Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
July 26, 2014, 08:17:44 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an E-Mag Subscription: You will not incur forwarding fees when you are on the road.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: 1 [2]  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Lap top computer deal  (Read 2737 times)
Nusa
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 540




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2010, 07:07:52 AM »

So, computer gurus. . . . would you agree that if I want to run 2-3 monitors and have extremely fast caluclating and database performance, and I don't do graphics or publishing. . .  would I be better to build a desktop for my office instead of trying to use an off-the-shelf desktop or laptop?f  Even considering I need to stay Microsoft Windows so that I can use the network and software that we use throughout the office, therefore would have to purchase Windows?  Inquiring minds. .. Christy Hicks

"extremely fast" needs quantifying based on actual needs and the amount of money you want to spend. If you have the specs of a machine you know is fast enough, that gives you a starting point. Most people don't really need the fastest (meaning expensive) thing on the market...choosing one with a decent price/performance ratio is usually plenty.

If portability isn't a requirement, then the desktop is the more flexible (and cheaper) choice, especially if you want more than two monitors.

As for off-the-shelf vs build yourself, that depends on your abilities to do so. It's not especially hard to do yourself if you have the knowledge. Or you can have a custom configuration built for you.
Logged
Tim Strommen
Electronics Geek
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 303



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2010, 11:53:13 AM »

First off, discalimer/diclosure:  I work at one of the computer parts companies in Silicon Valley, and I am not speaking on their behalf, and am not paid to do so by any party - but rather based on the experience I've had with building computers since 1985-current (including my stint doing desktop support at a large law-firm), and my interest in this topic.

...I keep a Samsung netbook (currently using it and love the little thing) next to the bed and anywhere I go...
I love netbooks too - though they are not the fastest/newest, the Acer Aspire One A150 (ZG5) netbook is broadly available on e-place (and so are -->cheap<-- service parts), and since someone published the circuit board schematics, they are very easy to hack and modify safely.  We have four (for now), mine, my wife's, one on my work bench, and one as a Car-puter in my truck (the 8.9" display fits nicely in a double-DIN opening in the dash).


…only major ones I haven't tried are Dell and Apple…
I personally like Dells if you take care of them, again service parts are broadly available (since they do corporate type systems, and need quick turnaround on service) – I’m not an Apple fan-boy, and I don’t like being told how to use a computer by a company (like Steve does with Apple) – I and I don’t buy into “life-style”-type product lines like Apple or Sony, where the products work best if you only buy one brand of everything…


…What really racks me is when I buy a new laptop, and have problems, only to find that Microsoft and the computer manufacturer each blame the other's software and refuse to solve the problem - or, as in the case of the touch-screen, I buy a brand new computer, repeatedly get the "blue screen of death", have HP techs insist it MUST be the software I've installed, only to find out, after searching online, that I needed to update practically every driver on the unit…
This is unfortunately the norm in the industry, there are shipping targets and development schedules – and very often the shipping target is earlier than the end of the development schedule’s end date (especially if there are difficult bugs that need to get worked out).  This is why Updates are absolutely critical.


…So, we produce the computer, sell it, let our customers discover the problem, and then write patches to place on our website, but don't inform our tech support guys because we don't want to admit we put out a product with built-in problems?Huh??  Not acceptable…
This is a complicated issue – depending on the viability of the company’s Quality-Assurance program, some bugs might slip by (or be allowed out the door because they are not expected to impact a customer).  Bugs may actually affect a customer if the severity of the bug wasn’t understood – or if it was a new case where only the customer knows what new software is going to be used (and the company doesn’t have a copy to test).  The support guy issue is a whole-nuther issue…  Many of the tech support guys you talk to on the phone are fresh out of High School, don’t know S*** about S***, and are running from a CMS systems that they enter a phrase from a customer into the search engine and come up with as good results as you got with first-gen Yahoo…  They don’t actually know or really love the product (in most cases, there are a few exceptions), and it’s just a day-job for them.  The training they get is more how to use the support system and phone, not the actual product.


…So, computer gurus. . . . would you agree that if I want to run 2-3 monitors and have extremely fast calculating and database performance, and I don't do graphics or publishing. . .  would I be better to build a desktop for my office instead of trying to use an off-the-shelf desktop or laptop?  Even considering I need to stay Microsoft Windows so that I can use the network and software that we use throughout the office, therefore would have to purchase Windows?  Inquiring minds. .. Christy Hicks
If you want to do multiple monitors, you are going to need a business-class graphics card – ATI and Nvidia make these, both manufacturers have multi-head cards.  Built-in (on-board) graphics chips like those used in netbooks are not suitable for multi-head systems, they don’t have enough memory, don’t have enough performance to draw all of the windows that are on each display…
If you are going to go through the trouble of building a machine, use Windows 7, 64-bit (either Professional/Enterprise or Ultimate) even if your software is only 32-bit Win7-64’s 32-bit compatibility is amazing (and so is the stability, driver inclusion, etc…),  and for Data-Base use, the more memory the better – 64 bit will help you out here, the 64-bit Professional and Ultimate editions of Win7 support up to 192GB of RAM, while the Home Edition only supports up to 16GB of RAM (the 32-bit OS can only support 4GB, and of that you can only use 3.5GB).  You can get an OEM copy of the software for less that full-retail (so long as you get it with parts used for your new computer).  I’d recommend an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU and motherboard (Core i7 can get really expensive, the most expensive 6-core chip is over $1,000).  Make sure your motherboard has PCI-Express slots, preferably with a 16-lane Generation 2 slot for the graphics card.  An 850Watt or higher supply will allow for future expansion - the more efficient “80+” type power supplies will be good for your power bill, they are better at matching the load of the system (instead of always using the rating, or near the rating) – I like the “Enermax Revolution 85+” line, I use these exclusively in my Workstation, and my Server (they make an 850W, 950W, and 1050W version of this line).  Hard drive space is cheap…  you can get 1-Terabyte [approx the capacity of 1560 CDs] drives for less than $100 bucks nowadays (I remember when a 10Megabyte [approx 1/64th the capacity of a CD] Winchester drive was a couple thousand dollars…  Ah the 80s…).

-Tim
« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 12:01:38 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

Fremont, CA
1984 Gillig Phantom 40/102
DD 6V92TA (MUI, 275HP) - Allison HT740
Conversion Progress: 10% (9-years invested, 30 to go Smiley)
Tim Strommen
Electronics Geek
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 303



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2010, 11:53:58 AM »

Duplicate post removed...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 12:04:58 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

Fremont, CA
1984 Gillig Phantom 40/102
DD 6V92TA (MUI, 275HP) - Allison HT740
Conversion Progress: 10% (9-years invested, 30 to go Smiley)
usbusin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 500


'60 PD4104-4355(sold) Now Freightliner Conversion




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2010, 12:13:17 PM »

Christyhicks said; "don't inform our tech support guys because we don't want to admit we put out a product with built-in problems?Huh??  Not acceptable."

How about you buy a brand new out-of-the-box HP Mini and the "spellcheck" is in FRENCH!!!  Then you get hold of Microsoft with the problem and they tell you to go to a "third-party" vendor to fix the problem!!  Great!

My son works for Microsoft and you know he heard about it!
Logged

Gary D

USBUSIN was our 1960 PD4104 for 16 years Ustruckin' is our 2001 Freightliner truck conversion
Christyhicks
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 544


1991 Beaver Prevost LeMirage XL




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2010, 04:35:46 PM »

Thanks for the input. . . I figured I'd have to build one, not that I know what the heck I'm doing, but probably can pick some brains and get close maybe. .. .  Yeah, I remember my first computer. . . it had a monochrome monitor and a 5 1/4 floppy drive, and if I upgraded within 30 days I could add a color monitor and a 20 mg hard drive.  I told my husband. . . "I'll NEVER need to go to a bigger hard drive". .. which of course, I repeated when I went to the 40 meg, and on and on till I got smart and said, "Well, this will do for now.", ha ha.

I will still be limited by the speed of the network. . . I'm wondering if I could cable between my computer and the server with the database that I use on one of my programs to speed it up. . .I just HATE waiting. .. I don't have time for that. . .  there's too much to do and not enough time to do it, so I run two monitors now and switch back and forth. . . but of course, I'm limited by the speed of the computer to process a task from one program before it can process a command from another. 

I have Vista 64 bit on this computer and am not at all impressed with Vista. . . I'd actually rather stay XP than buy any more Vista computers.  Is 7 really way better???  C.
Logged

If chased by a bear, you don't need to run faster than the bear, just faster than your companion!
Just Dallas
Bus Conversion Stuff on a Budget
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 842



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2010, 05:48:39 PM »

Removed
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 06:45:52 PM by Now Just Dallas » Logged

I'm just an old chunk of coal... but I'm gonna be a diamond someday.
Van
Billy Van Hagen
Hero Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 2333


89' Silver Eagle 15/40 6V92MUI Boulder City,NV




Ignore
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2010, 06:19:28 PM »

 Gee I miss those L.E.D watches Cheesy
Logged

If you are not living on the edge, then you're takin' up too much space!!!
James77MCI8
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 338





Ignore
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2010, 06:26:28 PM »

I like the old Kaypro lugable
Logged

77 MCI 8
8V-71 4 spd
Tim Strommen
Electronics Geek
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 303



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2010, 07:01:37 PM »

Thanks for the input...  I figured I'd have to build one, not that I know what the heck I'm doing, but probably can pick some brains and get close maybe...

It isn't that difficult to do, but getting everything specified out for the task it is intended for is a bit more challenging.

...I will still be limited by the speed of the network.  I'm wondering if I could cable between my computer and the server with the database that I use on one of my programs to speed it up... ...I just HATE waiting...

You can do a faster network somewhat easily - but there is a cost factor.  Most new motherboards come with 1-gigabit Ethernet - but, you can go faster with workstation, server, or data-center grade networking gear (you can go up to 40-gigabit x2 with QDR Inifiniband).  You just have to buy them and install them (think $500+ per card, plus cabling…).

...but of course, I'm limited by the speed of the computer to process a task from one program before it can process a command from another...

Once you take care of your network speed issues, the biggest lags you'll see is access to the data and search-time on the database.  You can make this faster by upping your RAM, adding cores to your CPU, and using faster Hard Drives.  Most DB servers try to run as much from RAM as possible - so the more your server can support, the better.  The server board I'm using at home can support 144GB of RAM, and two wicked fast 6-core 3.4GHz CPUs...

For the hard drives, SLC-Flash (1)or SLC-Flash (2) if you can, otherwise look at RAM-drives.  This is of course all subject to budget... (I think I last priced out a 5TB Texas Memory Systems RamSan 620 @ $250K, while the smaller PCI-Express Ramsan-10 [225GB] was like $12K...).

If you are building your systems from scratch, try for a Xeon system that support two CPUs, and can support the W5500 and X5600 generation CPUs.  I’m not a big AMD fan, but since I haven’t been following what they are doing, I can’t really comment on what is best to use from them, or how they compare to Intel stuff.


...I have Vista 64 bit on this computer and am not at all impressed with Vista. . . I'd actually rather stay XP than buy any more Vista computers.  Is 7 really way better???  C.

In my experience, yes - Windows 7 is a whole separate category of performance and functionality from Vista and Windows XP Pro (SP3).  They overhauled a lot with Win7, how they handle memory, CPU access, hard drive access, etc…  I was also a Vista doubter (“hater” is more accurate) – and had been running all of my machines on XP.

Even my netbooks showed a performance boost with a Win7 install…

-T
« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 07:16:25 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

Fremont, CA
1984 Gillig Phantom 40/102
DD 6V92TA (MUI, 275HP) - Allison HT740
Conversion Progress: 10% (9-years invested, 30 to go Smiley)
rv_safetyman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2199


Jim Shepherd


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2010, 05:11:00 AM »

Unbelievable technology that is out there.  Way over my head.

I wanted to comment on computer manufacturers.  Like others, I have had a variety of laptops over the years.  My best experience has been with Toshiba.  My current laptop is a Satellite 205 and I really like it with the exception of the weight.  We have a Toshiba that is many years old that we use as a primitive print server on our network.  It is on every day all day in both the house and the bus.  Still keeps ticking.

On the other hand, I bought an HP TX2000 tablet computer in June of 2008 to take to Europe.  It worked great and it was super for working on airplanes and easy to carry.  At 14 months I got the "Black Screen" (the result of an overheating problem on the mother board).  Turns out that a huge number of the TX2000 series computers had the same mother board failure (do a search on "TX2000 failure" or TX2000 black screen" and you will get a lot of hits and tons of upset folks - computer fails consistently just after warranty expires).  HP has refused to work with their customers - even in the face of several pending class action suits.  Supposedly I was lucky, as I bought a two year service plan.  Staples fixed the unit and I brought it on this trip, only to find that is has suffered the black screen again.  Staples has started the paper work to fix it again so that I can beat the two year expiration date even though I will not be able to deliver the computer till I get home.

As a result of HP's attitude on this obvious design defect I will not buy another HP product.

Jim
Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
Christyhicks
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 544


1991 Beaver Prevost LeMirage XL




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2010, 05:47:32 AM »

And I think the HP with which I'm not impressed is the TX2500 or something like that.  Slow, slow. . . . I've deleted everything I can in the background but just the computer's own components uses a large portion of the memory.  Christy
Logged

If chased by a bear, you don't need to run faster than the bear, just faster than your companion!
Tim Strommen
Electronics Geek
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 303



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2010, 02:07:44 PM »

...At 14 months I got the "Black Screen"... ...turns out that a huge number of the TX2000 series computers had the same mother board failure...

...HP has refused to work with their customers - even in the face of several pending class action suits...

For past work experience in the tech industry, I'll say that this is ONLY what happens when the lawyers get involved.  Lawyers are fighting internally for the financial safety of the company from an "exposure" they see - a major warranty thing is a huge financial liability, and they more a company does to rectify a problem - the more it appears as an "admission of guilt" (and thus liability to anyone they sold one to for corrective action at the company's expense).  Of course, the other side of that internally is the Marketing team...  They want to save the brand, get popular support and consumer "love" behind a brand so people will buy more - and one way to do that is to quickly admit a problem that is known and get the full support behind the company to fix it.  This shows that the company has the customer's interests in mind, and will gain the trust of a customer.

Engineers make mistakes, but we spend a lot of time learning how not to make them, or at least mitigate them before a project ships.  Unfortunately, some do squeak by the review process sometimes, or the verification/engineering-release stage.  Other times, some of the thing we want to do don’t make it into a final product because it just took too long, or we don’t have enough staff to get it implemented.

The trick when picking a company is to divine when a problem with a product is the fault of the engineer making a mistake (which if they are worth their stuff, will not make the same one again) – or the company’s management team making a dumb decision about what to allow to get through.  Then the next trick is to find out who is in charge of handling a problem with a product – the management team directed by the marketing team trying to save customer loyalty with a customer-centered response to the problem, or the management team being directed by the lawyers trying to save as much of the company’s money (and face, by not admitting a problem – even way after the science is in proving it’s a problem…).

Look at Toyota – the engineers knew about a problem with an accelerator pedal sensor, the management was told, but the lawyers advised that it would be cheaper to sweep under the rug despite marketing protests that if it came out it would hurt the brand…  That’s an example of how not to run a business…  I could give 100s of thousands more, but this should be enough.  My advice is not to give up on the engineers – management is replaceable, lawyers are too (and both can easily wipe their hands of the company and wreak havoc at the next job), they don’t do the actual work of creating the product – the marketing and sales people do.


Just remember to point your disappointment in the right direction  Wink


-T
Logged

Fremont, CA
1984 Gillig Phantom 40/102
DD 6V92TA (MUI, 275HP) - Allison HT740
Conversion Progress: 10% (9-years invested, 30 to go Smiley)
Pages: 1 [2]  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!