Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh, Lappy – I hardly knew ye…


Just this weekend, my work laptop – a Toshiba (hereinafter “Trashshiba”) Satellite A215 dropped dead.

Yes, the thing won’t boot at all. Our technology cat at work tells me that it’s probably a hard drive issue meaning that a lot of the data I had stored on that thing is gone. Yes, another cheap, piece of crap hard drive is all I need to get it up and running again.

Ah, that’s a shame but it’s no surprise. As I’ve ranted about before I’d prefer to have a Macintosh. However, my employers love Windows PCs and my wife has blocked my attempts to purchase one for the house (she claims they’re too expensive).

The thing I hate about Windows is this – there are an awful lot of cheap Windows PCs and notebooks out there. There are some expensive ones, too, but Microsoft has spent a lot of time and money convincing everyone that cheap hardware is just great.

That’s the entire premise of Microsoft’s latest advertising campaign, isn’t it. “Don’t get a Macintosh! This cheap piece of crap has everything you need and it runs Windows! Don’t be a sucker!”

So people get suckered into buying substandard hardware because they’re convinced it’s just dandy. Take that Trashiba of mine. I asked for a Macintosh a couple of years ago and got a cheap Windows notebook instead.

“Look at what you get for the money,” I was told. “A Macintosh is just unreasonably expensive.”

So, instead of a durable Mac I wound up with something that dropped dead after a couple of years because I had the audacity to use it regularly. Hell, I even carried the laptop around and used it as a portable computer – certainly it wasn’t designed to be mobile, was it? That's awful hard on a computer -- you know, carrying it around and all.

There’s a reason some Windows boxes are dirt cheap – they’re built with the shoddiest, crappiest components on the planet and fail in a hurry.

The truth of the matter is this – you can get certainly get a durable PC made with top notch components but it will cost about as much as a comparable Mac. Don’t think a $500 laptop can hold a candle to one that costs $2,000 one that’s running either Mac OS X or whatever flavor of Windows is popular this week.

Yes, Windows can be a good operating system – but you’ve got to be willing to buy some decent hardware and that costs money. You don’t hear Microsoft talking much about that, do you? If you take the “this computer is great because it’s cheap” argument from the company, what does Microsoft really have left?


Sherry at EX Marks the Spot said...

I go through withdrawals when anything happens to my computer. I've had one die; it was horrible!!!

Rebecca said...

I have a Toshiba Satellite; best laptop I've ever had (wasn't inexpensive, tho). I find it way, WAAAAAY better than the HP laptops. Sorry to hear about the death, tho. Tech deaths are ugly things.

Besides expense, I wouldn't get a Mac because the software I use isn't compatible, especially graphic editing software. And no Napster. And no MSN IM, and no e-Sword!

The Natural State Hawg said...

Sherry -- Yes, it's an awful thing. Our technology cat at the office is restoring the HD as we speak.

I once had a Windows machine wipe out all of my client files (when I was a lawyer). Thank God for backups...

Rebecca -- My Satellite is cheap garbage -- cost about $500 or so. You must have got one of the ones the company made when it was actually trying. Considering my experiences with my Toshiba thus far, I doubt I'll buy one of those again.

I love Macs. Just love the hell out of them. That's probably a bias left over from my old journalism days. To each his own, I figure.

Still, the fact that Microsoft brags about the fact that Windows will run on even cheap crap notebooks like mine bugs me. I figure the next system I get at home will cost at least $2,000 and (if I have my way) will have an Apple logo on it. If not, I'll get a high end PC. Sick to death of cheap hardware.