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Author Topic: Deployment laptop and camera  (Read 4159 times) Average Rating: 0
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Quinault
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« on: February 10, 2008, 02:48:35 PM »

We now have a date for my husbands deployment, July 10th 2008.  Cry

Now we have 5mths to get some items to make life/deployment easier.

We are looking at picking up a laptop. We are trying to figure out what we need. Here is what we need it to do;

Hold a ton of pictures. We have several years worth of photos on our Dell PC and he wants to put them all on his laptop.
He wants to transfer all our ripped music from our PC to the laptop.
Be able to make, watch and record to disc home movies.
We would love to have a webcam of some sort.
Flexibity in internet access; we don't know what method they will be using in the sandbox.
Good keyboard for writing long emails Grin

And I was thinking of picking up a memory key or we need a disc drive, in case he can't use his laptop for internet access at all, then he can write his emails on his laptop, and then transfer them to the base computer to send them out or to save them to read in his laptop later. Online time is pretty limited.


And then we would like to pick up a video camera that also takes stills. And that records in a way where I can have my kids watch the videos on my TV or on our computer, and so that my husband can watch any videos on his laptop that we send him. The debate we have is that we have a Canon EOS that takes some videos, so should we send the Canon with my husband and get me a video camera that can double as a still camera. Or should we get me a cheaper video camera in addition the the Canon for myself and get him a more expensive one that can double as a still and video camera. I think either way we need two video cameras.

Although all that I propose is really expensive, he will be gone for at LEAST 13 months. And we have three kids that love their father more than anything. And I want to keep some connection going. When he leaves we will have a 1 year old, 3 year old and 7 year old. My 7 year old has been thru this before. My 3 year old has only had her father gone for two weeks at a time. And it is inevitable that our younger kids will sort of "forget" that they have a father after about a month or so. They will know in theory that they have a father, but in practice it won't really connect. I want to have alot of videos going back and forth so that when we see him again our younger littles aren't terrified of him. My husband is braced for this possibility, but I want to lessen it as much as possible. Not to mention it is hard for ME to recognize him after awhile. Once he is deployed he works out hours a day and is in the sun a great deal. So he comes back thin, muscular and REALLY tan. He is already pretty thin, but deployment takes his 6ft 185lb body down to a very cut 165lb body. Literally, he nearly walked by me without me knowing it was him when he came back on one deployment. (He knew it was me, I just didn't recognize him).

And we need a webcame to use here at home.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 05:28:11 PM by Quinault » Logged
Quinault
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2008, 02:49:30 PM »

I have looked at an i-mac and we have looked at building a laptop thru Dell. We currently have a Dell desktop. Which ironically, we bought just before his last deployment in 2004. Roll Eyes So whatever laptop we get needs to be a good "playmate" to our dell desktop computer after he is back.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 05:00:41 PM by Quinault » Logged
Quinault
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2008, 03:52:33 PM »

My 7 year old is dealing with the prospect of her daddy leaving fairly well actually. Once we told her that he will take a month off when he comes back and that we will go to Disneyland and Knottsberry Farm for a week, she was pretty happy. Cheesy By then we will have a 2 year old, 4 year old and 8 year old. I think a trip of that sort will be fun for everyone. Grin
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 03:54:09 PM by Quinault » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 06:16:40 PM »

It would be worth seeing if either Apple or Dell offer a military discount.  And since it is a slowing economy, if you go to an Apple store and try to do a bit of haggling you might come up with a free upgrade or something like that (when I bought my powerbook in 2004, I was able to get about $100 in reductions on upgrading RAM and a nice laptop bag).  If either you or your husband (or someone you know...) is a student, Apple has some discounts for students.  They often run a deal offering a free iPod (after rebates) with a new laptop for students - if you don't want an iPod (I didn't), an unopened iPod can go for near store price on ebay or craigslist. 

