I use an older Sony Pentium notebook for my computer for all needs including ham radio. It was my computer when I worked at Sony and I took it with me (legally) when I left Sony in 2005. It is 6-7 years old and ready to be retired.
I have been thinking about what to do when replacing it. Should I get another notebook? Should I get a desktop? How will I handle serial ports? Does the software I need to use run on Win 7? All my friends that run Macs were pushing for me to get a Mac, but I’m a Windows guy. In addition, the Macs costs a significant premium over a similar sized/featured Windows machine.
Yesterday I saw a posting online about a very good price on a 17″ Acer notebook at Amazon. I was hoping to find something suitable at Amazon because I had $240 worth of gift certificates to apply to any purchase. I pulled the trigger and made the purchase. It’s an Acer Aspire AS7740-6656 notebook with a 17.3″ display. It runs the new Intel i5-430M processor, comes with 4GB of memory, 500GB HD, Win 7, CD/DVD burner, webcam, 802.11N wifi, media card reader, 4 USB ports and a HDMI port. Price was $700 and then I deducted my gift certificates so it was a good deal. And it should arrive today if someone is home to sign for it.
In anticipation of getting a new computer, on eBay I purchased an Edgeport 8 port USB to Serial box. Supposedly it is compatible with Win7 using Vista drivers and native Win7 drivers should be out soon from the vendor. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed that works and I don’t need to purchase USB to Serial cables for support of rig control and the CW/RTTY FSK interface and hope I get ones that work.
Now comes the daunting task of removing software from the computer I don’t want on it, installing software I do, configuring all the programs and hoping when something doesn’t work right (specifically around N1MM, MMTTY, Ham Radio Deluxe, etc) I can troubleshoot it and get it working. With a potential snow storm coming overnight, I’m hopeful I get the computer today (Friday) so I can start setting things up over the weekend.
I’m also hoping this weekend I can get on and make some QSO Party and 10-10 contacts. I checked 10m last night around 8:30pm ET (0130z) and didn’t hear anyone. Compared to the arm-chair copy of stations on Sun and Mon, the band was dead. But maybe everyone is resting for an active 10-10 two-day event starting tonight?
K2DSL – David