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Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....? :: Archived
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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:01 pm
Post subject: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

Guys...

Wife needs laptop. We won't have Vista. So, I gather it's possible to delete it and install Windows XP (after acquiring it and the student/teacher Office suite thingy) and installing. (Most of what's out there seems to have Vista installed already, so it's gonna' have to be surgically "excised".)

I'll probably be doing the same with a new desktop soon, too.

What, exactly, do I need to know to do this and what do you recommend before we buy and proceed?

Don't wax techy on me, be precise and step-by-step, please.

Thanks in advance!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:19 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

Hi Ascout,
It will be a far simpler operation to get the laptop withouyt Vista installed.
Over here dealers are starting to offer this because so many people are asking for it.
Dell (PATOOEY!) are one of those offering it, but if you go with Dell, get it completely clean as their own install is even crappier than Vista.

If you try to uninstall Vista you basically will have to format the boot drive to get rid of it so you can retrograde, otherwise your XP authentication will be revoked (Vista supercedes licence versions of earlier Windows OS).

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:48 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

Thanks!

Thoughts on 131L and D820 here? What is default HD size on these...I don't see it?

www.dell.com/content/p...sort=price

I gather we have to buy the "Student/Teacher Office suite? thing separate now because of the lawsuit thing (about $150) so she can have Word, Excel, Powerpoint and IE7 and all and be legal?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:45 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

I would say "ptooey" to Dell desktop systems (which I finally ditched almost two years ago) however I am a very happy customer of their laptops for several years running. This is primarily because I do NOT try to make a gaming/simming rig out of them nor do I hold them to the same criteria. I imagine this is for MS Office and other regular stuff, not FS9/FSX/CFS3/IL2 ...

I go with the Lattitude family simply because they use a common docking station (aka "port replicator") which I use at my work. On the road and at home, I go without. Lotsa road miles on my systems and the only reason I upgrade is to get a faster processor and bigger hard drive every few years. Currently I'm using a Lattitude D820...one of the models you mention!

Both have a nice 15/4" display, very readable, does a good job, which is one of the things I'm happy about.

You have to price the thing out using the "customize it" option to really see HD sizes, this is one downside in that unless you exercise almost nun-like self discipline and don't click any options, the initial price is really just a teaser.

The 131L has a 60Gg HD for that proice but only 512MB RAM.....no bueno!!!! Anything you get these days I'd recommend minimum 1GIG and prefereably 2GIG RAM....the 1Gig RAM version with 80Gig HD goes at $899.

If you go to the "customize" option for the D820, The "Better" (middle collumn) D820 with 1Gig RAM and an 80MB HD at $1149 is close to what I have, and is about what I saw as the sweet spot in terms of features and price...although it wasn't my personal money, but I shop as if it were.

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Last edited by JG300-Stoopy on Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:56 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

- JG300-Stoopy
I would say "ptooey" to Dell desktop systems (which I finally ditched almost two years ago) however I am a very happy customer of their laptops for several years running. This is primarily because I do NOT try to make a gaming/simming rig out of them nor do I hold them to the same criteria. I imagine this is for MS Office and other regular stuff, not FS9/FSX/CFS3/IL2 ...

I go with the Lattitude family simply because they use a common docking station (aka "port replicator") which I use at my work. On the road and at home, I go without. Lotsa road miles on my systems and the only reason I upgrade is to get a faster processor and bigger hard drive every few years. Currently I'm using a Lattitude D820.

You have to price the thing out usign the "customize it" option to really see HD sizes, this is one downside in that unless you exercise almost nun-like self discipline and don't click any options, the initial price is really just a teaser.

The 131L has a 60Gg HD for that proice but only 512MB RAM.....no bueno!!!! Anything you get these days I'd recommend minimum 1GIG and prefereably 2GIG RAM....the 1Gig RAM version with 80Gig HD goes at $899.


It's for Mrs. Ascout, Stoop....she's pretty "nun-like" in her requirements. She uses for her science thing at work. We'll use a modem-router-splitter thing I guess for my our T-Warner cable connection at home (I'll need advice about that too) so we can be on internet at same time. But apart from maybe her MP3 files and her still image files, it's all bid'ness for her. No gaming. Basic stuff. Need CD burning, but's that's standard right?

