Laptop or Desktop

I’ve found that once people experience a laptop, they have a tendency to prefer that, if they can have only one.

Most people don’t need tons of RAM and zippy processors, so the ability to take the laptop out and about becomes very appealing.

That’s certainly been my experience. The top slot of my ‘must have’ wish list is reserved for a 15" MacBook Pro running Leopard. Sharing the podium, a 23" Cinema Display, with my Wacom tablet permanently connected. That would leave my beloved PowerBook free to handle just text based work - perfect! I just don’t envisage owning a desktop again. Or even a mouse, come to think of it. Keyboard shortcuts cover most of my needs, and the trackpad on my PowerBook is so smooth and responsive that my conversion is complete. It’s just so much more intuitive to “stroll the scroll” than drag a truculent rodent around! :wink:

I lived off laptops for 5 years, until I bought a G5 powermac a year and a half ago. I never had realized how much I missed having a desktop until then – something to leave running and to provide services while i’m in the office or on the road.

I still have my laptop, but it’s a linux ultraportable. I don’t like the Apple laptops, they are heavy behemoths (with one trackpad button!). Hopefully those rumors of an Apple ultralight will prove true, I really miss Scrivener and DT when travelling or in coffee shops.

Lately I’ve given up on cross-platform information management and am looking at reviving the use of (gasp!) paper.

Hello edf, hope you are well,
I have a question for you, but you must exercise extreme caution when you answer it, because, if Keith or Amber v are having a bad hair day and you mention another computer manufacturer`s product, you could find all your subsequent posts, infected with lots of marauding, nasty and obnoxious looking mobile smilies.

I think I know what you mean by, a linux ultraportable . Is it a proprietary piece of kit dedicated to the Linux OS, or have you installled Linux on any old laptop. I am intrigued. I may be dropping you right in it by asking: which laptop?

Take care

Vic is evidently unaware of my massively geeky Linux background. :smiling_imp:

Dear AV,
Touche. I stand corrected and crave your indulgence.
I stand before you( metaphorically of course), as a man,gifted or cursed with being right about everything, all the time; even when Im wrong, Im invariably right. My wife is always screaming at me ,“I hate you, you`re always bloody sodding well right. You make me want to puke”.

Now I may be infallible, AV, but Im not stupid. Thats why I make it a rule, that even if I am 10976.5% certain I`m right, I always allow for that 0.5% chance I could be wrong (I am only human after all), even though I never am. This time I forgot. Sorry friend.

Good night,
Take care

Please dont tell Keith, hell probably get his grumpy hat on. I hate it when he gets bad tempered.

Re: the ultraight

Obviously it’s a bit old now, because the market hasn’t offered anything comparable this year or last (except possibly the Sony G1), but when it was new the machine was distributed by the EmperorLinux guys, who were good about selling it to me with Debian on it instead of their usual RedHat distro.

The machine is a Sharp Actius MM20. It’s the size of one of those black-n-white covered composition books (my new desired form factor) and weighs a tad under two pounds. A very good box, if you can find one.

Unfortunately Sharp stopped making them, and everything Apple makes is a hulking monstrosity in comparison. When this one dies, I’ll be subject to the same plebeian millstones as everyone else :wink:

Hi edf,
Thanks for your reply.

Over here in UK, the country`s littered with small and not so small indie outfits who will put you a PC together to your own unique spec. You can litteraly specify every detail of the build. The only real restraining factor being compatibility.

By the way, Im not talking about indie chain-stores, I mean really small outfits. And... at a fraction of the price, of the big players. Dont you have anything like that in NY?

An ULTRALIGHTrunning linux sounds a strangely desirable,must have

Anyway, it was nice talking to you. Its 1am here so Im off to bed.

Good Night, Take care,


Never and never again it would come to my mind to work at home on a laptop, with or without external monitor. My 12" iBook is my steady companion when visiting libraries, traveling abroad and so on. Still hoping that sooner or later Apple will develop a new really small laptop, 12" or even 11", similar to the smallest Sony Vaio. But until then, or until it breaks down, I’ll take with me my 12" iBook everywhere I go.

But at home I want a large keyboard, a large screen, a large internal memory, a powerful processor unit, and so on. I don’t own a car, but if I owned one, it would be a Land Rover or a similar one. The same with computers.

For power etc the latest MB Pros can match or exceed the iMacs because you can add a HD with desktop speed and can up the RAM. So a laptop with an external monitor KB & mouse gives a great setup.

But I like having 2 computers because I enjoy a sense of security: if one has to go in for any sort of repair, is lost etc. then I can keep working.

When I bought mine I chose a 12" PB because it has a great balance of power and portability. It can burn DVDs, has lots of RAM and can handle a 20" external if needed.

My iMac was chose because it’s more powerful processor helps speed up my photography work.

Behemoths? Interesting way of putting it.

The single trackpad button is supplemented by trackpad functionality that lets you scroll, double click etc without having to use the button.

Both. G5 iMac on the desk in the study, HP wireless laptop running Windows in the living room. Plus a Palm Tungsten T3 and my wife’s Treo.

The iMac was originally a G3 that my father-in-law gave my wife and me as a hand-me-down when he bought his G4. The G3 got fried in a lightning storm; insurance replaced it with the G5.

The laptop was assigned to my wife when she worked for HP, so she could work from home on the couch. When HP downsized, her boss wrote the laptop off the company books and gave it to her.

I prefer the iMac because it’s a fast, easy-to-use, easy-on-the-eye, secure machine with fantastic software available. I like the laptop for the convenience of being able to look something up online without having to get off the couch, but for any serious mobile computing, I rely on my T3 and a wireless keyboard.

In the event of any major crashes, I can take off my shoes and socks and count up to twenty.

Not me. I like my computers and my cars light and lean. Like the little Toyota Yaris liftback I just purchased. Oh, I love this little car! Goes really well with the 12" iBook and the new 13" MacBook I’ll likely purchase next. My large external monitor is plenty large enough if I want a larger view, which I find I don’t really use all that much, and my Apple wireless extended keyboard plenty large enough as well and my iBook suits me just fine and a new Intel laptop will be quite fast enough. I used to do a desktop at home and a laptop as well and found it cumbersome and found I hardly used the desktop. I think for my personality, I like being unencumbered and free to roam, which is why I hardly even use my external monitor. I am much to mobile these days.

Different strokes! Thank goodness there are plenty of options to make us all happy!


Oh yes, alexwein. My shiny white 12-inch MacBook goes elegantly into my flame-gold Yaris. Not a cross word between any of us: I love them both!

cw :smiley:

Flame-gold! Lovely!! Mine is Bayou Blue. After driving a 1987 Corolla for the past 12 years, I’m in heaven!!


I didn’t see gold as a color option for the Yaris. The Sedan had an olive mist color. Nothing close on the liftback. So how did you find a flame-gold Yaris??

Um, secondhand (I think you call that ‘used’). Nearly five years old now. And The Daughter chose the colour – metallic! – because it was artistic and so appropriate for a female author. Previous car was a rusty 1987 Ford Fiesta, so you’re ahead of me there.

I think we’re supposed to be talking about our Macs, BTW. Have to say I’m still fond of my Dell Inspiron 510. I paid for a better screen and extra stuff when I bought it three and a bit years ago. But I don’t love it the way I love my Mac. I’m a convert: an unexpected cheque turned up from sales of German translations and I impulse-bought myself a Mac to celebrate.

Then I discovered Scrivener, and the earth moved.

cw :smiley:

This thread’s been dead about as long as I’ve been off in deep-immersion coding.

Anyways for more proof that Apple is far behind in the laptop portability race, check out the Toshiba R500 (or, to a lesser extent, the Sony TZ90).

This one has it all : 1" thick, 1.72 pounds, 6 to 12 hour battery life, and a solid state hard drive. Plus some unexpected extras like spillproof kbd, daylight lcd, moderately ruggedized frame.

I think I’ve finally found the successor for my aging Sharp.

On the other hand, the lowest spec version costs $2000 but only has a 1GHz processor, 64GB HD, and no optical drive.

They’re lovely machines, and I do believe this is the way forward for laptops. But I doubt Apple is particularly concerned about this range.

A couple months ago I tried the small Sony Vaio (at an Apple Center…), and was in love with the form factor. What I didn’t like was the not so bright display (compared to the nearby MacBook), the all-plastic case, and how slow it was.

If Apple could make something so small, but in an aluminium case and the same speed as any other MacBook, I would for sure spend 2000€ for it. All considered, it ts the same price I paid for my Pismo (G3/400) in the late early 2001.


Exactly. No moving parts : nothing to break, longer battery life :slight_smile:

I was hoping Apple would come up with an ultralight themselves, as I have come to very much enjoy using Scrivener, DT, and Textmate. They don’t seem terribly interested, however, and I’m not a big fan of their laptops to begin with.

Complaining about the speed, display, or storage capacity of an ultralight is a bit silly. Their appeal lies in the ability to have a laptop on you at all times, without really noticing it.

I never imagined an ultralight being anything but a complement to a desktop workstation; I rather wish manufacturers would stop giving the impression they were standalone machines, and start refusing to build any sort of optical drive into them.