My trusty old Dell Inspiration 6400 is getting a little dated now, I’m starting to really have to admit. It has done terrifically well for around 6 years of heavy usage, and is straining slightly under the extra RAM I have added to make it work at an actually usable speed. With my dissertation deadline looming I also have an exciting prospect – upgrading my laptop as a reward to myself! It’s both fun and tough to decide where to put my money next though… and it partly comes down to the great Windows vs. Apple debate, which people really get quite passionate about!

Sitting in Warwick Arts Centre yesterday with my coffee and looking about me, I counted no less than 6 Macbooks of varying sizes and types on the tables surrounding me. I can’t help wondering sometimes, as much as I realise that they are incredibly reliable, great design and retain their value over time, whether they aren’t just a little to do with an image too. Around campus it just seems like everyone has an Apple. Which kind of encourages people to keep buying them… because they must be great if everyone else has one, right? But unfortunately they are very expensive, as are each of their peripherals, and I don’t have a job. And after a play on the Windows 8 tablets that were around in the Students’ Union the other day, I’ve been dreaming of some kind of cool hybrid-laptop-tablet thing, but am undecided whether they’re worth it at the moment!

Also, the Windows 8 people gave me a free travel mug. And I’m quite attached to it now. I feel that’s a viable reason to buy a Windows 8 computer, right? In the meantime, as I try and decide, I thought I’d share a few of my computer’s “quirks” that keep reminding me it’s time for a change. Does everyone have these? I hope they entertain you!

Funny Computer “Quirks” we get used to…

  • The cursor disappears on certain programs sometimes, and over Facebook images – which means that if I want to tag people, I have to guess where I’m clicking.
  • Sometimes it gets stuck on the welcome message as it’s starting up and I have to hit lots of keys to remind it carry on booting.
  • It won’t print pdfs anymore, it wants to save them as prn files. I’m sure this is fixable, but the tutorials I’ve found on Google are extremely convoluted and don’t seem worth the effort…
  • If I try to crop images in my photo editing software it crashes, so I’ve had to put the program into administrator mode which seems to help.
  • To connect to the internet I have to run a trouble-shoot and repair now (this can take me up to half an hour of trying different repair options, rebooting etc.). My solitaire game-count is going up and up….
  • The battery lasts less than one minute without being plugged in – if I want to change rooms I generally have to rush to find a plug really quickly!
  • When you click the ‘full screen’ symbol on a film sometimes it gives you a black full-screen display, but leaves the actual video as a tiny box in the corner.
  • Finally… it weighs a ton. And I have a netbook… which doesn’t really work any more either.

Does anyone have any advice for an affordable but FUN computer to invest in, for 2013?

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