Looking for computer suggestions

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Raybo
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Looking for computer suggestions

Post by Raybo » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:34 am

I’m interested in getting a new computer. My desktop machine is old and starting to show its age.

I checked out the current crop of laptops today at Best Buy. I like the ones with solid state memory, keyboards, and screens that fold back and can be used like a tablet called 2 in 1 laptops. I also liked the idea of using a pen instead of a mouse for pointing.

I looked at the Lenovo Yoga 730 and liked what I saw. I also saw an HP Spectrum and Dell in the same general ballpark.

Does anyone currently have any of these computers or other 2 in 1 laptops? If so, any comments?

Another option appears to be Chromebooks. They are much cheaper, need to be connected to the internet, and don’t run a “real” operating system. I don’t think they offer the functionality I’m looking for.

Things I want to be able to do:
Watch video
Surf the web and enter text
Use a telnet app to connect to my server and program my website (currently use putty)
Manage photographs
Email
Enter and edit text (not necessarily word processing)
Run programs like tax software.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

squirm
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by squirm » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:39 am

I have a surface book 2, very nice computer.

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camillus
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by camillus » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:55 am

I am a chromebook user. It might be worth looking into whether you can do some of those things: managing your website and photographs in a online interface. I do my taxes online, for example. I use google to backup & store my photos.

The nice thing is if my already-cheap chromebook gets destroyed somehow, I can go to the store, by another one, and get right back to whatever I was doing before.

The SSD is such an advantage I might advocate getting a cheap chromebook and another desktop instead of a standard laptop. That's what I did, until I found that I hadn't booted up my desktop in several months.

Or - use your new chromebook for most of what you are doing with your computer now - checking your email and browsing the web, and keep your old desktop for awhile more to use your specialized software.

My current chromebook was a little over $100! I use it every day.

inbox788
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by inbox788 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:18 am

Raybo wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:34 am
Watch video
Surf the web and enter text
Use a telnet app to connect to my server and program my website (currently use putty)
Manage photographs
Email
Enter and edit text (not necessarily word processing)
Run programs like tax software.
I'm a Chromebook fan and depending on how demanding your usage is, most of the items on the list are doable on a Chromebook. Can you borrow one for an extended test drive?

You might need some Chrome Apps to do some things that aren't doable directly via the web. And if you're inclined, you can always try installing linux/Ubuntu/Crouton

https://www.google.com/search?q=putty+for+chromebook
https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+ ... ebook+2018

Managing photographs is probably one of the more challenging tasks on a Chromebook, but I have trouble with that regardless of what system I'm using. If you do a lot of that, I'd ask where you keep your photos and have you considered a Macbook Pro? https://www.techradar.com/news/best-lap ... -photoshop

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JoMoney
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by JoMoney » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:52 am

Raybo wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:34 am
...
Another option appears to be Chromebooks. They are much cheaper, need to be connected to the internet, and don’t run a “real” operating system. I don’t think they offer the functionality I’m looking for.

Things I want to be able to do:
Watch video
Surf the web and enter text
Use a telnet app to connect to my server and program my website (currently use putty)
Manage photographs
Email
Enter and edit text (not necessarily word processing)
Run programs like tax software.
FWIW, Chromebooks do run a "real" operating system, but it is highly locked down.
You can install other operating systems on the same hardware, dual-boot, or even run a different variant of Linux while inside of Chrome... but doing any of that takes a bit of work, and disables some of the security.
You can do everything you listed on a Chromebook, but from what I've seen, you are limited to online versions of tax software unless you're willing to load an alternate operating system or willing to pay for a cloud-based host to run Windows or whatever OS you want (which you could connect through from the Chromebook).
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

mrmass
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by mrmass » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:57 am

I bought a refurbished Dell 5289 from Woot. Woot is owned by Amazon and sells new/used/refurb stuff.
If you want a Windows or Chromebook check out www.woot.com or the Dell Outlet.

I've been buying Dell refurbs for years. All of them come with a 1 yr warranty-and you often can buy more years if you want.

