Friday, December 31, 2010

New Tool - The Laptop Computer

Many tools are a necessity.  Hobby Knife.  Screwdrivers.  Tweezers.  Gin glass.  But a laptop?  Yes, I believe that computers are mandatory in the hobby now and the laptop even more so.  I use it for writing notes, making drawings, research, photography and DCC programing. 

 I finally sprung $300 at a Black Friday sale to get a new HP laptop.

This G56 is not the fasting unit on the market and doesn't have the most features, but it does what I need it to do and what I'll need in the near future.  Why buy any more?

 After removing it from the box, I put the battery in and hook up the power supply.  Very easy.

 There!  It now has a prominent place on the workbench.  I'll use it a lot.

 The hard part is getting it set up.  I'll have to get it on our network with security, then get it hooked up to the Internet.  Wife will have to help me I'm sure.

 Next, we have to load the software.  I need Word and Excel, then some graphic software.

Then we add the files.  I'll use the laptop as a back up for all my train files located on my main office desk unit.  That way I have my files anywhere I go.

Do you have a computer or laptop in your shop?  What is your opinion of it?  How often do you use it?  Any good tips or tricks?


  1. Scott,

    A laptop is a definate plus in the workshop. I use one in the trainroom for DecoderPro and use my desktop in my basement office for some "train" duties.

    I STRONGLY suggest that an "off site" backup system be used for when (notice I didn't say "if")your computer fails. I happen to use Carbonite which is only $54.95 per year and AUTOMATICALLY continually backs up my files! I can also access them from another computer - say I'm at my daughter's house and want a file.


  2. Now you have 2 screens and 1 keyboard in your shop. You 'need' to mount them both up off the work surface! Avoid that "But how did glue get on the keyboard?!" moment! (:
    I just upgrade my computer monitors to flat screens, and sprang (sprung?) for 'articulated wall mounts' so they're not on their pedestal bases. Frees up a decent piece of desktop territory!
    --Paul E Musselman


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