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Laptop for XP Software

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May 10, 2011 9:31:07 PM

Thanks for Reading.

My number one problem is that I need a laptop that can run my Windows XP software, namely Microsoft Word 2000 (I am not confident about exchanging my current files into a new version because that has been a big problem in the past and I really don't want to buy two more copies of Office when I already have 2 copies of a version I'm totally happy with. Buying Office for 2 computers would cost more than the laptop itself.

I could use freeware DAW software to record audio tracks and then edit them in my advanced software on my desktop, but it would mean a lot of extra conversions back and forth, but I definitely can't afford to upgrade software to W7 versions because we are talking about $3000 of softwware I was only able to afford because of a huge student discount. Plus, then I would pretty much have to upgrade the OS and software on my Destop too, all despite the fact I am totally happy with the software I have and have no learning curve with it.

I might be able to buy a second hand version and try to dual boot with windows 7, but I don't know if that is legal or if it is stable, and didn't know if laptops come with disc to reinstall windows 7 so that you can setup a dual boot configuration.

I also didn't know if XP drivers would be available for newer laptops.


I am a fairly advanced computer user (desktop building and dual boot setup experience, etc.) but have never owned a laptop or even used one for more than a few minutes. I need one for portability, but in the past I have not been not fond of any laptops, though the larger ones are starting to feel very comfortable to me if I use a wireless mouse instead of touchpad--the point of that being that I need a 17" screen size with large keypad and would prefer 1080 resolution with a VGA out for hooking to my TV for the occasional netflix show or Divx file (I don't have any more HDMI inputs left on the TV so VGA is preferable.

--I DON'T play games.

--I DON'T use my desktop for video editing

--I mainly will use it for word processing and Digital Audio Workstation (the later of which takes a lot of power if you do all the work on the laptop, but I don't need to as I can edit on the desktop and just do low CPU usage multitrack recording on the laptop.

--I want very good battery life, but would be willing to reduce backlight, underclock CPU, etc to reduce power consumption, but battery life expectancy is something I very much care about.

--I have minor health problems which require ergonomics and large keys, but there is not much to be done about that excpt what has been mentioned, or use a full size keyboard, so maybe an extra PS2 or USB port for that is a good idea.

You are probably wondering why I don't just buy a used laptop with windows XP on it. Here are my concerns, even though it is likely what I will do.

--Old batteries not as good and if buying through a private seller, almost always bad.
--I've had bad experiences with used computers in general, and even some new ones, which is why I have built my own computers and had good luck with them.
--a lot have only 1 Gb of memory, and on my spare Desktop, I have found that limiting even for XP.
--They might be less energy efficient, especially if new ones have underclocking features (I don't know if they do or not---tell me)
--The refurbished 15" laptops I've looked at cost as much or more than the new ones that are 17" (I've seen them as low as $365 at Walmart and really like them as far as I could tell.
--They don't come with Windows reinstallation discs (I reinstall Windows at least once a year unless things are running really smooth without it) Do, the new computers come with a way to re-install Windows 7?

Firewire and other such things are really only bonuses as I have no current use for them, but might in the future.

I don't care about brand name and my budget is variable but for the amount of power I need I can't see why I would need to spend more than $500 when I see apparently perfectly good laptops for $365 and up.

How long do I need this laptop to last? For at least as long as the battery lasts (I've heard batteries can cost more than the laptops. Are the batteries with refurbished laptops new batteries?), preferably at least 3 years and I won't likely be able to afford another one before then anyway.

Thanks again.

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a b D Laptop
May 10, 2011 9:39:05 PM

You do know that Microsoft has discounts for both office and 7 for students.

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May 10, 2011 10:21:16 PM
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This won't really solve your question but here's a few points I wanted to address:

Vga can't carry audio (think you already know this), so you will then have to use some other means of getting decent sound from the laptop, meaning receiver or speakers, or aux in on tv. I'm saying decent because listening to a show from laptop speakers just doesn't work.

Have you considered running a virtual XP? Like http://www.vmware.com/products/player/ this would allow you to use new hardware.

