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Bought a new laptop.

December 30, 2011

I won a $4000 scholarship for doing this summer research project at uni. The project basically is writing a program for my supervisor. The program demonstrates how a couple of all pairs shortest path algorithms work.
So I decided that I need a laptop.
What for?

  • Performing live at parties.
  • Can use it to write notes in class. (I’m terrible at keeping hand written notes. I figure notes on my computer will last a lot better. Especially if i can work out how to write notes on to the powerpoint slides).
  • Being able to do things when I don’t have access to my home computer. (eg when on holiday).
  • Help troubleshooting my home computer (can access the internet if the home computer isn’t working) (But man, this seems like a bad reason for having a second computer – ie. just have your computer working properly in the first place).

I’ve bought a pretty decent laptop:

Oooh, meta.
  • Toshiba brand.
  • i7 2670QM processor
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M Graphics card (1GB dedicated).
  • USB3

I paid a little less than $1800 for this, including three year warranty and the laptop bag.
There was a similar deal I saw online, for about $1200 (Lenovo IdeaPad) but it didn’t have USB3, and didn’t have a numpad. So it looks like I spent an extra $400 for USB3 and the numpad. 😮

An interesting point here. Perhaps I just got caught up in the buzz of the boxing day sales and a good salesman. Or perhaps it really was prudent to be going for USB. It would be rather annoying if there were USB3 devices I were wanting to use in a year or so and weren’t able to.

Anyway – this is a decent laptop, and it should be pretty good for a couple of years. (or forever). With the way technology is changing, there might be some new technology that I need in a year or two, but the laptop should remain good for media, browsing etc. The hyperthreading technology (i7 acts as if it’s got 8 cores), might help future proof it.

Another interesting point is that this laptop is quite a bit better than my home desktop. Yet I will probably still use my desktop for my main productivity. (That reminds me – I do need to take that PSU back). Am thinking about overclocking my desktop and chucking in an extra 4GB ram just to keep it up to speed with this one. The RAM upgrade is simple enough, but the overclocking has the potential to go wrong and burk the computer. There’s also the issue of spending money on it. I’d probably spend $100 on a new cooler in order to overclock.

A final note about spending money: Spending money (especially at shops when you’ve had a salesman helping you) makes me feel a bit dirty. I feel as I’m being a victim to common psychology, that business is aware of and exploit.

I have about $1000 left of my scholarship money. Spent $500 of it on bond for my new house, and money just slips away! I’ve been buying shoes, clothes, off 1Day, spent about $150 on Xmas and bday present. I was also thinking I could buy a Novation Remote SL MkII and/or Akai APC40, and/or buy legit Ableton Live. I might be only able to buy one of these (though I get more money for course related costs later on) more about this later.


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