Jim

What is the Best Affordable Laptop?

As newer computer models change over time, so will this list but I thought I’d take time to research some cheaper laptops and what’s currently available on sale. (Of course, you’ll need to add ram to your laptop). You will note I’m not  listing the best selling laptops or even the cheapest laptops because I have found that sometimes spending a bit more money is worth it when laptop shopping.

What is affordable?

If you want a Mac Laptop you’re going to need close to $1000 to play, and if you don’t have that kind of money then you’re forced to look at a Windows notebook. There was a time that I would loathe to recommend a PC laptop but with Windows 8 on the horizon and a consumer preview available I may have to change my tune. You can also install Ubuntu on the Windows PC and with a bit of tweaking you can get a notebook that feels real close to the Mac OS for a fraction of the price.

Laptops Under $400

I’ve already written about $400 laptops and there’s lots to choose from. Three current  best sellers are:

The Acer Aspire AS5750Z-4835 is one notebook worth a look and offers all the basics of a cheap notebook in a 15.6 inch package with 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive and a 15.6 inch display.

The Asus A53U-EH11 is another cheap laptop that’s feature packed with and AMD dual core processor, 3GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive and at under $350.00, this is one of the cheapest notebooks you can buy today.

Don’t discount a chromebook either. The Samsung series 5 chromebook is an option as there’s less hassle with OS stuff and viruses. If you live in a web browser, this could be the perfect notebook for you.

Laptops $500 to $1000

If screen real estate is what you need the HP g7-1310us is a hard deal to beat for a 17 inch notebook, especially for the price of just over $500.

If the thought of lugging around a big screen notebook all day brings shivers up your spine, check out the Dell Inspiron i14RN-1227BK. At just under $500 this 14 inch beauty shaves weight off the traditional laptop and is cheaper than an Ultrabook.

And speaking of Ultrabooks, now that they are dropping in price, they are a much cheaper alternative to an Apple offering and are the cheapest and are the best laptops and notebooks you can buy today.

These notebooks are just a taste of what’s available when shopping for a laptop and all I would consider affordable laptops.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

I don’t know if it’s the age thing, but I’m finding that I’m waking up earlier and earlier. B, on the other hand..

I’m finding that over the course of the last few weeks I’ve been trying to get all my work done first and then do the fun stuff. A few weeks ago, this wasn’t always the case and I would blog here first, surf the internet and do other non-productive items. Then, I would wonder where my day would go and my to do list would still be waiting for me as I panicked to get something productive done.

Then the past few days I decided to change the pattern and do the work first, then fiddle around and it’ working out to be a succes for quite a few reasons.

Less guilt. When I’ve got my work for the day done, I can write here, sell stuff on ebay, cut the grass and other things I like and prefer to do

More Time. All I did was swap out the internet surfing for working and I seem to have much more time. It’s just after lunch and the day is mine. Heck, I could even work more if the urge came upon me, but at very minimum the work I planned to do is done.

Getting up early isn’t the problem for me. It’s the staying up late that’s the hard part and I find some days I can’t seem to make it past nine before I start to look for my toothbrush and make sure the dog is inside and then it’s off to bed for yours truly.

The upside of an early start is that it sure is quiet - even the dog goes back to bed.

Why am I sharing all this? Maybe as just as a reminder that facebook doesn’t pay you for your updates but with a ten dollar domain name you too could be doing what I’m doing - writing and making money. (I’ve actually made a few bucks with this site already) I do it with a 5am start, so that by noon-ish the day is mine. You might be like my wife where she starts her day about noon and is still happy to work well into the evening. Whatever works for you.

But this early bird start is working great so far and once you break the habit of NOT working hard it really becomes pretty easy and you find yourself working more and more. With the workday done I’ve got family time for walks with the dog and B, or just reading books or listening to music or gardening knowing full well I’ve moved the needle today.

And that’s all a guy could ask.

Hobbies, and How They Change

This site is a hobby. At least for now. Unless I get either an endorsement from softsoap or some other stroke of luck my one and only goal is to tell a story or two here and make a photo or two to share for all 27 of you today to read, and I’m finding that as I get older the toys I need get to be less and less important.

The same holds true for the photography. I have enough gear to make more than enough photos and I think that it’s too easy to get caught up in the technical stuff and tweaks that you realize you don’t need half the stuff and go full circle to using simpler and simpler stuff. A lot of times you think you need the stuff when you don’t. I always used to joke that the easiest way to save $100 at IKEA was to walk out of IKEA.

I find I’m reading more and more and down in the man cave listening to music less and less over time to the point where I may as well sell the stuff, even at a loss - because the usage my record collection is minimal to none. This doesn’t neccesarily mean I’ll get out of listening to music altogether but it does mean I can do with much less. Headphones and one small amplifier rather than a multi speakered home theater system might be and example.

**Cheaper Hobbies are Just As Fun

**

This site is a perfect example of a cheap hobby that when you compare the cost per hour of blogging to say, sailing - writing wins(unless you’re writing from your boat). I’m reading (and writing) more than ever and I love the fact that I can take a speck of an idea and make it into an entry. Maybe it’s a great one and maybe it isn’t but it does not really matter because once I get into the writing (which can be an exercise in itself) I find that sometimes it’s hard to stop, I am having so much fun. And with every article I get a little better and get a feel for what posts resonate with you guys and what you could care less about. It all takes time, but I’d like to think I have a bit of time left yet.

As far as cost, the total cost for me to start this website was a ten dollar domain name. Everything else I already knew or had, and then it was just the big blinking cursor staring at me. I know this site is only weeks old and if I was counting either dollars or visitors as the success rate, the novelty would have worn off by now. But I’m counting days and words written and pages published instead. I’m pretty confident the readership will come eventually.

This is just a blog, and I’m just a husband trying to navigate the everyday of married life. The laundry and gardening and all that husband-ness entails. But it’s also a hobby too and I’m having a whole lot of fun. No drinking required.

Where To Buy Apple Computers Refurbished

These computers are usually returned computers for various reasons that have been inspected by Apple, cleaned and then put back out on sale at a discounted price. If you’re patient and wait for the perfect refurbished Mac to appear you can save money on what essentially may be a brand new Mac.

One way to get a better price or great deal on an Apple computer is to buy a refurbished Apple Computer.

Apple of course is an excellent source for refurbished Macs and also other products too from Apple such as refurbished iPads and iPods too.

Examples of refurbished Macs currently available are:

Apple MacBook Pro 17 inch. Save $200

Apple MacBook Pro 13.3 inch Save $100

Apple MacBook 15 inch Save $120.00

**Refurbished iPads

** Another great way to get an iPad deal on an essentially new Apple iPad is to buy refurbishe too, and here’s a few examples of the savings you may expect when compared to the prices of a brand new Apple iPad

Apple iPad (1st Generation 32GB Wifi) Save $70.00

Apple iPad 2 (32GB Wifi) Save $87.00

Apple iPad (1st Generation 64GB Wifi) Save $170.00

As you can see from the few examples above, these are pretty good deals on Apple certified and refurbished products and it’s a great way to save money when buying  Apple computers  as they can be expensive when compared to other PC’s using Windows.

Mac Mall is another source you should  check for deals on Apple products as I find that they offer more selection than even the Apple Store and they tend to offer a deal of some sort too –  something that Apple does not, save for the discounted refurbished price.

Buying refurbished Apple Products is one of the better ways to save on Apple products, regardless of whether you’re in the market for an iPad, or Apple Macintosh computer.

What Kind of RAM Do I Have?

Recently, I wrote about memory finders being a perfect way to buy more memory for your Mac or PC  if you’re looking to buy more memory, but what if you just want to find out what kind of RAM you have installed in your desktop or notebook computer already?

Find RAM on Macintosh

On the Mac, it’s easy.

Go to the Apple Menu and select About This Mac

You’ll see the amount of memory and type of RAM

If you click ‘more info’  there’ s a memory tab that displays the amount of ram installed, how many slots are in use by the ram installed and the type of RAM installed.

Windows 7

Click Start

Right click computer and then properties

In the system section you can see the installed RAM you have.

Ubuntu

Boot into Ubuntu if you  haven’t already done so.

Select Applications from the top left corner.

Select  Accessories and then Terminal

Type  the word top and the ram installed should be beside Mem::

If you’re more interested in finding out what brand of RAM you have, then the only way I know how to do this is to physically inspect the RAM as most RAM brands are not displayed in any memory information tool, regardless of operating system.

My Mac Mini shipped with Hynix RAM when I went to replace the 4GB of Mac Mini RAM with 8GB (I went with Crucial from Amazon as my wife was buying some books at the same time and we get free shipping)  but the Hynix memory upgrades worked just fine for me, as does the Crucial upgrades.

When shopping for ram upgrades I would be more concerned that you have the correct memory speed and  type installed as opposed to buying ram brands. RAM either works or it doesn’t and all ram built or sold by the memory stores I list will do you just fine and come with money back guarantees in the rare event there is a problem.