recommend Macs since they need to be sent to Apple repair centers and it won't be easy for anyone else to attend to your unit's problems without possibly voiding its warranty. Also since PCs are more common, it's easier for you to find another PC to do your work on in the case where you have to send the laptop for service/repairs. People will say that MacOS X is a better operating system than any version of Windows and so on but when it comes to the hardware, you can even throw your old PC away and quickly get back to work on any other PC you can find... I don't think you'll want any other option when you're trying to meet tough deadlines in the middle of your courses.

If you have lengthy experiments to run like I do, I recommend switching to Linux as the OS tends to be a bit harder to break than Windows. Also if you go for a very lean version of Linux, it might even be possible to get a performance boost over Windows too because of reasons such as not needing many security software running in the background like you do in Windows. If you're the adventurous type, I recommend Linux. If you just want to get on with work with peace of mind on hardware, go for PC+Windows.

Good luck!

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In reply to: On the other hand...

What field are you working in?

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In reply to: :)

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

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In reply to: Advice on buying a new laptop

You "probably" won't need Vista for your work as many a college won't mass update their systems until later. Of couse, most newer system provide Vista coupons to have the OS upgarde at a later date, so you're not out of its possible use later anyways. SO, if it rated Vista compatible a show of it ability later. Pricing, should remain flat even with Vista as part of it, I don't expect any great price increase as Vista is of itself will be the selling point just to push new systems.
But, if you expect some price decrease, that will probably be on the XP side loaded OS or slightly older, slower, or entry levels systems. Already XP OS alone as full retail versions is showing pricing to lessen stock levels.

tada -----Willy Happy

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In reply to: Marketing

"...if you expect some price decrease, that will probably be on the XP side loaded OS or slightly older, slower, or entry levels systems"

That's what I was hoping to hear! I don't really need Vista, so it would be great if leftover stocks of XP computers went down in price!

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