A new laptop?

I’ve been looking on and off for a laptop that I would like… Generally I keep arriving back at the same decision that I would like an HP Pavilion zd8000 series, but due to money and ‘other’ reasons, I keep putting it off. And, even though I finally thought I was ready to get it, after a nice ‘talk’ with Tina, it doesn’t look like it’ll ever happen. I thought it would have been nice to take to Iraq, but she insists that it’ll only get broken or stolen out there. Oh well. In my defense, I do have reasons I wanted it, other than just pure lust for a new computer…

First, I’ve been talking with Mesa University, and they said I could take the Japanese courses online as long as I can log a few hours a week on their system. I’m non-committal on that part right now since I don’t know how much free time we’ll get off this time, but if it’s anything like last time, I should have plenty of time. (Judging on the experience of those who did primarily guntruck missions.) This one consideration is huge since my degree requires three (3) foreign language classes, and I only have a few classes left otherwise. If I don’t get these out of the way, I’ll have to wait a while just to take these classes one after another. I’m not sure what to do otherwise.

Second, my current laptop does not have any CD/DVD burning capabilities. Last rotation, luckily, I had access to my work computer, but this time I know I won’t get into such a nice job. So, this time, no bringing home pictures and videos of convoys unless I can bribe someone else to burn them for me.

Third, I would REALLY like something to do with my free time. Games would be nice, and my current laptop won’t even play solitaire at full resolution . I hate SIS video. A laptop with a battery would be nice for the plane rides (14 hours in a seat gets to ya, I’ve done it twice so far…). Also, and most importantly to me, I want a laptop with wireless capabilites. Why? Because, I want to FINALLY be able to learn about Kismet. I want to teach myself the art of wireless hacking. Free internet would be fun also.

Fourth, a TV is a very nice thing to have out there. DVD’s are cheap (bootlegs) and if you have a dvd player and something to watch it on, you’re gold. This would fill both those capabilities. Also, this comes with a TV Tuner, so I’ll be able to watch normal TV on it as well. They broadcast AFN (Armed Forces Network) out there, so it would be nice to be able to watch the news.

Finally… my current laptop is practically on its death bed already. Every time I turn it off, I HAVE to unplug it or it’ll hang up when trying to start it. Half the time it shuts down on it’s own, keys are broken off, and it’s just old. (The no battery thing annoys the hell of of me as well.)

So anyway… that’s my campaign for a new laptop. Will it actually happen… no, I don’t think it will. Maybe I can find some way to save enough money and buy one when I get back. (If I do goto Officer Training School, it’s almost required that you have a good laptop that you can take with you. My old one won’t cut it.)

Also, this is the configuration I was looking at. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

HP Pavilion zd8000 customizable Notebook PC $1,695.99
– Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition with SP2
    Cheapest option… I wish I could choose none…
– Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 630 w/HT Technology, 3.0GHz
    I was also thinking of the 430 chip, but over time the extra cache will probably be worth it.
– 17.0″ WSXGA+ BrightView Wide Viewing (1680×1050)
   *puurrrs* My favorite part… big!
– 512MB DDR2 SDRAM, 400MHz (2x256MB)
    Maybe 1GB… prob be better in the long run.
– 80 GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
   Good enough for me
– FREE Upgrade DVD+/-RW/R CD-RW Combo w/Double Layer
   It’s free, and it’s what I want
– 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) X600
   Double the memory for $25 more… very worth it.
– 54g(TM) Integ. Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN & Bluetooth
    Wireless plus the bluetooth… yay!
– Extra 12 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
   While I don’t need this, it’ll be almost required for those long plane rides.
– Microsoft(R) Works/Money
   Again, I wish I could get NONE here, but it’s the cheapest option.
– HP Mobile Remote Control
   Sweet!
– hpshopping in-box envelope
   I guess it just comes with it… *shrugs*

1-year HP Accidental Damage Protection with Express Repair Extended Service Plan $99.99
   Required for Iraq. 🙂

HP Sport Backpack $49.99
   I’ll need something to carry it around with and keep it safe

Kensington® MicroSaver™ Security Lock $39.99
   This way I can lock it to the desk in my room and won’t have to worry about it walking away

Targus Bluetooth Wireless Mouse $79.00
   A nice mouse and no cord! No extra parts either… w00t

The total price is $1,965.95; although I do qualify for a $50 laptop rebate, and a $10 Mouse Rebate. Also, I could get a printer for free with it as well. (Free with the laptop.) I hope I can get it when I come back. Later.

About Matthew Jones

Writer, Programmer, Astronomer, Dreamer, Wisher, Fighter. Always striving to be better than I was.
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