Friday, April 3, 2009


Since we all need a laptop these days, shall we talk about laptops?

I usually tell people to buy the lightest one they can afford. Lifting a 9-10 lb laptop over the center console of the car gets old really fast, not to mention dragging one through an airport. You begin to feel like Quasimodo after walking down one causeway. Lighter ones can be costly. There are so many deals these days it almost seems stupid to pay a lot for a laptop. But remember you could potentially be dragging a laptop around a show floor to judge-in-place. So its a trade off. Maybe we should start recruiting students under the age of 30 so they can carry the computers.....

AQ+ and Vista seems to have different installation requirements. I don't know how much trouble that is (if at all). Dell still offers downgrades to XP, but I don't know for how long they'll continue to do that or whether these operating system differences are even important.

Many of the newer laptops come with internal modems that connect to the internet using free WIFI. Very cool for judging purposes, if slow. (We used a shopping mall's WIFI to connect to the internet to look information at the Stockton show)

With this freedom comes the bane of virus security. I get MacAfee security free from Comcast and it never fails that it'll install a security upgrade in the middle of judging or start scanning the harddrive right in the middle of my work such that the computer really slows down. AFAIK MacAfee won't let you disable this feature, but you can stop it once it starts.

I've tried turning on the computer *before* I leave for judging so it'll get these installations/scans finished before I start work, but no. The computer is craftier than I am. It still scans and searches and tries to protect me like a dedicated minion. If you ever wonder 'WTF is slowing down this freaking computer' look at the lower toolbar and I'll bet your computer is scanning for viruses.

Well, I didn't mean to turn this into a gripeing session. But figured I can't be the only one out there with 'issues' LOL!! And I've never been too proud to show my lack of knowledge.


  1. The Dell minis come with XP--my 12" has both AQ and OW, works great on the floor judging on the fly. Light, quick, easy to use. Don't even look at the 9", not enough display pixels to work either program.

    I have a big laptop for home, I have AQ & OW on both. I use the big one for email, judging documentation, etc. I use the little one just for judging.

  2. Mac computers work great with AQ as well. With their new hardware, one can run XP, Vista, or Windows 7 (Beta) as a virtual machine at full processor speed. I am running AQ on Vista-64 and it runs significantly faster than several of my the Windows laptops being used at the Judging center.

    Macs are light, well designed, and unfortunately expensive, but as a tradeoff you dont have to deal with nearly the number of viruses or trojan horses or spyware that windows suffers from.