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 Laptop Recomendation

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Wile E Coyote
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I need a basic laptop to run Genealogy programs and also Skype. I really don't want to get into big $$.

I will also mention that I have a Resource File Viewer that will not work with the 64-bit version of windows Vista or Windows7 and it is suggested that the program can be run on a Virtual PC. (I know nothing about this)

Note: The file I need to run is the Family History Resource Program 1881 Census.

What would be the suggestions of the collective?

Regards, Wile
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

ok, a basic laptop, toshiba Satelitte Pro L300 or better, mine is now 5 years old and still going , ok, with a new keyboard replacement due as some keys have given up with the onslaught of spilt coffee, whiskey and other assorted beverages.

Virtual PC. From what I gather , this is not based on your laptop, I know nothing about it so I will leave this to other members

Any good configured laptop will give you what you need I think, get lots of ram, and a big hard drive

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

What Irish said - add lots of RAM or at least make sure it has a free slot so you can upgrade in a couple years. (Remember, ten years ago a 40GB HDD and 512MB of RAM were huge and nobody could imagine ever needing more.)

For the uses you mention pretty much any laptop will do. Steer clear of netbooks et al - they look just like small laptops, but are normally underpowered both hardware- and software-wise. If it has Windows 7 Starter Edition on it, avoid it.

Personally I'm quite fond of Lenovo - they're a wee bit on the ugly side, but they work well and take a good punch. They're also one of very few manufacturers who still offer alternatives to those annoying high-gloss screen. I've also made good experiences with HP and Sony Vaio notebooks.

Look at the warranty, especially if you buy one of the cheaper models. One year is standard (and the absolute minimum), two years is better.


Concerning the virtual PC stuff: there are a number of programs out there. Some are free. What they do is emulate a full-fledged PC inside a program on your actual machine. That way you can actually run a full-fledged Linux or another version of Windows as just another program on your Windows 7 machine.

If you have Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate, get Windows XP Mode. It's based on Microsoft Virtual PC and basically runs selected pieces of software inside a virtual Windows XP environment without you noticing it.
If you don't, get VirtualBox. It's free and does everything the average user needs.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have HP G42 series with Windows 7 and it cost about 5 bills. I've had it since last x-mas and I love it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

a virtual pc si when you run software on the laptop that emulates a toally different pc

for example my laptop is windows vista

you install the software which lets you install say windows xp but it runs as a program allowing you to open it and use it when you wish

you are better with a large ram amoutn in the laptop to do this as your laptop will say use 2gb of memory for its use the the virtual machine needs ram to run aswell

so i would look at upwards of 4gb RAM

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Whatever you do, make sure you shop around. And read read read reviews of the product you decide to purchase! Two great sources for reviews are Newegg and Amazon.

Another site you could check out is the Dell outlet site. Other laptop manufacturers may have outlet pages as well, so be sure to dig around a bit. Just be aware that the products in those outlets will be refurbished, scratch and dent, etc, but they come with the same warranty and support as a brand new product.

If you need help investigating whether or not a specific laptop is a good deal and reliable machine, let us know which one you're interested in!

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Wile E Coyote
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi all, Thanks for the replies. Still looking around. Will let you know.
Regards, Wile
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Wile E Coyote
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The computer that I have been considering is :

Toshiba
Satellite™ L750-065 Laptop
Intel® Core™ i5-2410M,
15.6-in. HD LED
4 GB, 750 GB
Intel® HD Graphics 3000
Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit Version

I gather that I have to upgrade to Professional to be able to run Virtual windows, that will enable me to run an XP application.

Opinions, suggestions please. Thanks.
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Paul503
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You could try running the Resource File Viewer in compatability mode first. (in windows 7, right-click the program, properties, compatibility) Though this doesn't always do the trick it might work and saves you an (expensive?) upgrade.

If I found the system requirements of the Family History Resource Program correctly this program runs on windows 98 as well.
So another thing you could consider is not upgrading to windows 7 professional but use a free virtual machine. (Virtual box?) and try buying a copy of windows 98 SE. (You can't download them legally, but a little search brings up a few place where you could buy a legal copy.) This is cheaper than upgrading to professional. I found a copy of 98 of $43 where as upgrading seems to cost $367. You than install windows 98 in your virtual machine (the computer simulated on your computers) and only use this virtual machine for the Family History Resource Program (only). Windows 98 is very light on systemrecources these days. Downside is that this virtualmachine should than never be connected to the internet since windows 98 is outdated and hasn't been patched in years.

I hope this helps.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Whatever you do, check out the reputation of after sales service and support! Which would mean giving Dell a wide birth for example...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^I think there are horror stories with many brands. I have always had Dell (desk and laptop) and have been problem free except for one time in 20+ years. And it was fixed promptly.

Every IT department wherever I have worked has always recommended Dell to me. In prior years I have had one Radio Shack Tandy and one IBM PS-2.

Guess I have been very fortunate.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

In my experience there's a huge difference between Dell retail stuff and Dell corporate stuff. Corporate support is actually quite good - if something fails (which doesn't happen often) I call somebody and a replacement is shipped the same day in exchange for nothing more but the dead part's serial number. It doesn't really get much easier than that. Performance and Linux-friendliness of their hardware is generally good too.
Most of the Dell consumer stuff I've been dealing with is a completely different story though. Let's just say I don't believe it to be a complete coincidence that the company's name rhymes with hell.

Of course your mileage may vary wildly.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I too have has really good luck with Lenovo and think you get more for your $$. Another to consider is Asus. A lot of people like toshiba but I've only had bad experiences mainly with batteries having to replace them in two differant laptops.

I can't agree enough with reading and taking the recommendation of reviews especially when there is a big pull like you will often find on Amazon. I've never been disappointed with a 4-5 star review (with 100 or more review) and always disappointed when I decided to gambel with a product with 3 stars.

Edit: one more bonus with Lenovo not that it's a real biggie. It's the only computer I've ever bought that did not have every freak'n ISP and Anti-virus program in the world already installed.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Recently got an Asus with Windows 7 and really like it.
8 GB
Intel Core 2.2 GHz processor

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

When my husband was alive I got him a nice Dell lappie with a 17 inch screen, full keyboard (even has the number pad) for 599 and this was almost two years ago.

Prior to that we would go with Dell refurb's because they come with a longer warranty and can be one third the price. Last time I got a small desktop (they call it a micro or small something) it was 199.99. You just have to look closely because the stock moves very quickly.

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