A laptop alone doesn’t cut it

My desktop PC failed on me this weekend, bad. I figured I could just do the work I was planning on my laptop but I quickly realized I need a desktop for certain tasks.

All computers are not created equally

The first thing my PC decided to do was explode the video card. Thankfully this is a cheap thing to fix but as I was debugging with a backup video card, it looks like some malware has gotten the best of my machine, unfortunately not always an easy fix. But the real problem is I wanted to do some web work this weekend and when I tried to do so on my laptop it just felt…weird. Maybe it’s because I’ve been programming and designing on desktop boxes all my life, it’s weird. I know a computer is a computer but even when my laptop is more or less docked with external keyboard and mouse I move as a snail’s pace.

Maybe it’s my internal nerd sense me not to overload my laptop with the same crap my desktop has. I look at my laptop as a “lite” desktop, it’s main purpose is to be a nice big internet machine that can play a few games. At one point I thought a laptop would let me do my development in places other than my home office but I can’t even do that. I can write blog posts all day on my couch and kitchen table, but when it comes to hunkering down and getting some programming done, that just doesn’t work.

I know this is all more or less mental but I’m just gonna go with it. A $30 video card and a re-install of Windows can solve all of my problems without having to put my brain through the anguish of change.

Categories: Design, Office Space, Web World

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6 replies »

  1. I’ve been a laptop user since 2006 and I really don;t miss being tethered to a desk – my laptop is a desktop replacement and if I want a more traditional interface I have a keyboard, mouse and monitor I can connect it to.. a tool is just a tool.(or is that I’m just a tool? I’m never sure…)

  2. I’d agree with Shawn. I bought a laptop as a desktop replacement and gaming rig and have never looked back. I don’t want a boat anchor to be tied to all the time for gaming or development. Have the wireless keyboard/mouse and extra monitors to grab when I need them.

    This goes for my personal development, as well as work.

  3. That’s the thing, I know a tool is just a tool…at least I thought so until I tried to go all-laptop and it just didn’t fly. I guess it’s because I see my desktop as a computer that got junked up and loaded with all sorts of stuff and I don’t want my laptop to end up that way. I want my laptop to be the “clean” computer. I don’t mind if I have to do a re-install on my desktop…on my laptop, that’s another story.

  4. I have a desktop , and a laptop. I don’t ever see a change. My desktop is my work/gaming computer. If I want to sit down and write something, edit photos, edit video, etc. I could do these on a laptop, but the price of raw power goes WAY up. Plus without a docking solution it would be a lot of plugging in cords etc. My desktop is also my server. Redundant backups, always on, and houses all my media, creations, etc. I consider myself a power user and not normal, but I couldn’t switch to a laptop full time.

    My laptop is an accessory to my desktop. I can do work on it. But the magic happens on the desktop. Having an area dedicated to work helps with distractions.

  5. Exactly! Well stated, Jared. The laptop is an accessory to my desktop. My desktop is the Death Star and my laptop a mere Star Destroyer.

  6. I imagine if I had the space and money I might be able to be that way. Unfortunately, I have 27 kids to feed and 1000 miles a day to drive back and forth to work at $57 a gallon gas prices. Instead I just game/edit/write/work and watch all on my $1500 laptop rather than a $600 laptop and $800 desktop.

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