Chase laptops......Vista......HELP!!!!!

Okay folks - it's late January, it's the traditional time for hibernating chasers to start stirring around in their great collections of cables, wires, antennae, monitors, radios and PCMCIA cards to see what random configuration of components will suffice for on the road 2007, right?

Okay. Help me, please!

To rephrase that - we just decided last night (after pulling out the old laptop from it's bag and plugging it in to find that it is now a very heavy, very ugly paperweight) that we need a new laptop - NOW. We have alotted up to about $600 for a basic laptop. We only need it to function well for chasing. We're not going to be playing games or anything intensive on it. We would prefer it to be new.

The trouble is - when we started shopping online last night for laptops - we came to the horrific realization that almost ALL new computers (be they desktops of laptops) are being sold with VISTA now instead of Xp or anything older. G-U-L-P. Now - I dunno about you, but buying a laptop for chasing that is running on a totally new OS that hasn't been debugged yet by previous editions makes me twitch.

Does anybody have any experience with this VISTA thing? Does it run chase-related software (GPS mapping, GRLevelX etc.) easily and is it user-friendly in doing so??? I don't care about the XM/WeatherWorx thing as we don't have it and don't want it.

The other question I have is - who now sells laptops with the old OS, not VISTA? Is there anywhere online that is still selling these neolithic Xp machines?!?!?

ANY input would be greatly appreciated!

KL
 
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Vista runs wonderfully, I've been running the beta's for nearly 6 months now and put the final edition on my box last weekend. I'd have no worries about it.
 
I installed a beta of Vista on my 2nd computer and ran it for about a month to test it and never had any problems. Since it was only a beta version I went back to XP, I'm sure before too long I will be running Vista final on both my computers.

I think you'll be fine with Vista installed, if there is by chance a program or hardware that isn't compatiable with Vista that it will be before too long.
 
Try Best Buy or Circut City. They usually have some "layover" models that should have the old OS on them. I bought my HP laptop through Best Buy about 7 months ago and have never had a problem with it. I run Windows XP Media Center Editon. Hope all works out for ya. ( I got a couple of those "paperweights" myself...:mad:

Nick
 
...also be careful because most new laptops come with Expresscard slots----NOT compatible with PCMCIA..............
 
...also be careful because most new laptops come with Expresscard slots----NOT compatible with PCMCIA..............

Indeed. I had a Dell XPS that was Expresscard Slot, it sucked. I don't have it anymore, I don't know if it was just me but twice the backlight on the LCD went out, I sent it in once and they fixed it.. then in August the same thing happened. I just sent it back and after fighting with Dell they refunded me the credit.
 
To the the howls of outrage I'm sure this will provoke, try Wal-Mart. I picked up an Acer (don't remember the model number) for $550 (tax included) and it's a nice machine so far.

AMD Turion CPU, 1 GB RAM, 100 GB HD, Nice video card (Smooths GRLevel3 just fine) and has a single PCMCIA Slot. The price was the regular price and not marked down or sale price.

Don't drop it! It's not overly built and is mostly plastic, but if babied and taken care of will serve your needs.

Now I'm going to go hide from the hail storm I'm sure will erupt after this post.
 
Thanks for the info, John! This is the kinda stuff I'm keen to know - as we have been looking at the line of less-known laptops that Wal-Mart carry. Some of them seem to have some fairly good reviews......and well you know that Wal-Mart is pretty good on customer-service if anything goes wrong.

Good to know that you've had a good experience with that Acer brand. Hmmmmmm.

KL


To the the howls of outrage I'm sure this will provoke, try Wal-Mart. I picked up an Acer (don't remember the model number) for $550 (tax included) and it's a nice machine so far.

AMD Turion CPU, 1 GB RAM, 100 GB HD, Nice video card (Smooths GRLevel3 just fine) and has a single PCMCIA Slot. The price was the regular price and not marked down or sale price.

Don't drop it! It's not overly built and is mostly plastic, but if babied and taken care of will serve your needs.

Now I'm going to go hide from the hail storm I'm sure will erupt after this post.
 
You read it backwards... NSA provided some of the encryption procedures for keeping your files safe, Microsoft didn't give them the key to your PC.


Oh my bad.. i guess that means your all good to go then. No worries.. ;)
 
Please stay on topic... In this regard, it seems that people think others are either wearing tinfoil hats or they're being naive (depending upon what side of the aisle you are on). Whatever you think, I'm not sure this is the best place to discuss the issue (interaction between NSA and MS). Anyone have advice specific to Karen's original request?
 