Personally I don't understand why people still stick with XP. Windows 7 is such a huge improvement. I realize vista was not a worthwhile upgrade, but 7 was everything and more than I expected.

Also batteries die regardless. The older they are, the less charge they hold. I've replaced my old t41 battery and it cost about $100. I doubt that refurbs bother replacing the battery. It's an added expense they don't want to carry. So you are right about that. If you buy referb, chances are you will have to add another $100 for a 9cell battery.

Speaking of battery life, the old CPUs are less efficient than the newer ones. Most laptops nowadays manage 3-4 hours with the standard battery, more with the extended versions. As always though, the bigger the screen, the more energy is required to keep it running. I have never seen a 17" lasting more than 3 hours tops. The hp g7 is rated up to 4.75 hours though realistically I don't see it ever lasting that long. Especially when using wifi.

Some refurbs still hold their value because albeit their internal hardware is older, the overall quality of materials used is in many cases higher. For example a refurb lenovo thinkpad will last far longer than a plastic $400 HP. They use metal hinges instead of plastic, offer easier accessibility for upgrading ram/dvd drives etc., none-glare screens. Ram is usually easy and cheap to upgrade. 2gb for $30 or so.

Although outlook won't work, word and excel from the 2000 version should work. It's not officially supported, but they should run regardless. Again do not try to use outlook 2000 unless you really want to agitate yourself.

If you are adamant about installing XP, considering buying a business laptop. Many business still use xp since their custom software has not yet been updated to win7 so you are more likely to find machines with xp drivers than consumer grade hardware. So for example most hp probook models http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/321957-32... offer xp drivers http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Softwa...
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May 12, 2011 2:20:07 AM

anonymous1 said:
You do know that Microsoft has discounts for both office and 7 for students.


Thanks for replying, but I don't think you understood that I am no longer a student.
May 12, 2011 2:50:42 AM

Have you considered using open office? I used it for years and was extremely pleased, till I was forced back to using office in corporate.

Also:
Quote:
a Traditional Disc or Product Key Card. If you purchase a Traditional Disc retail license of Office Home and Student 2010, the retail license terms allows you to install, activate, and use Office Home and Student 2010 on up to three PCs in a single household.

If you purchase the Office Home and Student 2010 Product Key Card, you can only activate and use Home and Student on one PC or device.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/office-2010-...
May 12, 2011 9:44:02 PM

Supermuncher85 said:
Have you considered using open office? I used it for years and was extremely pleased, till I was forced back to using office in corporate.

Also:
Quote:
a Traditional Disc or Product Key Card. If you purchase a Traditional Disc retail license of Office Home and Student 2010, the retail license terms allows you to install, activate, and use Office Home and Student 2010 on up to three PCs in a single household.

If you purchase the Office Home and Student 2010 Product Key Card, you can only activate and use Home and Student on one PC or device.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/office-2010-...



Thanks. Helpful link and idea. I'll see how things work out but I will probably just get a low cost new laptop and uses freeware for anything that I can't afford to buy right now. My most important stuff should work from what I've read. If it was my desktop though, I think I'd have trouble rectifying drivers with some of my older hardware. I still have a parellel printer (HP Laserjet 5 that has been to loyal to put it down), and though I don't mean to hijack mu own thread, just as an aside, I just found out though that I can get a usb to parallel port adapter for the laptop to use the printer, but I haven't been able to find out if they are for XP or windows 7. Are most USB devices like that cross platform, or is it a crapshoot?
May 13, 2011 2:02:29 AM

Okay, thanks everyone. I ended up buying the Acer eMachines on roll back from Walmart for only $298, the lowest priced laptop I've ever seen, even though it has a 6 cell battery (some only have 4), AMD V160 processor, 2Gb Ram, 320Gb Harddrive, 2.2 Ghz CPU, card reader, multi disc drive, etc. etc. I am very happy with my choice now that I that it can do everything I need it to for such an amazingly low cost. Cheers.
May 23, 2011 4:50:17 AM

Best answer selected by crazyox.
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