Could you spec that out for us and tell us what to buy, please? I won't hold you liable. Keep under $1,500, including the software package. Under $1,000 is better, but not absolutely essential.

Thanks, Bud!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:06 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

Sure thing - I edited my above post BTW abotu the D820, I'll spec that for ya.....and I was gonna mention the wireless adapter they come with and the router dealy you'll need. If you go with a LInksys W54G-series, you'll have the same as me and some others here which makes support on using it a bit easier.

You'll need to select your won carry case 'cuz I don't know if th'lady prefers a backpack or case style. I have a leather Samsonite backpack which is AWESOME.......rugged, comfy when worn as a backpack at airports and also when commuting for work on the bike...these things just don't fit in saddle bags too well (trust me!) and she's got the Bonnie still I imagine.... Smile

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:12 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

- JG300-Stoopy
Sure thing - I edited my above post BTW abotu the D820, I'll spec that for ya.....and I was gonna mention the wireless adapter they come with and the router dealy you'll need. If you go with a LInksys W54G-series, you'll have the same as me and some others here which makes support on using it a bit easier.

You'll need to select your won carry case 'cuz I don't know if th'lady prefers a backpack or case style. I have a leather Samsonite backpack which is AWESOME.......rugged, comfy when worn as a backpack at airports and also when commuting for work on the bike...these things just don't fit in saddle bags too well (trust me!) and she's got the Bonnie still I imagine.... Smile


Thanks, Bud....she's off at the store now...I'll have her read this thread later and let her type her own questions/reply over my login if you don't mind and we can proceed from there. Wink
(Suggestions on warranty coverage an' stuff are something to think about, if applicable...what software too...was I on the right track with what I mentioned...should I just buy that locally?)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:18 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

I agree with Stoops on the Dell desktop / laptop scenario.
As you say Mrs Ascout is fairly nunlike (*dribbles*) and only looking for Word, Excel, etc., I would suggest 1Gb should be okay for her with XP. 2Gb will be better but she should be okay to go running Office in XP with 1Gb. Any heavy visual / audio prog's will run better with more (Photoshop, etc) and running a lot of prog's simultaneously will also open more quickly with more. The more RAM you have the better, if you can afford it, the same with faster RAM, BUT make sure you don't start slowing the existing RAM down by getting too much (XP over 2Gb may run into this speed botleneck, Vista over 4Gb).

I would also suggest that you don't write Vista off altogether.
As we all know, right now it's crap.
In all likelihood, it's still going to be crap after SP1.
SP2 (or before) should see everything come together properly, and then M$ will be starting to make their usual, "We're-going-to-stop-supporting-XP-now-so-that-you-all-HAVE-to-buy-Vista" noises.
Try to get something that's Vista-compatable so you can upgrade later or you'll have to buy something new in a year or so's time.

Student/teacher licences are for student/teachers.
If Mrs Ascout is a student/teacher she can get special discount on Office and a lot of other software (including XP and Vista).
OR..., she could get Open Office and pay diddly (For full details of 'Diddly', look in Wikipedia, under "Bushwhacker" Wink ).

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:45 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

- Shades
I agree with Stoops on the Dell desktop / laptop scenario.
As you say Mrs Ascout is fairly nunlike (*dribbles*) and only looking for Word, Excel, etc., I would suggest 1Gb should be okay for her with XP. 2Gb will be better but she should be okay to go running Office in XP with 1Gb. Any heavy visual / audio prog's will run better with more (Photoshop, etc) and running a lot of prog's simultaneously will also open more quickly with more. The more RAM you have the better, if you can afford it, the same with faster RAM, BUT make sure you don't start slowing the existing RAM down by getting too much (XP over 2Gb may run into this speed botleneck, Vista over 4Gb).

I would also suggest that you don't write Vista off altogether.
As we all know, right now it's crap.
In all likelihood, it's still going to be crap after SP1.
SP2 (or before) should see everything come together properly, and then M$ will be starting to make their usual, "We're-going-to-stop-supporting-XP-now-so-that-you-all-HAVE-to-buy-Vista" noises.
Try to get something that's Vista-compatable so you can upgrade later or you'll have to buy something new in a year or so's time.

