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A Friend In Need

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Multiple choice question:

A friend in need is a ____.

A) Friend with a non-booting laptop.

B) Friend with a non-booting desktop.

C) A friend indeed.

D) All of the above.

I’m sitting here with not one, but two pieces of hardware from two different people I know. Everyone in this field is familiar with playing tech support occasionally, it’s my turn now and they've come in bunches.

At least I’m getting a few good meals for my efforts. I’ve already had a down payment made in the form of a sausage, shrimp, and red pepper jambalaya. It’s a shame I can’t help this person out much, it appears the hard drive has destroyed more files than an Enron paper shredder.

The problem I’m really having is with a Toshiba Satellite notebook. I did manage to get this machine running. The screen is large and crisp and clear. It’s fast. It’s sleek. It makes my aging Thinkpad look so bad.

I keep finding myself on the Dell homepage clicking “Customize It”. I almost get to the checkout when I think: “No, what I really want is a Tablet PC”, and I’m off browsing for a Tablet. Then I wonder if I will really make good use of the Tablet. How often will I use the Pen? What if I need to do some extended development work on the machine? It’s just so cool, but is it worth it?

Now I can find no middle ground. It either has to be the super-portable, battery friendly Tablet PC, or the desktop replacement monster laptop that will give my legs third degree burns if I use it on the couch.

Pen versus Pentium 4

Sexy versus Sledgehammer

Space versus Time

This is the last time I fix a computer for someone who has nicer hardware than I do.

Jeremy Brayton Wednesday, August 25, 2004
I hate that. I rarely get a "good deal" out of helping people with computers. Since they're family and/or friends it's like the expect some level of service that I'm never willing to give.
<br>The only person I genuinely help without any complaints is my mother. I'm glad she has a PC and that may be one of the few frequent forms of communication we have if I decide to move away. My dad knows his way around a PC so I rarely have to worry about him screwing anything up.
<br>I haven't fixed a computer at work in 2-3 years. I'm severely rusty yet people have brought in stuff recently as if I'm the local computer repair shop. I don't get paid to REPAIR now. I get paid to MAINTAIN. Proper maintenance has kept repair times down to a minimum if at all now. I'm so rusty I can barely help anyone any more and I generally don't even try now. It's a good thing I don't run Windows 98 on any machine on the network either. I can lie and say that I'm too rusty in Windows 98 to help which has kept me out of fixing a number of issues.
<br>It's one thing if I worked at the local computer repair shop but I don't. I don't enjoy that kind of work, not now, not ever. I try to discourage people from soliciting my help because in the end what they really need is to spend the 20-30 minutes it takes to get to know and respect their machine.
Scott Allen Wednesday, August 25, 2004
I hadn't been inside of sombody's elses computer in so long I forgot the pain involved. Sigh. I think there must have been major sunspots this week - hard dives are dropping like flies around here.
Jon Galloway Wednesday, August 25, 2004
E. None of the above?
<br>I've always heard it like this: A friend in need is a friend no more.
Lora Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Good questions! Which Tablet PCs are you considering?
<br>Many developers use the Toshiba M200 (12&quot; SXGA+, 4.6lbs, external optical drive), the Acer TravelMate C30X (14&quot; XGA display, 6.2lbs, internal removable optical drive, and Gateway M275 (14&quot; XGA, 5.7lbs, internal optical drive). All convertibles. But for demonstrating products, letter writing, note-taking, etc. you'll enjoy a slate better. Based on your heat comment, it sounds like you'll want to stay with a Pentium M processor. :)
Poonam Thursday, August 26, 2004
<br>I hate to break this to you, but having seen your laptop, I don't know anyone who doesnt have better hardware then you have
Scott Allen Thursday, August 26, 2004
The M200 is the one I had my eye on the most. By the time I get 1GB of RAM into the machine I start to get a bit of sticker shock though...
zafar iqbal soomro Wednesday, February 9, 2005
i m agree with yoyu
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