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Should I buy a refurbished laptop? Used laptops buying advice

Buying advice for buying a refurbished laptop. You need to read this if you are in the market for a used laptop. It's the time of year when people start asking the tech journalist of their aquaintance one of three simple questions: what laptop should I buy, what tablet should I buy, and who are you and why are you hanging around outside my house? In this article I'm going to take a look at the first of these, and give some cheap desktop pcs computers and laptops buying advice. Advice on specifically one question: should you buy a refurbished laptop? The simple answer is, in many cases: yes. But with some important caveats. (For more, see all of our laptops buying advice.). Should I buy a refurbished laptop? General buying advice. When people ask for advice on buying a laptop the first thing I ask them is what it is for. Almost always the answer is some variant on the following: web browsing, some office work, home work, games, watching TV and movies from the web. Unless the gaming part of that list refers to high-end titles that require a powerful discreet graphics card, in most cases a pretty standard laptop will suffice. And in those cases I would always ask how much the customer wants to spend, and then work out the minimum spec required. Generally speaking, if you know what you are looking for specs wise, the more you pay the better a laptop you will get. I also always suggest aiming for a well-known brand, as that tends to take care of build quality and aftersales support. And then, the final part of the jigsaw is from where you buy your laptop. You may pay more to buy from an established, nationwide retailer, but you are also paying for the peace of mind of knowing that if something goes wrong you will have somewhere to turn. You don't get that from a man in the pub. When buying a gigarefurb.co.ukrefurbished laptop, all of these factors remain true. They all become even more important. But you can also save some money, and which of us can say that isn't important these days? Should I buy a refurbished laptop? What you need to know. More correctly, buying a refurbished laptop will allow you to get a better specification for the same price. Or rather, you can get a better laptop than you would for the same price buying new. But there are some things of which you should be aware. They all mean the same thing, basically, but some laptops are more refurbished than others. Generally speaking you should expect a laptop carrying any of those terms to be wiped and reinstalled, physically cleaned, and inspected so that it is known to be working well. Ultimately until you have your hands on your refurbished laptop you won't be able to tell just how refurbished it is, but there are a few things you should do before you buy. Should I buy a refurbished laptop? Before you buy. Basically, you need to get down in writing exactly what you should expect. The specification details should be written down, but you also want something in writing about the condition of the laptop. If it goes wrong, and make sure you have a warranty and guarantee that makes it clear who is responsible for the replacement or repair of your laptop. Things to consider: if you buy from a bricks-and-mortar store you will have somewhere to take back the laptop if it breaks. You will have to be quicker about returning it if you don't like the condition when you get it home. Buying online or via phone you can return the device for up to 30 days, with no quibbles allowed. If you buy from an individual you must agree between you what are the terms of sale. If someone sells you a laptop 'as seen' you are on dodgy ground if it breaks after a fortnight. As I said at the outset, buying refurbished can get you a better spec, but you are taking more of a risk. Finally, always use a credit card to make major purchases - you can always pay off the balance immediately so it doesn't cost you any more. Bankers get a bad wrap these days, but if you buy with a credit card and something goes wrong it is the bank's money no yours. They will refund you and chase whoever sold you the laptop for repayment. Should I buy a refurbished laptop? When you get your laptop. Immediately check that it is what you agreed to buy, that it works, and that it is in the condition you expected. Be especially careful to check that no-one else's user details are on your laptop. It is much easier to address problems if you return your laptop immeditately, unused. Be sure to store all the documentation that comes with your laptop. What happens if you have to reinstall any software that comes with your laptop? You should have the install keys for any pre-installed software, and if you don't you should find out why before you get comfortable with your new PC. Should I buy a refurbished laptop? Final thoughts. You definitely canget a bargain buying refurbished. Personally I 'd always want to buy from a reputable, large company from whom I know I could get redress if something went wrong. For instance if I was in the market for a Mac I would definitely buy refurbished from Apple. It's a great way to get a bargain. But make sure you know the risks, and follow the advice outlined above. There is always a risk when purchasing anything - in effect - second hand. And Laptops and pcs are very complex machines. As ever - if a deal looks too good to be true it probably, no definitely, is. Happy hunting. Buying advice for buying a refurbished laptop. It's the time of year when people start asking the tech journalist of their aquaintance one of three simple questions: what laptop should I buy, what tablet should I buy, and who are you and why are you hanging around outside my house? Advice on specifically one question: should you buy a refurbished laptop? More correctly, buying a refurbished laptop will allow you to get a better specification for the same price. Ultimately until you have your hands on your refurbished laptop you won't be able to tell just how refurbished it is, but there are a few things you should do before you buy.