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legio XX
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by legio XX » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:26 am

I'm about two years into a Lenovo Yoga 700 and it's doing the job for me. When I was shopping for this one, others suggested the more powerful 900 models. Seldom use it in tablet mode but it's great to have when needed.

StopIroningShirts
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by StopIroningShirts » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:16 am

Its not the cheapest price point, but I fully converted to a Surface Pro Tablet.

One USB port and fold out keyboard when I want a laptop. Powerful enough to have a docking station and run my dual monitor setup when I want the feel for the desktop. One MicroSD port to expand memory

rich126
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by rich126 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:42 am

Hopefully you mean ssh and not telnet to your server. Telnet provides no security at all. Even when passwords are used, they are sent in the clear.

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Alexa9
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:58 am

The Dell XPS 13 gets good ratings. You can buy a couple year old used on eBay if you want to save a lot.
I think touch screens are overrated on a laptop.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:09 am

Bought a Lenovo 2 in 1 Yoga Flex almost 2 years ago. Never use it as a tablet. Never touch the screen.

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Raybo
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by Raybo » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:47 am

rich126 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:42 am
Hopefully you mean ssh and not telnet to your server. Telnet provides no security at all. Even when passwords are used, they are sent in the clear.
Putty (the telnet program I use) implements ssh, which is what I use.

Thanks for the useful replies.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

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Kenkat
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by Kenkat » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:58 am

We bought my son a Lenovo Yoga 600 series for college and it’s been great.

hicabob
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by hicabob » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:08 am

A nice chromebook with Crostini (linux)?

abc132
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by abc132 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:41 am

I have the Lenova Yoga 710. My advice:

1. get a laptop
2. get a SSD
3. pick the right size and weight

Unless you work on multiple monitors or use your computer primarily for gaming, going to a laptop is the correct choice.

Get a SSD. Laptops are portable, and since you don't leave them on all the time, being able to start up the computer in a few seconds is very important.

The most important choice for usability is what size of laptop. My mistake in the past has always been going to big or too heavy (17 inch), so that the laptop ends up being far less portable. Going too small makes it difficult to use. (13 inch or below)

My Lenova has a 14 inch screen. For me, this is a good compromise, with my chief complaint that working with multiple windows at once is a little difficult, but mostly manageable. I might consider 15 inch if I didn't carry it around all the time. I need the portability. The 710 has a mini HDMI port, which means I have to carry around an adapter if I need to connect to HDMI.

I find I don't use the touch screen or 2-in-1 at all. I usually forget it is even a touch screen. If you use a pen/stylus, I can see how this would be useful.

Good luck!

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telemark
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by telemark » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:17 pm

There's a nice SSH extension that you can install for Chrome OS, very comparable to PuTTY. That and running the Chrome browser are about the only things I do with my Chromebook.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/pr ... hromebook/

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Watty
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by Watty » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:46 pm

The best solution may be to get both an inexpensive laptop(or tablet) and a desktop. With a traditional desktop you can also get a 24 or 27 inch monitor for a very reasonable price now.

I often take my laptop with me when I am traveling and I like not having all my financial information with me which would be on it if my laptop was my main computer. If the laptop is lost or stolen there is nothing real critical on it and it can be replaced for less than $300.

There will likely be a lot of sales on Black Friday and through the holiday season.

rich126
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Re: Looking for computer suggestions

Post by rich126 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:44 am

Raybo wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:47 am
rich126 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:42 am
Hopefully you mean ssh and not telnet to your server. Telnet provides no security at all. Even when passwords are used, they are sent in the clear.
Putty (the telnet program I use) implements ssh, which is what I use.

Thanks for the useful replies.
Just to clarify for non-tech people reading. Putty is a windows program that allows you to remotely connect into computers to obtain a command line window (i.e., no GUI like RDP). Putty is not a telnet program but an application that supports a variety of communication protocols and SSH is a secure one, telnet is not (hence my original question).

Anyway, thanks and glad you are using ssh.

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