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  1. #1
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    Default The iPhone Revolution

    I'm after a lap top, the main reason being so I can connect to the interweb while on the move. Can you get laptops now that somehow automatically connect to the internet wirelessly? Sorry if this is moronspeak.

    Broadly speaking, where is the best place to start looking? Should I wander into Comet and choose one off the shelf, attempt to find something on-line, or ring up Del and tell them what I'm after?

    Si.

  2. #2
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    After my recent experiences, I'm going to suggest NOT GETTING A DELL! ARGH!

    I'm hearing good things about Asus these days...

    Ant x

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

  3. #3
    Pip Madeley Guest

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    Mine's an Acer and it's pretty good, though I would recommend you get a laptop with XP or Windows 7, because Vista is a bag of shite. Hate it.

    Most if not all new laptops will be wireless built in (802.11 a/b/g/n). I got mine from Comet for about 400 - make sure you get a decent amount of memory (2GB) and hard drive space (remember that your OS will take up a fair chunk so get at least 80GB).

  4. #4
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    I can't stand them. They're always getting under your feet and yapping, though I suppose they would keep your lap warm in winter. You have to walk them as well, they can be very energetic! Arf arf.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  5. #5
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    There's a comedian inside you Steve, struggling to get out. Not literally of course, that would be hideous.

    Thanks guys. So how do the new wireless laptops work then? My wireless computer has to be within range of the modem to work... and could I take a laptop abroad and would it still have a working internet connection?

    Do all new laptops come with Vista now? I.e to take Pip's advice would I have to get a second hand one. Are there any other decent shops I would be advised to visit, apart from Comet?

    Si.

  6. #6
    Pip Madeley Guest

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    So how do the new wireless laptops work then? My wireless computer has to be within range of the modem to work... and could I take a laptop abroad and would it still have a working internet connection?
    It will latch onto any router within reach and connect if you have permission (the way I connect to yours whenever I visit with mine).

    Not sure about where to get a second hand laptop but I would avoid Vista at all costs, it really is a pain to use (especially if you want to do sound editing jobs).

  7. #7
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    If you can, wait until October and get one with Windows 7 on it. Most laptops sold right now should give you an upgrade but there will be hoops to jump through and small print to ignore.

    Built-in wireless will let you connect to any wireless network you have permission for but my iPhone finds very few accessible wireless networks out and about. Unless you fancy using it in McDonalds you might struggle outside the homes of comrades and confidants. You can get a USB dongle which will let you connect to cellular data for a fee - pay as you go or monthly - which will work as long as you get a phone signal.

    If you genuinely do just want mobile internet access then an internet enabled phone might be a better idea as you'd get data access with your contract and you'd have less to pay upfront.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  8. #8
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    You might be right. Do you recommend one of those? What are the interfaces like? Is it a tichy screen that's unpleasant to use? Maybe I should just skip Comet and give Virgin Mobile a call?

    If wireless connection on a laptop relies on a network being nearby then it's no good - I'd want to use it on the train, on holiday and so on.

    Si.

  9. #9
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    I've got two laptops (ish).

    One is a Vista machine, which does okay for gaming etc, which I got from Comet last year.

    The other I bought when I sold one of my bikes (and got a lot more than expected), and it's a netbook but with XP operating system. I really enjoy using it, although a smaller/not as powerful machine. It's an Advent, and I'd really recommend it.

    Something like ...

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/product/seo/539249

    It was nice, cos I can surf whilst in bed with the wife. See our live sex show here ...
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  10. #10
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    Hmmm. I'm still not sure what I want, or whether to head towards Comet or Carphone Warhouse.

    I just need something that I can flip open anywhere, use for writing e-mails, perhaps surfing Facebook and possibly PS, and connect to the internet whether I'm on the train or on holiday. I need it to connect to the internet where-ever I am. If I can combine this with a phone and MP3 player, all the better, but the screen has to be reasonable enough that I can surf and type for long periods in comfort.

    I'm really serious about getting one, hopefully in the next week or so, if I can find what I'm looking for.

    Would an iPhone do, and if so where would be the best place to get one?

    Si.

  11. #11
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    If you wanted a connection anywhere Si, I think you'd have to go for one of those Internet on the Go deals from one of the mobile networks that give you a modem type thingy (or Dongle) that allows you access but charges for it. I don't think you'd get a wirelss network provided on most trains. Lots of hotels offer it, but it isn't always free.

    Have a look here Si- it might help: http://mobile.broadbandgenie.co.uk/

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  12. #12
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    Thanks Si. What about an iPhone, would that give me internet access anywhere I wonder?

    That website is quite scary - who'd have thought it would be so difficult/expensive? I'd thought it would be quite simple to get something I could take away with me so I could watch Coronation Street and type out a few e-mails while I'm away.

    Si.

  13. #13
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    Sounds like next time you do an audio recording you should ask people to "bring their toys" and have a play.

    It sounds like an iPhone might be what you're aiming towards though.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  14. #14
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    I popped into Carphone Warehouse today. I spotted An Asus (as recommended by Ant) and quite like the look of these "netbooks". It seems to me that would give me the freedom to type e-mails, check Facebook and PS on the train and not be too bulky to carry. Also the netbook itself is free if you sign up for a 25 a month internet subscription.

    Then there's the iPhone, which would enable me to surf, but with a smaller screen and not as easily. HOWEVER, as it happens both my MP3 player and phone could do with replacing at the moment so this would give me all three in one. It's 10 more a month to subscribe, but you do get texts and minutes in with that, and of course my current phone costs 10 a month so it evens out.

    So:

    Netbook - easier to type and surf (which is what I want it for). And free with the contract.

    iPhone - I get an MP3 player and phone upgrade thrown in, but not as easy to surf and write e-mails. More other features though, although I'd have to pay out initially for the phone.

    Decision time!

    Si.

  15. #15
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    iPhones are great. The screen can be used horizontally or vertically, it intelligently zooms in on columns on web pages and plenty of sites - Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Wikipedia, the BBC, the Guardian etc - have special mobile versions of their site (and/or an iPhone app which does the same thing) which are even easier to use.

    The nuts and bolts -

    The cheapest iPhone is 99 and 30 a month for 75m, 125 texts and unlimited internet use. The full range of prices is here.

    It has it's own email program which can handle any account I've tried so far. If you can use something like Outlook Express to access your account then it should work on the iPhone. Typing emails is really easy - you can do it portrait or landscape and the virtual keyboard is great once you get used to it. It will suggest words for you - it's not exactly a spell check or predictive text (though it sort of does those too) but rather it offers what it thinks you meant to type based on the letters around it.

    Coverage is very good - the only places I've not got any kind of signal are the middle of a field at Iron Bridge, in the bowels of a building and maybe one or two other remote spots. It handles connections up to and including 3G and I've had speeds of over 100kps in a city centre.

    You would only be able to watch Coronation Street if you put the video file on the phone in advance. The iPhone CAN use the BBC iPlayer if you've got a wifi connection and will play YouTube videos on a 3G connection but it can't pick up television or radio signals.

    It has literally thousands of applications available - many of them free and the rest are really cheap (rarely more than 2.99 and they start at 59p).

    And it has stuff like built in GPS and maps, a voice recorder, weather and a note taking app. You can even make it part of your wifi network and transfer files to and from it with the right applications.

    If you're happy with the price and want to have everything in one device then it's hard to beat. There are better phones out there but nothing has the same style, ease of use, range of functionality and sheer unputdownableness of the iPhone.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  16. #16
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    Thanks Lissa, I really appreciate this advice.

    I use Yahoo e-mail only, so assume I could use that as part of the browser?

    Not that bothered about TV - this was a consideration when I was hoping to take it abroad with me, but it doesn't look like this is going to be possible whatever I get, and I wouldn't want to use it for TV in everyday use.

    However, I guess if I had a netbook I could at least write things and then save them to a memory stick and upload them to a local computer? So that might be a Plus for the netbook.