WordPress is a great tool for quickly building a personal blog, website or even a store or a large community website. However, there comes a time with every wordpress installation, or maybe even every pre built content management system such as Drupal or Joomla!, that you encounter the glass ceiling where you have to start heavily digging in code you didn’t write.

I started with Drupal 4.7 almost two years ago. I built www.cyclejerusalem.org in a couple of days. But when I started reaching a higher degree of complexity I stoped using Drupal and moved to Wordpress because it was easier to handle. This week I finished building the new website of www.cyclejerusalem.org using wordpress.

This is a list of stuff I am not happy with, which can be read as a bug report if you wish.

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Crazy Matplotlib tutorial

I started using python’s matplotlib to plot graphs in my Oceanography courses. Matplotlib is pretty easy to understand if you already know some python. However it’s documentation is somewhat frustrating, even though it comes with a plethora of examples.

So I turned to seek help on the user’s list, and that was a great experience. I got responses almost immediately, and many times the respondent was the author of the program himself. That was very nice, but people kept telling me I should read the tutorial and user guide and I kept answering that I prefer to learn by doing. Which is true. I use another program which has a steep learning curve called latex-beamer. It comes with a wonderful 300+ pages user guide. I read bits and parts of it. But mostly, I just saw other people code and copied it and changed it to fit my own presentation needs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the same with Matplotlib, maybe because graph codes is not something people show around like beamer presentation.

So I ended up quite frustrated and I wrote the following to the mailing list:

I am a lost case about reading tutorial at the moment.
I am in a middle of a very intense course, and they expect us to do crazy stuff with matlab. so it’s either that or solving with python. I’ll do read it when I have time…

I am mostly frustrated with documentation writers who write very nice tutorials describing
how to plot completely unuseful graphs of spheres inside loops and a dolphin swimming
in the middle. Come on, this is not what users need. I am talking about what many students
feel. We need real tutorials, this why I wrote my own little tutorial here
http://www.tabula0rasa.org/?p=21.

So I vented a lit bit my frustration. The reply didn’t wait long before arriving in a very funny way:

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A quick tip: How to pause ubuntu upgrade tool

I’ve been upgrading my ubuntu laptop since ubuntu 6.06, even though sometimes I break my installation and need to do a clean install… Never the less I think ubuntu’s upgrade tool has no second in the linux world. It is mostly a reliable tool and usually does the job. But there is one thing that always annoyed me about it. Once you get it running you can’t stop it, and if you stop it cleans all the packages downloaded. It’s really annoying because when it runs it completely over takes the net usage and other net applications. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s not the Gates, it’s the bars

The BBC publishes an important article by Richard Stallman. I felt this is so important and true it has to be copied an published here fully:

To pay so much attention to Bill Gates’ retirement is missing the point. What really matters is not Gates, nor Microsoft, but the unethical system of restrictions that Microsoft, like many other software companies, imposes on its customers.

That statement may surprise you, since most people interested in computers have strong feelings about Microsoft. Businessmen and their tame politicians admire its success in building an empire over so many computer users.

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Data analysis with Programming

Last time I wrote about the disadventages of using a spreadsheet program to analyze large amounts of data, espcially when it comes to important data. Well, as I already said I decided to learn some programming language to do the task. So last week I was working on my homework in the course of Oceanography. Our teacher gave us an excel file containing oceanographic data from the Red Sea, Golf of Eilat (or Aqaba if you prefer). Our task was to present graphs of salinty and potential temperatue, and potential vs. pressure and do some oher calculations regarding our course. So I found my self dragging my mouse endlessly and fighting with excel to plot those graphs. I personally prefer working with Gnumeric, but this file contained some macros to calculate the potential density of the water. So after I submitted the excercise I decided it is time to learn a programing language to do the mission. Since I aleady know python, I thought that matplotlib will be a good choice.

What can I tell you, learning it and ploting my first graphs was quicker then opening excel any spreadsheet. The website has a really good tutorial and for advanced cases you can always get help from the freindly people on the project’s mailing list.

Here is a short tutorial describing how I did my first oceanographic plot with matplotlib. Read the rest of this entry »

A short post of video guides describing how to edit on Wikipedia

This is a just reminder and collector:

Great american novell

Hebrew text How to from Hebrew Wikipedia


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