As it turns out, although many bad things have happened to my computer over the three years i've owned it, it has always picked a good time to crap out on me. It usually died after exams, or right before i went away for a period of time, and i could live without my beloved interwebs. Sadly though, this time was the kicker. My mother board had fried itself (twice now), my wireless card stopped working (which lead to a larger issue for some reason...) and there was an indecent involving water (mind you this was four separate events, not all at once). That's only including the issues that sent my old baby to the ER. Now i have a new love-child of gamer affection and Japanese technology.
But really what this post is about is computers in general, and looking for a new one. Caution; this review involves short battery lives, bad graphics, some irritants, and fire. Or at least the theory of it.
And it will be short because i'm still getting everything in order.
So i asked people, and the web, what would be a good next computer. A Dell? Gateway? Toshiba? HP? It's been a while since i last bought a computer and i like to be updated on who's still making good laptops, rather than hopping into line with what used to work and coming up with the electronic equivalent of pond scum. Yum.
So my first stop was Dell. Not because i used to own one, nor for any good reviews, but because i was under the impression it was cheap. Boy, was i naive three days ago!
So i ask the interweb, "web, my friend and occasional enemy, what do you think of Dell laptops?"
It made a crying sound. Confused, i looked up more information. As it turns out, dells are good desktops generally, although they have a habit of pretending they're the original x-box and crashing for no reason. No, friends, the sobbing noise was trying to say, "laptops of this type don't take hits well from lots of travel, don't always hold up to the abuse people present, and they're not always the best option as laptops go." Appeased, i moved on. Hey; i'd rather not walk into that situation if i know it'll go down like a blind date between Oprah and Hitler.
On to Gateway, which brought up a great story i won't forget. I was told by a friend i know that Gateway products have a bad reputation for an incident that happened once long ago. Always up for a good laugh, i asked him to go on. Apparently the desktop in question was installed and prepared to begin for the very first time, when upon pressing the Start button, the tower fizzed, and exploded into flames.
Now i was tempted to buy the thing, but for all the wrong reasons. Imagine this:
"Hey Dave, what did you want me to come over for?"
"Oh Mark! Great, you're here! Come into the kitchen, you have to see this!"
".....Dave...it's a computer. What about it?"
"Not just any computer, it's a Gateway!"
"...Ok wait, hold my beer, i'll show you what i mean!"
(Dave goes over and presses the start icon on the tower. A few seconds pass.)
"Look, Dave, i know you've been having a rough week, but you rea-"
(Mark is cut off by the sound of fizzing as Dave runs back to where Mark is standing. The tower suddenly erupts in flame, and the two men watch as it slowly begins to burn.)
"Dave, where the hell did you get that?"
"Oh i bought it online. Had a few extra hundred dollars lying around."
"...you could have just given that money to me."
"But then i wouldn't have an exploding computer."
"...what the fuck man."
(Later that night, a party is in the same house, and the computer stills burning on the table.)
"Hey man, nice party, this place is...uh...what is THAT?"
(Dave slides over, looking smug.)
"It's my computer. I think it makes a perfect conversational piece. The chicks really dig it."
Yeah. Call me silly, but that and a shitty review i found online led me to think maybe it wasn't the choice for me. Moving on.
Really what it ended up turning into was Toshiba vs HP. This was partly due to the restrictions on my computer exchange contract, and partly because they both had good reviews in general and offered me the gaming space and functions i needed. Luck had it that a well equipped black Toshiba was within my contract, and the competitor was a white HP with slightly weaker graphics. This round went to Toshiba!
In essence i had personal feeling about both and i was happy to get what i did, but boy was it an adventure. But i'm back now!