London (change)
11/04/2013 at 15:20

Frank/Dad both my girls had Acers-they're the ones that are on the blink!! That said-they weren't expensive ones and the girls used them constantly so I think the laptops were just losing the will to live. I've just bought an Asus and so far so good. I went on comparison site and this one was through Ebuyer. Think it was £240 as there was money off it. It'll be fine for what I need and I guess that's the key. I'll only use it for this and banking etc and the odd browse -nurseries and garden related sites mostly!

11/04/2013 at 15:45

My good one is an HP and my rubbish one is an acer. However, the HP was a lot more expensive than the acer, so I supppose you get what you pay for. It is much better to get a 64 bit one than a 32 bit one, I thinnk, but costs more.

11/04/2013 at 15:46

I have a HP that is probably 3 years old (was using it to go on baby sites when preggers with number 2), and it's still fine.  Was under £300 from PC World.  Got it from there as with a toddler and another on the way at the time, really wanted to get their 'if anything happens' warranty, which I've used 3 times (twice for power cord and once when it started smoking ominously!)  As I got the platinum cover, they come & pick it up, give me a loan laptop, and bring it back when fixed.  That said, if I'd put the tenner a month in a tin, I could've bought a new one now.

OH also has a HP and hates his, as its so slow (it has software issues, he tries to open a load of websites and run pro-engineer at the same time).  It does take ages to boot up, though, so not all down to him.  Apart from trying to set itself on fire, I like my HP.

11/04/2013 at 15:50

All to do with whether 32 or 64 bit, perhaps. 64 bit is a lot faster.

11/04/2013 at 16:08

GG, think it's more to do with running Windows Vista on OH's laptop (what a pile of S***e), whilst mine is running Windows 7.

That's a whole other rant, which I'm not even bothering to start, don't have the energy today.

11/04/2013 at 17:18

We had Vista on the Acers too and I know it wasn't great sometimes whereas this is Windows 7. Did you notice I was slightly politer than you MMP?

11/04/2013 at 17:19

Acer was just looking and the replies say it all. My current one is Toshiba on Vista which I love, certainly an improvement over windows 7, still it is five years old which in Laptop terms warrants a telegram from the Queen.
Back to Toshiba I think although no rush now I am back on line, had HP in my office so many years ago now we had to reinforce the desk big ugly and to me a waste of time and paper
At computer school I used the Apple as no one else would go on it, thought it a wonderful machine and program but why so costly compared with other well known names.
Will wait for the sales when the children are back at school, mine are away caravanning in the Lake District.


11/04/2013 at 17:48

Apple are the best, as you say, Frank. My acer does run vista, which isn't the best, whereas my HP runs Wiindows XP. Still think it is mostly about the power of the computer, though.  

11/04/2013 at 19:26

Picking computers it's fun, it all depends what you want, Toshiba are a good solid brand HP can be dodgy at times my last hp blew its usb ports.

What kind of laptop are you looking for? I like my netbook its only a 9 inch screen but it has 1024 pixels across and 600 down. Now if your eyesight isn't good that could be too small. For internet use the limiting factor is the speed of your internet connection. The computer spends most of its time waiting for the page to be transmitted.

Is battery life important to you, the batterys all decline in how much charge they can hold but would you like 8 hours on battery or just an hour. Optical drives are mostly just extra weight but you might want one. would you be happy to plugin an external dvd drive on usb if you ever needed it.

most cpu's are 64 bit these days it refers to the word size of its instructions and the amount of Ram it can address. Theres also multicore processors the advantage is that more than 1 task can run at the same time. a single core processor swops between jobs many times a second. a multicore processor can do more than 1 thing at once making it quicker than a single core processor.

There is operating systems to consider if its an apple it's native operating system is OSX but it can also run Windows and Linux as alternatives (usually that is done with OSX working as a middleman. Osx also is pretty much as virus and malware free as your likely to get. So is Linux (although you are unlikely to buy a computer with a version of Linux installed unless you really look hard.  Windows comes in various flavours  the most current is windows 8 and many people do not like it, You probably can still buy laptops with windows7  Barely scratching the surface here of the many possibilities how about an iPad or Android tablet perhaps? while mostly they don't have keyboards they can be installed. Really only you know what you want to use it for and for most people any laptop would do. You could just go the easy way decide how much you want to spend and avoid lousy brands like advent and packard bell. Asus and Acer both are good value for money. Then you get your toshiba, hp ,dell.  Sony are usually overpriced Apple is expensive but is supposed to be high quality and they do fix thier machines  if you buy the extended warantee. .. There is  no easy answer i think that most laptops would be good enough. 

Anyway Beechgrove is on in 4 minutes


11/04/2013 at 19:50

I have a Macbook Pro which I bought about 2 years ago on a local online auction. It only cost about £200 and was like new, the guy that sold it was one of these computer gurus who regularly buys the lastest version. Perhaps if you look on eBay you might find something similar, just make sure you read the positive/negative feedbacks carefully and ask questions before buying.

11/04/2013 at 20:17

I wouldn't say no to a macbook pro at that price.