    Not bothered TOO much about an initial cost for the iPhone, the money's there if I need it.

    I'm not sure what I'd want an iPhone Application for, though I've heard a lot about them. Any ideas? Built-in maps might be useful.

    My only reservation for the iPhone would really be the interface - if it's like a mobile phone, then that's not really going to be the best as I intend to type out long e-mails on it. I don't actually know what the inside of the phone looks like - I assume there's not actually a mini keyboard, and you have to type like you do on a phone. I don't know, I'm just wondering if a "proper" keyboard on a netbook might be easier for me to use. I don't want to exchange a good typing/browsing interface (which is my main use) for lots of apps and added features I don't really want. Then again, having it as an MP3 player and phone in one would be quite useful.

    Si.

  17. #17
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    So what's the difference between a iPhone 3G (8Gb), 3GS (16Gb) and 3GS (32Gb)? In terms of using it?

    Si.

  18. #18
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    The iPhone has a virtual keyboard which pops up when you need it and goes away when you don't. Depending on how you hold it, you can type with one thumb/finger, both thumbs like a PSP or several fingers if you rest it on a table.




    It feels odd at first but I've got much better with it.

    When I write stuff I either use Evernote (which is free) which syncs what I write with their cloud server and - when I'm back home - the Evernote desktop application so I can get at stuff without any manual passing back and forth. Or I use Documents To Go which is a proper word processor - that syncs wirelessly and keeps the folders on phone and PC in harmony.

    The differences between a 3G and 3GS are pretty minimal. I've got a 3G and didn't think it was worth upgrading. The 3GS has a compass and a faster processor (which in reality means things happening in 1 second instead of 2) but it's 98% the same. But more expensive. The GB capacity is what it says it is - how much space you have for music and movies. It won't affect how the rest of the phone behaves. I've got over a hundred applications and hundreds of photos on mine and that only uses 1.5gb - the rest is MP3s and the like. If you have a lot of music you want to carry around then a higher capacity is good. If not, the 8gb is more than fine.

    If you get one, you WILL want apps. You'll get sucked in like everyone else. There are 10,000 of them and some of them are ace. I've written about a few of them here, here and here (and some strange ones here) with another lot on the way soon. Sneak peek - this one lets you play any song from your iPod library and automatically finds the lyrics and scrolls through them as it plays.

    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  19. #19
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    Sounds great. Looks like the minimal package would do me...

    Si.

  20. #20
    Captain Tancredi Guest

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    Bet that isn't the first time you've said that, Si...but don't forget that as Ed Byrne's not long said on 'Mock the Week', half the point of having an iPhone is to get it out and fiddle with it at every possible opportunity. That said, a 20-year-old bimbo I work with sounded really excited about the spirit level app.

  21. #21
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    I know a lot of people swear by their iPhone - my brother is a damn nuisance with his. I ended up myself needing a new phone and went for the LG Viewty cos I didn't want to spend loads on an iPhone, which is a kind of iPhoneLite. [Got lots of similar features, but nowhere near as many]

    People who get the iPhone and like it do seem to swear by it though!
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  22. #22
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    How long should iTunes and Apps take to load? At the moment it just turns to "Loading..." for at least a minute, by which time I had got bored.

    Everything else I love though. I can finger PS. Literally. It swoops around on the whim of my finger!

    Amazing.

    Si.

  23. #23
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    Take it youve bought one then?
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  24. #24
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    I have! I can now access iTunes too. It's going to save a lot of turning on the computer for 10 minutes during the evening, as I can now just check PS, e-mail, Facebook etc. from my phone.

    Si.

  25. #25
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    Apps take a moment or two to install if you download them directly onto the iPhone. Some are 10 or 20 megabytes and a couple of minutes is perfectly normal. You can also download them on your PC and they will automatically install during the next sync.

    Have you got your Yahoo account set up in the Mail app yet? If you have, it will check for mail every 15 minutes if you want it to. And then bing if it finds something. Or you could use the Yahoo app which also lets you use instant messenger.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

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