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Well, damn.

Yesterday, my laptop self-destructed. Not entirely unexpected, though rather sudden. I'd just backed up the novel, so it only managed to take a few hundred words with it when it went. Still, I'm not pleased with this development, especially as I'm supposed to be writing. (This is Ruth's laptop, which she will need back shortly.)

So, locals: anyone know of a place to get a good, crazy-cheap laptop? Refurbished is fine. I just need a writing laptop, so as long as I can use it to type and occasionally check email, I'd be happy.

In the meantime: I will try writing this book by hand. It promises to be an adventure.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 20th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC)
consider a NEO through Alpha Smart or a DANA - brand new is only 2-300 bucks and they are more hardy than a laptop.
Aug. 20th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
EXACTLY what I was going to say. Well, no. I was going to say:

"Have you considered an Alphasmart? http://www.alphasmart.com/Retail/ I think that's going to be my next 'laptop.'"
Aug. 25th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the idea. I don't think either would work very well for my process, though -- seeing a big whack of text at once is important, I've discovered -- but I bet it'd work well for others.
Aug. 25th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the idea. I have a friend with a DANA, though, and after discussing it with her it seemed that it's probably not the best fit for my writing process. But thanks for the suggestion!
Aug. 20th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
Write it by hand! It's much more fun writing fiction that way. Ink 'n' paper, man.

Do those Alpha things have full-sized keyboards? Because for a little more cash you could spring for one of these little babies:


The keyboard is pretty small but your fingers are nimble, right? Plus it has wifi built in, and a much nicer screen than the Alphasmart products.

But it's really, really small. Or really, really portable, depending on your point of view.
Aug. 20th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
I don't know how Dell works in Canada (for their refurbished line, I mean. I know perfectly well how Dell works otherwise), but I picked up a Latitude D600 laptop for about $300.00 and change which included shipping...
Aug. 25th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that's a good deal. I'll check out the Canadian Dell site -- thanks!
Aug. 21st, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)

I was getting some pretty decent prices on refurb stuff at Future Shop when I was desktop-shopping. But not as decent as above.
Aug. 25th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Thing is, even the big sales are a little frightening when you factor in the cost of Word, and then figure out how much of a month's rent (or how many months' rent ...) a laptop would eat.

Good news is, I think I have a line on a used laptop that'd be perfect for me. Fingers crossed!
Aug. 25th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)

And that is why we have the beauty of software piracy. *cough*
Aug. 26th, 2008 08:13 am (UTC)
Installing the same copy of Word on your new laptop wouldn't violate the T&C of your license agreement since the old laptop's copy isn't working anymore would it? 'course, the old version would need to actually run on the new one, and depending on which version, it might not if it's a Vista laptop.

Yay for good prospects.

Edited to fix unintended early posting.

Edited at 2008-08-26 08:17 am (UTC)
Aug. 27th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
The old laptop was about seven years old and not originally mine, so the only actual legal copy of Word is part of the defunct hard drive, sadly. A good thought, though.
Aug. 21st, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
Ack. Sorry to hear that. What happened? And are there parts that you don't want out of it that still work that aren't spoken for?

Given some of the suggestions, it appears that you may need to clarify your wants.

Operating system? Here we've got Palm and Linux suggestions already. If you're going for Alpha Smart, NEO might not have enough memory for you. DANA definitely is the only one with wireless for e-mail. If Mac, these guys have the best old Mac prices that I've seen. Seriously, 12" notebook that I'd be okay with for $300. Though you'd need to add a wireless card.

Display size and resolution? (If Vista for the above, definitely get something at least 1024 x 768 because at 600 pixels tall (which seems to be the current mini-notebook/netbook/UMPC standard), you start having annoyingly large numbers of important dialogue boxes and preference panes that you can't see the bottoms of (and therefore have to guess how many times you have to TAB to get to CANCEL, or rotate the screen back and forth.))

Keyboard size? (typing comfort?) Battery life? Weight?

Also, what does "crazy-cheap" mean these days anyways when big chain stores have things like this $400, new, from Best Buy.

The cheapest refurbished from Future Shop's website is $450.

If you need something that you can pick up tomorrow, rather than "web only, no in store pickup available" which applies to that Best Buy one above, from Canada Computers, this, for $450, is in stock at several Toronto locations at the moment. They've got some more choice in that price range too, both in refurbished, clearance and ultraportable, though some of them are in store only prices.

Good luck.
Aug. 25th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
Wow, some really fabulous suggestions. Thank you so much, Brian!

And I'm sorry, but all of the dead laptop's parts have takers. I'll keep you in mind if the replacement self-destructs, though. *g*
Aug. 21st, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
Check with the Dell Open Box site. Highly recommended.

Aug. 25th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'll check it out.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )