Follow by Email


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Computer for a doomer

Technology marches onward. It's been a long time since I've bought a new computer. My new machine is a low priced netbook. By today's standards, it's not very powerful. However, it's got 20 times the memory as my old computer, has a faster processor, and has features undreamed of ten years ago.

It is a physically smaller machine. That's actually a bonus as it'll be my travel computer. It lacks a DVD drive which the older computer had. In fact, the old computer has a 3.5 inch floppy drive. When's the last time computers came with those?

The DVD player was nice, but now that it's possible to stream movies directly on the computer with a fast Internet connection, they are not missed.

Today was an R & R day, so it was a good day to configure the new computer the way I want. Tossed out some crap programs that came with the computer. Added a couple word-processor programs and a better browser.

The big thing I did was install Ubuntu in a dual boot configuration with Windows. I've really come to love the speed, power, and control that a Linux operating system provides. There's also the vast selection of free programs. All the same, it is nice to keep Microsoft for the handful of things I can't do through Ubuntu.

Because I'm a bit of a doomer, I've got to ask myself if it makes sense to invest in another piece of high tech equipment. It relies on the grid, Internet system, and minimal governmental interference. Governments in trouble try to control or even turn off the Internet. An EMP could fry all electronics. My little laptop could be rendered useless a whole variety of ways outside of my control. Is it worth buying such a toy when the old computer still works?

Who cares? It's cheap enough. It's not like my last dime is invested here. That's the beauty of it. Would I invest in a high end computer system? Only if it could pay for itself in short order. If a person is an engineer doing CAD designs, sure, it makes sense. It's a tool of the trade. For someone such as myself who only really needs a word-processing program and Internet connection, low end computers are more than good enough. I haven't learned to type faster in the last ten years.



  1. Congrats on the new computer. I hope it will serve you well.

  2. guess you may have bought acer -- works great w/ ubuntu netbook version, I'm running dual boot also but have never used MS since loading linux.
    They do some fine low cost usb dvd but I just load 8 or 16 GB thumb drive w/ movies to have them on the go: lower power consumption. Another option I use is an ipod -- you can get older ones (I get 6th gen) on ebay in 120 or 160GB for under $1 a GB; you can carry movies, books and music really cheaply that way and it is useful as a stand alone mp3/ movie player, disk drive and car stereo played through radio. It doesn't pull power like a normal drive does. Works well to interface w/ rhythmbox or banshee.
    For power I got an adapter for 12v to recharge/ play. When not in a vehicle I use a jump pack which can then be recharged w/ a solar panel (small). W/ more than 1 jump pack (they have multiple uses) I can keep power up in dry camp situation for-- guess I don't know how long as I haven't run out yet. There are wifi connection around every corner anymore to use for that purpose.

  3. The good thing about the netbooks is that you can attach a mouse, keyboard, huge external hard drive, and large flat panel screen for when you are at home and have enough room and full electricity, but if you're on the road or SHTF and the grid goes down it can be a small energy efficient package with tons of stored information for your survival and enjoyment. - Jack