Now that Christmas season is safely over and while there’s still time before the next gift giving type occasion (unless you count gifts I might get myself with any tax refund) it’s a good time to drag out the old wish list, wipe the thing clean and start over.

I even know the first thing that’s going on that list too, A new laptop.  I know, somebody’s surely going to say “What about the one sitting in the next room?”  Weelllll, it’s a Compaq and it seems that sometime in recent years Compaq was acquired by HP.  HP as I’m sure many know, also acquired Packard Bell some additional years back.  The same Packard Bell that was responsible for computers that were so screwed up in design and function that they gave birth to the term “Packard HELL”.

When HP acquired the Packard Hell line, that sometimes quirky, frequently irritating string of problems infected many of their designs.  Now that they have Compaq as well, it too has become afflicted with this same malady.

I said all that to say this, I’ve discovered that the Compaq is suffering from what I’ve found out is a design or parts defect.  It’s documented in at least a couple of forum threads and most importantly, a page buried deep within the HP website.  Seems that the Compaq Presario F500 notebooks have a number of problems, among them is either the Motherboard or the CPU getting toasted (even though I use a cooling pad to insure it doesn’t overheat!).  Somehow the Bios is involved as well.  In any event, it’s not long for this world, taking longer and longer to start up each time.  Someday it just won’t.  Not only that, but it’s infected with Vista and I’ve come to have personal experience with why so many people hate vista.

So, because I’ve discovered how absolutely freaking handy it is to have a laptop (even if I DO use my desktop for most of my computing needs) for those times when I can’t be at home or maybe when I’m just watching tv and happen to see something that needs to be looked up or blogged about, the laptop is extremely handy for this.

Why don’t I just jot down a note on paper?  You’re kidding, right? For one thing I’ll probably lose it.  For another there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to read my own handwriting, yes it’s that bad, especially if I’m in a hurry.  Computers are SO much better for taking such notes.

So I’ve been looking around.  Buy.com has a sale going on pretty much constantly with their weekly deal thing and it’s actually pretty rare that I see anything they sell available cheaper someplace else.

I was looking at a laptop/notebook last night that’s promising.  It’s an Acer Aspire One A150-1049 Netbook, comes with a gigabyte of ram, 160 gig hard drive, LAN, Wi-Fi, web cam and what I think is one of it’s best features, it’s got XP instead of vista.

The machine itself has good reviews and I’ve seen a lot of good about Acer in the last couple of years, most especially the fact that they don’t seem to have some of the dealbreaker / machine killing problems that Packard Hell and it’s descendants are plagued with.

Top all that off with the price, $329.00 at buy.com, with free shipping.  Most other places want $30 to $50 more and then they want another $20 or $50 for shipping.

You know, I appreciate a store that won’t try to bilk you out of over inflated shipping fees after you’ve just spent hard cash for something.  Too many outfits these days go out of their way to tack on shipping fees and those fees are usually WAY higher than what it’d cost Joe Sixpack to take it to the post office or even UPS.

In any event, I don’t know if I’ll actually end up with that one or not, it’s still too early to tell.  If not that one, then some other Acer model is almost certainly in my future.  I just wish I knew where in my future to look for it.

Technorati Tags: free shipping, packard bell, motherboard, acer aspire, acer, packard hell, notebook, laptop, computer, acer laptop, wish list, cpu, buy dot com, compaq, dying computer, lowest prices, shipping fees, wishlist, toasted, hp

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