While typing this entry, Microsoft Word froze up and I lost it all. What I have to occasionally relearn is to SAVE OFTEN especially as you’re working on documents. I do get that question often “my son was working all night on his term paper, never saved once and the computer died. How do I recover?” More often than not, little Johnny has to repeat AP World History. Sorry. Office does offer a capability to auto-save (look in the HELP, each version is different).
Ok, how to buy a laptop. Sam Grobart wrote a great simple article for the New York Times on how to buy a laptop. He argues that most of it is irrelevant, except get 4+ Gigs of RAM. I usually use the following analogies when describing computer specs:
RAM: How big your brain is. The more RAM, the bigger your brain.
HD: How big your library of books are. It doesn't mean your thinking about all of them at one time, but they’re available to you.
PROCESSOR: How quickly and efficiently you can process information. This is tied a little to HD, because certain hard drives run at different speeds. 5400, 7200 and 10,000 RPM. SSDs (the new fangled flash drive-y storage devices in Ultrabooks with no moving parts don’t do RPM because they are lacking mechanical parts, are super crazy fast.
Where do I start looking for a laptop? Go to salescircular.com and it will show most of the weekly bargains at bricks and mortars (Staples, Best Buy, Office Depot, Office Max and Target) no Costco or Brandsmart, I believe)