Thursday, September 21, 2006

Here's a random question: does anyone have any laptop recommendations? I'm going to try to bring a laptop to Internet Librarian this year, which means I have to actually obtain one. I don't need anything terribly fancy, just something for internet usage and maybe some writing. I know that Dells tend to catch on fire these days, but that's about it.

On to library alma mater has been in the news for some not-so-positive happenings lately having to do with plagiarism and identity theft (oops), but at least their library still rocks. You can download an mp3 tour of the library for your iPod, and be guided by either a student or a librarian. How cool is this?

To the moon, libraries! This would work well until a runaway comet breaks up the moon and causes disaster (see Thundarr the Barbarian for details).

The Vatican has opened up its previously secret archives of pre-World War II materials, which may help (or hurt) their case about their attitude toward Nazi Germany back in the day.

It's time to put away the beach reads and settle down with some good substantial fall reading. The San Francisco Chronicle has an especially detailed list.

Have you been keeping up with the Carnival of the Infosciences? I haven't, and I need to, because it has some great stuff.

For trivia addicts, Blufr tests your knowledge and gullibility when it comes to obscure facts. Its servers were pretty overloaded when I was trying it out, but it's worth a look.

And finally, for those of you who aren't librarians but have patiently waded through the library links, here's a moment of bamboo-inspired philosophy. Have I mentioned how much fun Laundryroom Swapmeet is?

Tomorrow: links from others!


Anonymous said...

Go for a Sony Vaio, if you have the money to spare! My suga'daddy bought me five years (to help me write my dissertation) and Broderick (my Vaio) is still working quite well (except for the cracked monitor hinge but the newer models have better hinges)! I do not particularly like the WinBook because the mouse is too difficult to manage.

Gotta run, Princess Ariel! Ookla needs his yearly bath! Demon Dogs!

(Did you ever notice that Thundarr and He-Man could be identical twins? Does this mean that Thundarr is gay?!?!?!)

bjkeefe said...

J --

I have an old Mac iBook, handed off to me when my mother when my mother had no more use for it and no one else in the family wanted it. It runs an older version of OS X, 10.2.

It's slow, and has little RAM, but for a road machine, it suits me fine. Here's why.

* It seems to have a better ability to find the WiFi hotspots nearby than anything else I've seen people using (mostly PCs of one brand or another), and the interface for managing WiFi connections is cleaner than those I've seen on PCs (both XP's own and third-party software).

* The battery lasts quite long. Depending on what I'm doing, it can last for at least five hours. Charging is relatively quick, and the charger/AC adapter is a marvel of smart engineering: it's slim, the plug folds back into the housing when not in use, and the cable winds neatly around pop-up posts.

* It plays well with my digital camera.

* Being a non-PC, it gives me some comfort to think that it's less susceptible to malware. Keeping the OS software up to date is a matter of two mouse clicks.

I am mostly a PC/Linux person when I'm at my desk, and to be fair, my informal comparisons to the laptop PCs have been against machines that are less than the state of the art.

But, based in my experience, I'd recommend looking for a used iBook, especially if any or all of the following apply.

* funds are a consideration
* you don't expect this to become your principle machine
* you don't plan to do much with the machine on the road besides email, surfing, burning an occasional CD, and uploading pictures from your camera

Hope this helps!