Student/teacher licences are for student/teachers.
If Mrs Ascout is a student/teacher she can get special discount on Office and a lot of other software (including XP and Vista).
OR..., she could get Open Office and pay diddly (For full details of 'Diddly', look in Wikipedia, under "Bushwhacker" Wink ).


Well, I'm given to understand that XP will get support for the next seven years, then nada. That should suffice.

Among my all too numerous "hats" I'm also a designated official "Coordinator of Continuing Medical Education Program" so I qualifies for the Teacher thingy. We want to stick with software she's been using and is compatible with what is in use by her company at work and elsewhere. If necessary, I can use that moniker to buy the software at Circuit City, for example. I want to be able to get upgrades online without MS giving us crap. I like to be "official".

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:59 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

Yup, good point, that sounds like the way to go. I didn't know if you can buy it locally or have to go theough someone like Amazon. com. I was looking at it myself for my son who is using starting to use Powerpoint now. Haven't got it yet for here at home, so he uses my laptop for his projects when needed.

Warranty seem to be about 3 years......normally I havent had a proble,m the screen on my old Lattitude is going pale on one side, but that may be becuase it's been sitting on it's side at work, stowed away unused, for a long time. Once in a while I fire it up to snag some tool I've made or something that I forgot to transfer.

The Latitude 820 comes out at $1403, but that includes 1Gig RAM, and ALSO the Linksys Wireless ROuter you need, plus MS Office BASIC (no Powerpoint). There's an option to delete that, and sub $145 off the price, at which point the Student/Teacher vers. can be ad for about $100-$120 bucks (smart way to go I'd say, if it can be done).

The 131L, which has an AMD processor and not Intel, and a slower DVD drive, comes out at $1050 but also without MS Office at all (add $145 or more for whatever version you want). Not a bad choice though, I think I'd be tempted in this direction if I werent an Intel purist (has to do with my work stuff anyways).

Dangit, there used to be a way to save custom quotes at theor site and share the URL so you can send it to someone - I don't see a way to do that right now, but I'll look. I'd be happy to help, but be advised I'm just about to go outside to shovel 5" of snow we got this morning, then shower, poack and head off to the airport in the Moostang (which oughta be exciting).

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:34 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

- JG300-Stoopy
off to the airport in the Moostang (which oughta be exciting).


Traction control ON!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:30 am
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

What's really the difference between MS Office "Home and Student" and "Office Standard", besides $250? Seems to have same programs...so what are the real functional diffs?

I think we're gonna go witht the Latitude 820 mid-level as suggested:

www.dell.com/content/p...l=en&s=bsd

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:37 pm
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

Forgive me if I stumble, becuase my company has a corporate license fo reverything and simply installs it all on a new laptop, sol I'm not an expert.....from what I see (and this may depend on whether we're talking about Office 2003 and Office 2007, just so they can make things more confusing) there are choices of:

- Office Basic 2003 (MS Word, MS Excel spreadsheet, and MS Outlook email)

- Office Professional Edition 2003 gives MS Word, Excel, Outlook, plus MS Access (database, if you need it) PowerPoint (for your presentations) as wel as Publisher 2003, which if you are gonna do web page stuff I imagine.

- Office Student/Teacher 2003 version gives you MS Word, MS Excel, AND MS Powerpoint, and "OneNote" which I haven't a clue what it is - but DOESN'T come with Outloook, which seems silly. However I see you can buy it in a bundle with Outlook added for $239.

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Office-Home-Student-2007/dp/B000HCZ8EO/sr=1-3/qid=1172435163/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/103-1662106-6543021?ie=UTF8&s=software

Here's the fun part - there's also Office Professional Edition 2003 ( Academic Version ) - seems to be the best of everything - all the trimmings, with Outlook, and Publisher, and Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access:

http://www.amazon.com/MICROSOFT-Professional-Academic-Version-Windows/dp/B0000C1204/sr=1-1/qid=1172435530/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-1662106-6543021?ie=UTF8&s=software

I think I'll dig into this some more....

