Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Computers? Feh!

Author:Dave Polaschek
Posted:10/11/1999; 8:32:58 AM
Topic:Computers? Feh!
Msg #:11919 (In response to 11913)
Prev/Next:11918 / 11920

The closest I've come to a satisfactory computer is my recently acquired G3 PowerBook.

For me, the best computer depended on what I was trying to do at the time.

The best portable note-taker was the TRS-80 Model 100. It was no bigger than the medium-sized day-planner I'm carrying now. It gave (as I remember) 8 hours of life on four easily-bought AA batteries (and would probably give a lot longer life with the new Lithium AAs that are available). It had a full-sized keyboard (though lacking in computer-oriented punctuation) that I could type at full speed on. It was also rugged as hell (the only moving parts were the keys and the power switch). My only complaint was that the screen was a mere 40 columns by 8 rows, but you get used to that pretty quick. To use one today, I'd probably want more RAM, but that's problem has pretty much been solved by dropping RAM prices.

The best server I have is an Apple PowerBook Duo 280. It's small and silent. With an Ethernet MicroDock and a small hardware modification (disconnecting the switch that detects when the lid is closed), it can run in lid-down server mode and takes up almost no space and only makes noise when someone's hitting the hard-drive a lot.

As for a desktop machine, there isn't one I like. I want a 21 inch (or larger) flat-panel display connected to a pizza-box that has a quiet hard-drive and no fan. Since I want to run MacOS on it, I'm probably going to be waiting a long time, but the introduction of the fanless iMacs gives me hope. The other thing I'd like to see is an enclosure separate from the rest of the box (with just one cable) that just had the bays for the removable media (CD/DVD, Zip, etc). The only reason my desktop machine is on my desktop instead of tucked away in a sound-proof enclosure is that I need to be able to plug disks into it.


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