Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Share
    Somewhere in the Hills
    Posts
    1,338
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    New job, new laptop?

    Happy New Year!

    Hope youíre enjoying the holidays!

    Iím writing to you today about a computer question. I've brought up similar concerns on here before, but now things are moving in my life and this puts things into a sharper focus.

    I recently got my real estate license. Iím just getting oriented with a local Real Living office. My new broker is unusual around here; sheís very supportive of her licensees. She emphasizes ethics and good customer service, and she watches over her crew and lets them know if they need to do a better job. She also harvests and shares sales leads with her licensees.

    We have a small office in in my hometown. Itís pretty cramped and room for agents to work is at a premium since I came on board. Iím finding that itís not always easy to log-on to one of their existing PC desktops to do work or to take training.

    So, Iím looking down the road to when I start making money (am working with clients now, but have made no sales/commissions yet) and get bills paid. I want to get a laptop. I am not impressed by the Windows PC laptops. I found one on Acerís web-site after following a link from Amazon to Acer direct. Itís kind of like a Windows version on a MacBook Air, for $650.

    Honestly, though, I want a machine I can get something out of after-hours as well as for work. That means MacOS X. I have experience with software on the Mac, including Final Cut Pro. The only way I'd buy the Acer listed above is if it were a cheap, work-only machine.

    I am as unimpressed by the 12-inch ďretinaĒ MacBook and the new-for-autumn-2016 superslim MacBook Pros as I am with the Windows machines. Apple is really screwing up there.

    There are two possibilities that I see: (1: ďgo lightĒ, would be buying a refurbished MacBook Air from Apple's direct refurb store site. I like the ultraportable design, the offering of ports, and the 13-incherís SD card slot. I do not like being limited to only 8 GB of RAM, only a 13-inch screen, and only a 512 GB SSD. (2: ďgo big or go homeĒ; I miss my old 15-inch MacBook Pro, DVD drive and all. It was probably the last Mac Iíll own with a built-in optical drive, but the 2015-era design is still attractive. I love my desktop iMac, and being able to run Adobe CS apps and video playing/editing/transcoding apps on it, but I miss the portability. My iMac isnít getting any younger, either. Hereís a link to Appleís only current 15-inch refurb MBP.


    Itís a 2015 model, 16 GB RAM, Core i7, but only a 256 GB SSD. If I bought a machine like this one, could a computer shop take out the SSD and replace it with a new aftermarket 1 TB SSD? Or is it not worth talking about?

    Iím not going to whip out a credit card until I start making money, so thereís plenty of time to think about this.
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Share
    New Jersey
    Posts
    81
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know OWC (macsales.com) sells upgrade kits for the MacBook pros. Transcend might also make a kit for that computer.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    248
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If I remember correctly, ifixit's tear down of the new '16 MacBooks found the SSD's are soldered to the board and can't be replaced.

    But, in the real estate biz, do you really need a laptop? There's a lot you can do with tablets these days.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Share
    Somewhere in the Hills
    Posts
    1,338
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I thought so too, but my broker's office's network has a quirk that makes printing difficult from my iPad Mini. I tried it.

    I borrowed my mother's MacBook Pro, and I was able to print to the office's printers (all 3 of them) within a few minutes. But the iPad was frustrating.
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    248
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If it's just for the sake of making printing easier, then it's a lot more cost effective (and probably easier for you in the long run) to get a portable printer for use in your vehicle. I know of at least one realtor that does that. Saves him having to go back to the office to reprint things. Just runs out to the car, dumps whatever to paper, and back into the client's. I've also seen several contractors (landscapers, etc...) that use similar to generate invoices on the fly.

    But we're steering off course here, because I believe from your original post, the reality is you just want a new laptop. You're using the new job as a justification, but the laptop's really for you, not the job. In that regard, I see in my post I missed the second part of my opinion. I was pointing out that the latest Macs have soldered on SSDs and weren't upgrade-able. Because of that, in the latest macs you really need to buy the options up front.

    I'd recommend holding off on purchasing the refurbished mac and trying to upgrade it. All you're getting there is already dated technology. Instead, I'd opt for a low-cost option to get you through starting up (which means probably either windows or chromebook) and then when you have the extra income to cover a new macbook, go for it with all the bells and whistles upgraded as much as possible to help prolong it's usability.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Share
    Somewhere in the Hills
    Posts
    1,338
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Interesting points-of-view here.

    I appreciate the opinions. My objective is to eventually get a laptop computer that I will find useful both for work use and personal/volunteer/moonlighting use. I would like to use a tablet at work, but the printers there do not appear to be tablet-friendly (specifically not iOS-friendly). A portable printer would be a neat idea on the road, but over 95% of the paperwork generation is in the broker's office anyway, where large amounts of paper are consumed daily. (When a buyer's agent prepares an offer for the buyer to sign prior to submission to the seller's agent, a typical buyer's offer alone is 13 pages of dense text, and that's just one offer from one customer.)