An Apple and a Dell can get along nicely - in fact probably more nicely than Vista seems to get along with XP  - and this is steadily getting easier with the newer Macs that can run both Windows and OS X.

For videos, movies, photos and such, I really like my Apple.  As long as you don't need professional quality products, the built in software is (iLife) is very easy to use and will turn out a decent result.  I've done all sorts of things like transfer home movies from my parents to dvds, arrange movies to add pictures, edit, add music and created dvds - all very easy and intuitive. 

Apples have a built-in microphone, so using iChat or skype is very easy.  I've never done video-chat from a Mac to a PC, so I have no idea how that works.

Another thing to consider is that Apples are very low hassle - you essentially don't have to worry about viruses.  They almost never break.  I've never had mine so much as freeze in four years and I don't even remember what a blue screen of death is.  And despite the initial cost being higher, my general observation is that they tend to last longer so I think price evens out over the long run.   
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 06:17:20 PM by Νεκτάριος » Logged
Friar Tuck
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 06:41:32 PM »

The only thing that I personally recommend concerning an Apple laptop (which for me have had less hassles than the previous Dell and HP laptop predecessors I've owned) is to make sure you spec out a MacBook Pro. It is built with an aluminum case rather than the high-impact plastic one for its regular MacBook line.

All I can say in general, is that I am quite well pleased with Apple's laptop and I have little difficulty in sending files back and forth to a regular PC.

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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 06:57:20 PM »

Don't foreget a hardshell laptop case for all of that and cans of compressed air.  He'll need something sturdier than a normal laptop case for his setup.  Also, if he's headed for the desert, sand inside the computer will reduce it to junk faster than anything.  The compressed air will help to clean out the interior and keep it in working order.

As for discounts, if you order online through AAFES, you can get a discount on Dell computers (and maybe other brands, as well). 
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2008, 09:25:56 AM »

Another thing to consider is that Apples are very low hassle - you essentially don't have to worry about viruses.  They almost never break.  I've never had mine so much as freeze in four years and I don't even remember what a blue screen of death is.  And despite the initial cost being higher, my general observation is that they tend to last longer so I think price evens out over the long run.   
You only don't have to worry about viruses because hardly anyone writes one that's Mac-compatible due to Apple's growing but still minuscule share of the market. If someone wanted to, they could write a virus for Mac as easily as for Windows. Also, I've had XP for about six years now and in all that time I've never seen a "blue screen of death" either (because MS dropped it), nor has my computer frozen and crashed (now my Vista computer OTOH...). As for Macs lasting longer, yes, the initial parts generally last longer, but upgrading options are usually limited--so in six years you'll have basically the same Mac you have now, whereas a conscientious PC owner will replace parts as they become outdated, which leads to a much longer lifespan for your PC.

Really, there's no good reason to own a Mac except to spite Microsoft. And you can't pretend that Apple's the "little guy." While Steve Jobs may not have the wealth Bill Gates does, he certainly won't be bagging groceries any time soon.
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 12:04:33 PM »

Really, there's no good reason to own a Mac except to spite Microsoft. And you can't pretend that Apple's the "little guy." While Steve Jobs may not have the wealth Bill Gates does, he certainly won't be bagging groceries any time soon.

You're barking up the wrong tree with that argument; I'm one of those tax-cuts-for-the-rich and big-business loving types  Cheesy

I like their products, my computer does the things I want it to do, I never have problems with it and it is easy to use - those weren't my experiences when I had an HP desktop with Windows 2000, so I switched to Apple and have been happy with it.   
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2008, 12:54:39 PM »

Really, there's no good reason to own a Mac except to spite Microsoft. And you can't pretend that Apple's the "little guy." While Steve Jobs may not have the wealth Bill Gates does, he certainly won't be bagging groceries any time soon.

I'm one of the 'spite Microsoft' types, but I still recognize that PC hardware is superior to Macs, if you just want to spite Micosoft use linux, BSD, etc. or, hell, just pirate microsoft's operation system, that upsets them more than anything else...but flexibility and access to state of the art technology certainly makes using PC hardware worthwhile.
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008, 01:04:08 PM »

You're barking up the wrong tree with that argument; I'm one of those tax-cuts-for-the-rich and big-business loving types  Cheesy

I like their products, my computer does the things I want it to do, I never have problems with it and it is easy to use - those weren't my experiences when I had an HP desktop with Windows 2000, so I switched to Apple and have been happy with it.   
Good for you. Indeed, if someone makes a superior product, by all means go for it. I've heard a lot of well-intentioned people give that argument of "supporting the little guy; Microsoft's a big greedy monopoly" too often. In all honesty, Windows XP with Service Pack 2 was the best OS I've used (and I've used several Mac OSes as well). Microsoft can make a good program when they want to.

So hey, if you like Apple, buy their stuff. They're a good company, and Jobs has excellent business sense. Personally, I look for upgradability in a computer; I like to pay $150-$300 a year to keep a computer running smoothly as opposed to buying a brand-new one every couple of years. The PC, however, has the significant downside of parts not always being compatible. Microsoft has the gargantuan task of making sure its operating system can run on any hardware, even some that hasn't been invented yet--and that can lead to interaction problems. Mac--not so much. With lack of upgradability comes much better compatibility. Most people I know who are not concerned with upgrading and want a reliable, stable computer usually choose Apple. Just keep in mind that when your RAM becomes insufficient, you'll be going back to the Apple store instead of to NewEgg.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2008, 01:05:46 PM by ytterbiumanalyst » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2008, 01:06:35 PM »

flexibility and access to state of the art technology certainly makes using PC hardware worthwhile.
Exactly the reason I've always owned PCs.
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2008, 01:22:50 PM »

You might also consider an integrated webcam in your laptop. It's one less object to keep track of,  you can still make still shots (sort of), and  it will come in handy with a SkyPE app and those "phone" calls home.
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2008, 02:09:35 PM »

My brother recently bought a new PC and he had no choice about Vista. I will not under any circumstances torture my husband with Vista. I think we are going with a Mac.
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2008, 05:11:55 PM »

Good for you. Indeed, if someone makes a superior product, by all means go for it. I've heard a lot of well-intentioned people give that argument of "supporting the little guy; Microsoft's a big greedy monopoly" too often. In all honesty, Windows XP with Service Pack 2 was the best OS I've used (and I've used several Mac OSes as well). Microsoft can make a good program when they want to.

I'm a little freaked out by the people for whom Apple is their religion.  I'm definitely not a purist as I think Apple's productivity suite is a piece of garbage and only use MS Office.  I also think Opensource Office is a piece of garbage relative to MS Office - sometimes you get what you pay for. 

And Gates is a brilliant business mind (whereas it has only been in the last few years the Jobs has caught up), and especially his latest scheme: convincing the world he is a philanthropist when all he is doing is creating millions of future consumers of his products.

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Most people I know who are not concerned with upgrading and want a reliable, stable computer usually choose Apple. Just keep in mind that when your RAM becomes insufficient, you'll be going back to the Apple store instead of to NewEgg.

I straddle the threshold of being a normal consumer and a geek.  On my external hard drive I have a partition that I'm playing around with Ubuntu on.  But, since I don't do any games (alright I confess I have SimCity 2000 on my computer, but that's it!) and otherwise just stick to standard stuff, I don't need to do major upgrades to get ten years out of a computer.  Something like Linux just isn't user-friendly enough for me to want to deal with on a day to day basis, and for someone like my parents (who can barely check their email) Linux would be absurd.  They have their iMac that requires no upkeep and allows them to use things like iPhoto, iTunes and such - it's a perfect setup.   
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2008, 11:18:59 PM »

Just use Ubuntu Linux or open office. It's free and compatible to MS Office.

Fight the power!  Wink
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