11/04/2013 at 22:50

Blackest started with a desk top then a Dell that gave me four years and is still being used as back up by my Daughter. The Toshiba has given five years service with nothing serious going wrong, it is just too slow now.
Son runs Linux for research and work, I write reams on History local and national when asked plus making a complete history of the family for the family so a good keyboard essential. do not use glasses apart from bad light so not worried about screen pixels.
Those ipod things go mad when I touch them, Daughter handed it to me to see some photo's they vanished quick time.
I am not in a rush now as the power cord works everything although the batteries are duff will wait for the sales and go with Toshiba again, there are a couple of 17.5 screen with plenty of storage on the £400 + Mark but this one was marked down £90 when I bought it as a new version was coming out, could work again at the right time.
My Mobile a clam shell five years old pay as you go will stay with me until it dies, I was the only one getting a signal when we were in Scotland among the hills, the modern go mad touch everything at X£ a month had to rely on me.


12/04/2013 at 02:51

Frank with your son running Linux ask him if he can install Linux Mint as a dual boot on your Toshiba. I think you would like the cinnamon desktop. You should find your Toshiba snappy and fast.

I'd always leave windows on just as a backup for when you can't figure out how to do something with Linux. Think of it like getting a set of sockets to go with your spanners they both overlap in the jobs they are good for but its better to do both. Hope your son isn't too far away. Actually one thing that might be worth some thought is a chrome-book. cheap enough in England

12/04/2013 at 07:26

Frank/Dad I  know what you mean about the touch screenphones/netbooks etc! They drive me nuts! My 2 girls are very computer savvy, as all teenagers are these days, and it's frightening how quick they are at doing stuff! Oldest daughter was helping me last week to try and link my camera up (no longer have the disk for it) and she just downloaded and pressed stuff at  100mph!

As I always say-horses for courses- but it can be difficult to work out what's right for you sometimes! 

12/04/2013 at 09:38

The camera probably presents itself as a mass storage device in english just another hard drive. With older operating systems like XP it often wouldn't have a driver built in hense the need for a disk to give it a driver program so it could talk to it,(XP is about 13/14 years old now).

More modern operatating systems support more hardware by default and most things that can plugin tend to identify themselves as a simple device (even though they are quite complex) and use established protocols (standard methods of communicating) to enable the two devices to talk to each other.

So when you plugin the camera it becomes a harddrive to the laptop probably E: or F: on windows which you can open select photo files to move to the internal harddrive or open straight into a program for editing or displaying or ... the photo's. it is as simple as that. Hope that helps.

With Computers a lot has to be accepted as 'Magic' it just works. Nobody knows every detail of everything which goes on, and nobody has to.

I've more than 30 years experience with computers and I don't know everything. I do know how to find out most everything. If I need the information it is almost always written somewhere and google can find it.

Software is usually written with design patterns, so for example practically every program written (with a gui) has a file menu on the top left of the window. with edit and view next to that and help is always the last menu item.  Thats why the kids are so quick.

Imagine a world where cars for example are all different, well they are but there are always three pedals (ok for a manual) clutch brake and accelerator usually there is a wheel to steer with.

Computer software is pretty similar in that most of a program will in general be the same as in any other program. There are a few programs which will use a snazzy new interface but the basic functions are usually still there just not so familiar.

With touchscreens there are a few new methods and some older methods don't work so well. Its hard to place a finger exactly on a small button so they need to be bigger, gestures are used so your finger might drag up and down in a list. There is a bit of learning with these new methods but once you are used to them it becomes easy again. 

12/04/2013 at 10:41

Blackest (I wrote backrest not thinking) I keep my son well away from my laptop, it takes me a day to find everything if he has been on it, my grandson is not too bad it only takes me half a day to get back.
He was in computing in the RAF then worked for the MOD where they had to invent computers then program them for specific jobs some to do with rocketry. If you could see his computer wall, and that is what it is, made up from old bits and pieces mixed with the latest stuff, it was him who offhandedly said the Acer would do what I wanted?
Cinnamon added to Honey is a good cure all. Chrome has me puzzled so I stick to what I know and learnt at Computer school where I mastered the Apple and loved it, do not think they are worth so much more than a normal computer is all.
As to my Granddaughters and their up to date icky phones, they are talking to me and their thumbs going twenty to the dozen, I said future generations will be born with two long thumbs and no fingers. One was watching me on the laptop and commented, Granddad you use all your fingers to type? "err" yes what other way is there? Oh well they are the future and welcome to it as far as I am concerned.


12/04/2013 at 10:55

Thank sblackest I'll get oldest wean to look at that for me later!!

I always have a laugh at youngest one as she's a typical teenager with her phone-she does do a lot of reading on it though so it's not all bad! 

I think they'll have the long thumbs and just a sort of fused,cup shaped 'hand' to hold the phone..

12/04/2013 at 16:56

My good laptop is on the blink at the moment, because one of the dogs tried to drink my coffee and I snatched it away, splashing coffee on the mouse pad. The cursor works until the computer warms up and then leaps about everywhere, finally freezing. I've given it three or four weeks to dry out, but it looks as though it will have to go for repair. Fortunately, I have the grotty older one or I'd be having withdrawal symptoms from the GW forum and from repeats on iplayer.

Nearly gave the dog flying lessons but managed to restrain myself!

12/04/2013 at 17:23

G/G, I plugged a hand held mouse in to my laptop when I had problems with the built in mouse and it worked a treat apart from having somewhere solid to move it on, a table mat came in handy. My problem turned out to be crumbs, a good clean cured it.


12/04/2013 at 20:11

I have a remote mouse which I could install - but can I find the b - flipping thing? It would be handy for both laptops, since the old one also has a dodgy mousepad. Think I'll have to buy a new one.