Date: 19 August 2014. Apple versus Microsoft.
Side Note: Last year I posted a
brief piece on computers titled
Short-cuts that might be of use to
associate wrote saying "My wife and I would like advice on whether
to get a Mac or a PC (laptop) for use on a long range trawler. The
motherboard on my wife's HP laptop died and she needs a new
machine." As over the years I have had more than one computer go
belly-up, I offered Jonathan
the following advice:
The first thing I would
suggest is to purchase a
External hard drive enclosure.
It's a small plastic or metal box that will hold the hard-drive from
your broken laptop. You will remove the hard-drive from your wife's
laptop and put it into the case.
This is my Sata, attached to my
netbook via a USB to mini-USB cord.
You might note the red dot of nail
polish on the cord ends for my SATA Drive. That's so I know what
side is up. It's easy and I can look smart even without my
glasses on. The case is 3x5 inches. Mine is powered by the USB plug to the netbook
so no outside power source is required. There's
a standard end for the computer side and a mini-USB for the SATA
SATA drive case is less than $20 -- not expensive. Then, using
a micro-USB to regular USB you will have essentially the entire
computer in that one little case. She won't "lose her stuff" and it
can be accessed or copied over to the new computer with relative
I pull the hard drive out of my dead computer, then
put it into the SATA enclosure. Here is one of my old hard-drives:
Note: Unfortunately there are times when a hard-drive fails, but
often it is the motherboard (computer "guts" versus data/memory) that ceases to
function. I am hoping the hard-drive on the HP is fine.
And so far almost all the hard-drives from my former computers are still functional and
contain data I can access.
As for Mac or IBM/Microsoft, I am familiar with and use M$
products. At my age (over fifty) I do not want to learn a new system.
This one I understand so I shall probably always be a M$ user. What are you most comfortable with?
If you're an Apple user, I would suggest you stick with what is
One thing I liked about my Toshiba netbook (in addition to the fact
that she draws just 15 watts) is that when I opened the box they
have something called an OOB Experience. Out-Of-Box means that I have a
USB flash drive with the entire computer as it came fresh and new.
If (er, when?) I do something stupid, I can restore her to original and start
To me, that's a selling point. And no, I've not yet done the OOB
thing, but it is there and that gives me confidence. I have my
(my chart-plotter program) along with all the US charts on a sim card (like for the camera) -- if worse came to worst, I
could be up and running relatively quickly.
The system restore process
would take coffee of course!
computer operating system for you vessel?
I suspect if you are
comfy with Microsoft there is little reason to
change. Ditto the reverse.
And of course there
is no reason you cannot have one of each
aboard. If funds were bigger I would buy a second Toshiba just like mine
-- so the peripherals (my 12-volt car adapter charger that takes the
boat's power and turns it into 19-volts for the computer) would work
on either computer.
Do look into and buy a
drive enclosure for the broken computer. You need that. And
yes, you can remove the hard-drive from your HP and put it into the
box. It's not hard, nor does it require a computer technician.
Do you have multiple Sata drive cases or just move
everything over after a new computer purchase?
And, did you take classes to learn this stuff or are you self-taught (via
mistakes) like me?!
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