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:53 pm
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

- JG300-Stoopy
Forgive me if I stumble, becuase my company has a corporate license fo reverything and simply installs it all on a new laptop, sol I'm not an expert.....from what I see (and this may depend on whether we're talking about Office 2003 and Office 2007, just so they can make things more confusing) there are choices of:

- Office Basic 2003 (MS Word, MS Excel spreadsheet, and MS Outlook email)

- Office Professional Edition 2003 gives MS Word, Excel, Outlook, plus MS Access (database, if you need it) PowerPoint (for your presentations) as wel as Publisher 2003, which if you are gonna do web page stuff I imagine.

- Office Student/Teacher 2003 version gives you MS Word, MS Excel, AND MS Powerpoint, and "OneNote" which I haven't a clue what it is - but DOESN'T come with Outloook, which seems silly. However I see you can buy it in a bundle with Outlook added for $239.

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Office-Home-Student-2007/dp/B000HCZ8EO/sr=1-3/qid=1172435163/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/103-1662106-6543021?ie=UTF8&s=software

Here's the fun part - there's also Office Professional Edition 2003 ( Academic Version ) - seems to be the best of everything - all the trimmings, with Outlook, and Publisher, and Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access:

http://www.amazon.com/MICROSOFT-Professional-Academic-Version-Windows/dp/B0000C1204/sr=1-1/qid=1172435530/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-1662106-6543021?ie=UTF8&s=software

I think I'll dig into this some more....


Stoop...the first one you got linked there is actually for 2007, which is what is pretty much what is for sale via Dell anyway...and who wants do a bunch of upgrades for 4-5 year old software anywho? I'd get the '07 variety. Mainly, I'm wondering what's the diff between "Home and Student" and the "Office Standard"...both seem to offer Word, Excel, Powerpoint and like that there...and that's the main thing. We both have email so Outlook is no biggie. She just needs to do her biochemist thang. Presentations and so on... Data stuff.

And her MP3 Stuff (so I can get it the heck off my computer!) and her pics an' stuff, cuz' gawd knows, I got enough of those cluttering up my own system now.

Mainly, we have a "competition" for the computer issue at home that we need to relieve, and the smaller unit will be nice for using elsewhere in the house.

Hey, if it has wireless, what do you need to take advantage of that at home? (I'm not sure I want to go that way at home...I've heard of security issues with neighbors and stuff).

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:03 pm
Post subject: Re: Short course, need laptop, no Vista, what to do....?

Hmmm..okay: From what I know of your preferences, you want to walk into a store somewhere and just get the stuff, rather than buy online. And also keep it simple, and not spend more than you need to. So here's what I think I'd do (as a matter of fact I think I'll go get the first item myself soon).

Go with the Office 2007 products rather than the 2003 products, becuase you'll get MS Word 2007 and won't have to deal with the trouble in the future of having MS Word 2003 which won't be able to open documents made with Word 2007.

In that light, youcan go right to Best Buy if you want and pick up Office Home and Student 2007, which wil give you 2007 versions of Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote (note-taking thingamajig). So you have Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and presentations:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8129447&type=product&productCategoryId=cat01083&id=1158320998618

That's $149.99

Then for $98.99 grab MS Outlook 2007 off the same shelf....and you have your fancy new latest & greatest email program.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8168323&type=product&productCategoryId=cat01083&id=1162593933838

Total $250 so far. Dell wants $275 for Office 2007 Small Business Edition which is about the same thing with a sales contact manager thing if you need that....

BUT, the nice thing about buying these seperately and not packaged with the Dell, is you will have a legal end user license agreement to install these on two seperate systems - say, one desktop and one laptop system.

And while you're there, go to the other aisle and pick up your router (Dell wants too much for the same thing, $120)....for about seventy bucks:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=pcmcat25300050001&type=category&parentCatID=false&initialize=false&initialize=true&_requestid=53561

So that's $320 in add-ons, plus the price of the D820 with 1Gig of RAM which is $1149, gets you to $1470 and tax......pretty close to your upper limit but about all you're gonna need.

If it makes you feel more confident, I wrote all that while sitting here by the fireplace on my exact similar laptop:


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