    I contacted a computer specialist I know who services I.T. needs in a multi-county area, and he offered to sell me a 2011 MacBook Air for $295. As I understand it, that's about what those Airs sell for on eBay. If I had cash in hand right now, I'd be tempted to take him up on it, even though it would definitely not work for me in the long term.

    Right now, there is no money flowing for me. As such, I have to wait till I get paid to seriously examine my options. Nice to know I found a useful pool of helpful feedback on here.

    Thanks.
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    248
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, I'm not sure how much he also printed in the office. I only saw where he reprinted relevant changes in a counteroffer, had us initial/sign where necessary before leaving to resubmit.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Share
    Digital Nomad
    Posts
    314
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, I'm one of those computer guys. I've been a software engineer for 16 years and before that, I was a kid who liked computers. Here's the thing.

    Most PCs are terrible. Most PC manufacturers are terrible. Even good PC manufacturers make both terrible and decent PCs.

    You're a Tom Bihn fan, right? Well, I want you to think of Acer, Asus, etc as being like the kind of luggage you'd get at Wal-mart. Making matters worse, even companies that make good laptops also make crap. Given similar "specs", what makes a bad laptop bad? Here are things to watch out for.

    1. Pick up a typical $500 laptop from the corner, pinching it with just two fingers. You'll year all kinds of little creaks and if you have a good straight-edge nearby, you'll be able to actually measure the bend. Unlike luggage, computers are not supposed to bend. When that happens, all kinds of soldered connections become a little bit unsoldered. Before long, your computer starts crashing. To avoid this, you want a computer with a frame sturdy enough to hold the components completely rigid all the time. Even if the Acer is "aluminum", that just means it's aluminum finished. It doesn't speak to how much metal, or what alloy was used, or how it's engineered.

    2. Hinges are a big concern, of similar note. Hinges take a lot of stress, and while there's not really any good way to test for a good hinge in the store, bad hinges are common on cheap computers.

    3. The keyboard components are often subpar. Will the spacebar get soft and squishy after you've typed your thousandth email? Maybe. Does the scrolling on the trackpad seem jerky? It's probably not a very high resolution sensor.

    4. Finally, specs. Sometimes you get a faster CPU for a slower hard drive, or more RAM for slower RAM. Or a higher resolution screen but one that's dimmer, etc. Specs do matter.

    5. To try to eek out a little bit of revenue on every-shrinking margins, almost all PCs (except for a few) come with a lot of what we call bloatware. It's software you don't want, don't need, and filled with ads. It'll come preinstalled on anything cheap.

    EDIT: 6. Also, noise and heat dissipation. No one is great at this, and it's always a common with computers, but you want a PC that's carefully engineered to dissipate heat as effectively and quietly as possible.

    With that in mind... Very few Macs are ever junk. I think the touch bar is gimmicky, and the new Macs really should have an option for more RAM, but at least you never really go wrong getting a Mac.

    On the Windows side, I would never consider anything from Acer or Asus. I would consider some specific few laptops from Lenovo or Dell. But you can't go on just those names, because they both make mostly junk. In my opinion, the only laptops from those lines worth considering are:

    SMALL and LIGHT (12-13 inches): Dell XPS 13 or Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon.

    BIGGER: Dell XPS 15 or Lenovo T-series.

    BIGGEST: Thinkpad W series.

    Granted, there are non-junk PCs not listed above. I think HP still makes one that doesn't suck, for example. And Panasonic's Toughbooks (if they still exist) are great for road warriers. Sony is hit and miss, and you'd have to research an individual year of an individual model.

    But you can't go wrong with current editions of any what I listed above.
    Last edited by bouncing; 01-04-2017 at 10:10 AM.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Share
    Somewhere in the Hills
    Posts
    1,338
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Update: it's taking a while to get up and running with my real estate job. December and January are usually the dead times of the year, but there has been some activity. (This is a rural area.) So far, I haven't made any real money, so it's been like on-the-job training. Business is supposed to pick up in the next month.

    My broker got the bright idea to buy a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, because she wanted to be able to use Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. I'm thinking of saving up money to buy a refurbished 15-inch MacBook Pro so I have a high-powered portable workstation that can do ordinary Realtor's work, graphics/DTP work, videography, and personal stuff to compliment my iMac at home. Since Macintosh computers have been using Intel processors since 2006, I can always install Windows 10 if I need it. Over 95% of what I do takes place in a web browser or in Microsoft Office (Work, Excel, Powerpoint) and only less than 1% requires Internet Explorer on Windows, so I can always use either Windows-installed-on-the-Mac or Windows on a cheap PC in the office for that.

    So, if and when I do get a laptop, it will likely be a MacBook Pro; "go big or go home". I would prefer more portability, but other factors are pulling toward that kind of expensive, high-powered Apple workstation.
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •