Refining the question…


know, I really and truly love you guys. I cannot believe the amount of input I get and the love I feel from all you dudes and dudettes. I got a lot of different ideas:laptop vs. desktop, Intel Pentium vs. AMD–lets not get mean now, okay?–home made vs. premade, Dell vs. HP vs. Viao…

There are a few things I should mention perhaps. I currently have at work a Dell laptop with 512 MB RAM, and the work I do makes it freeze periodically, especially when I run an MS Word program that contains Japanese written vertically with normal horizontal text in English. Click here for a Sample. This looks so cool as I create material for my classes, but the data somehow manages to make my processor overload–many times my screen would freeze and I would get a message saying that the CPU is running at max and it will shut down. Or it won’t print. Or any number of breakdowns…

Now why is that?

The file itself is not extraordinarily large–maybe 80 to 100 KB–so what is it in the file that makes the computer decided to quit on me. This also happens when I open a graphic editor like PhotoShop. Actually, I typically will be running three or four programs at a time–IE, Word (2-3 files), PhotoShop, Paint… Should I liimit the number of programs I open at once? I thought the selling point of Windows was its ability to run different programs simultaneously…

Another thing is the heating business. I’ve been considering a desktop because I willsit at a computer for hours typing, and the Dell laptop at work gets pretty hot. The heel of my hand are very uncomfortable from the heat generated from the computer. The old Toshiba I use at home doesn’t get half as hot, but then it’s CPU is older, smaller and so perhaps doesn’t require that much juice to operate. I would like a laptop because portability is definitely a plus, but I am leaning toward a desktop just out of comfort. Is there a middle road somewhere? A cool laptop? A semi-portable desktop?

Speaking of which, I defininitely would like a larger screen. As I said, I will run many program at once because I am usually using them at once: On the Internet looking for info, incorporating info into a document, drawing a figure/image then transfering that to the same document, cutting and pasting from a previous document to the new one. My windows are stacked on top of each other and it would be great to see at least two documents/files at the same time. Certainly, seeing an entire page on the screen would be beneficial…

Anyway, here is a list of things I do or want to do.

  • Run MSWord using vertical Japanese (in a Textbox) along with horizontal text–both English and Japanese. I also affix phonetic readings–furigana–to some of the Chinese characters in the text. Most of my documents will run between 20 to 50 pages.
  • AIM and IM. For some reasons, when I use AIM on my 64KB Toshiba, I run into problems. AIM works fine, but when I turn off the computer and restart it the next day. It will ALWAYS crash trying to boot up. It takes two, sometimes three reboots to get my computer working. I have experimented with a number of other programs, but this happens ONLY after I use AIM. Do you know why? Is it my computer? Should I try downloading AIM again?
  • I do use a lot of graphic programs to edit photos and draw pictures–like Onigiriman –and it seems that these programs take up a lot fo space as well since they seem to slow my coomputer down significantly.
  • I want to learn to use Flash but I’m afraid it will slow down the computer further. I tried using PowerPOint, but crap! The files are huge…
  • I don’t play games, but I do like to listen to music as I work. Also I want to eventually work on editing visual material–movie excerpts, brief animations–to supplement my teaching material.

So, do I need like 1GB of RAM? Maybe 2GB? And maybe 100MB hard disk? Hahahahha. Am I just dreaming? I figure I’d need to spend $2 grand on a Vaio?
And another $500 for a 19″ LCD screen? Ugh…


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