I've run all GRLevelX apps with no problem, RealEMWIN with no problem, mapping software no problem with Vista.
 
Karen, check out zipzoomfly.com I have bought MANY things from them and have been very satisfied. I know they have a few laptops, not sure about the OS though. If you have a legal copy of WinXP you could always format the hard drive on whatever you get and reinstall with a fresh WinXP so your not stuck with Vista.

I would never go with a brand new operating system this soon out the gate if I could get around it.
 
Unless you are very confident in your OS expertise, I'd avoid switching to Vista for at least six months. I train users of application software for a living. I like some of what I see with Vista, but compatibility will be an issue for at least a little while. While I haven't used any "chaser" software on Vista, MS Office 2003 isn't even completely compatible with Vista Enterprise Edition, and it's Microsoft! Best of luck!
 
I just wanted to thank everybody for the advice they imparted here. Thanks to this and some research - we were able to buy a laptop last night that will hopefully prove a chase workhorse.

I - like most other consumers right now apparently - am also avoiding Vista like the plague and intend to do so for many years. There's no way on this green earth that anybody could get me to walk out into the Plains with a totally new OS and hope for the best. We've stuck with Xp and it'll be just fine.

Thanks again to all,

KL
 
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Just wanted to make one last post on here and let everyone know that I am now surfing and posting here from our new laptop after having it linked-up very easily and readily to our existing WiFi network here at home!!! It arrived Friday 2/2, and it's just perfect! Hopefully it'll prove to be a chase tank for many years to come........Windows Xp and all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Thanks to all of the advice,

KL
 
For others who are still deciding on upgrading or purchasing a new machine with Vista, be sure to check out the Vista Advisor:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx

It will tell you what software and hardware is going to have issues on Vista. It told me that my cell phone connectivity software is incompatible and thus I can't upgrade (or will have to get a new phone). Its a shame though, because I was impressed with Vista when I got to sit down and play with it. Its not all doom and gloom like everyone says, although there are many legitimate reasons some people should not upgrade.
 
Thanks Karen for starting this thread, and thank you to everyone for their input. Vista's launch pushed up my plans on purchasing a chase laptop form mid-march to this weekend. Was able to purchase an open box HP w/XP Media Center at a pretty hefty discount yesterday:cool: . It also comes with a free upgrade to Vista, so I can upgrde to the new OS at a later date...if I want to.

Has anyone out there tried running Baron Threat Net on Vista, and has it worked? I've not seen anyone mention it yet. Just curious b/c I'll be running that starting this year, and it was one of several reasons I sought out a machine running on XP.
 
if you are going to buy a laptop from Dell please wait untill there end of quarter sales. You can check sites like fatwallet and slickdeals.net and see when then best deals are posted. You may not intend on playing games on your laptop but wouldn't you want a dedicated video card that will run GR AE ?
 
Bringing an old thread back for update (Vista)

I was looking for some answers to the "Vista" question. I think this started a while ago, and I couldn't find a concrete answer. Figured it's been a while and there should be a lot more Vista users by now.

Is Vista working with the chaser programs?

GRLevelX
Mobile Threat Net (XMWX)
Weathertap
datacards
etc.

and others.

I've already got Vista, which I've been fine with (except there's no APRS or satellite tracking software working with it). If I had a machine with XP I wouldn't upgrade, but don't have the choice attm.
 
I downgraded after several months of frustrations. I got most everything working GR3, photoshop (CS3, Premiere CS2 and before won't work as far as I know no support is planned, in fact when I first bought it, thier was not a single video editor that worked but, I think most vendors support it now). I got my Canon drivers finally working, casio elixim and a few other drivers never did work but, it had a card reader built in so problem solved. Had horrible time tethering under Vista. I finally got about 90% of things working when my VPN to work was not supported under Vista, so I downgraded to XP and rebuilt it and re-installed everything in about a day and a half, did'nt have a single issue installing a single app.

Due to the SATA drivers (for the hard disk) I had to load the SATA drivers from a floppy disk which the laptop did not have. Turns out XP only supports (from the boot CD ROM) only 3 models of USB floppy's, tracking down one of them took about a week. If you do decide to downgrade make sure you can get XP drivers for all of your hardware (the laptop) first, and if you have a SATA laptop and no floppy that might be a bit of an issue as well. Some BIOS's have an XP compatibillity mode (no clue- mine did'nt) which I hear helps, in some fashion.

I'd say in another year or so (or an SP or two) I might give it another try.
 
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