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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anybody help?

If I spend anymore time at working surfing the net doing research I will get the sack 8O so hoping you guys can help :lol:

Just about to buy a laptop (prob from Novatech - previous site mentioned good things about them). Trouble is I am getting a bit confused with all the tech talk 8O

We want to be able to use it when we go full timing in Europe next year. It will mainly be for downloading photos, burning CD/DVD to post photos home, map software (memory map etc) and for emailing and a bit of internet surfing.

The ones I have been looking at all feature a Wireless LAN 802.11g network port. We will be aiming to use hotspots most of the time, with occassional emailing using a mobile.

On offer are a Wireless LAN CardBus PC Card - do I need this to be able connect the port to the hotspot?

The other thing is a GPRS PCMIA Mobile modem - does this mean I won't need a mobile?

Do I need a Firewire port? I understand this is similar to a USB but much faster, but I could just have made that up!

Thanks in advance..........

Rachel
 

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Hi Rachel

If the laptop has wireless 802.11g capability that is all you need its already built in. It isn't a port as such it is a built in'aerial' if you like.
I nearly got my one from Novatech, who I have found good in the past, but decided to go for a branded one (Toshiba in my case) as its normally easier to get accesories, batteries etc, and I was able to get one for less than the cost of the Novatech own brand ones.
I have had laptops for a number of years now and have had to replace batteries, you can normally get them from suppliers who can provide non manufacturer makes much cheaper, but only for recognised brands normally, so that lets Novatech out.
It is worth trying www.morgancomputers.co.uk they do a lot of stock that is end of line or from the likes of PC world who get theirs on a sale or return basis. If you are happy to have last months top of the range at vastly reduced prices
they are worth a shot.
The PCMCIA modem is a modem that fits into a laptop accessory slot to that is to that standard, most laptops have this, the important thing for you is to get one that is compatable with a mobile phone network that fits that slot. My friend uses a Bluetooth PCMCIA modem and Bluetooth GSM phone but as I don't use one myself I can't say if it is what you want, he finds it good. I beleive there are cards available that do away with the need for a phone but perhaps someone that uses one can help you with that.
 

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Laptop

Hi,

The WIFI card is all you need for wireless internet connection. The in 802.11g means it is one of the faster WIFI devices.

Firewire is a fast connection port for cameras,external hard drives and even some printers.

There is however a new USB standard the is fast also.

Another way of connecting to the Internet is through a GPRS enabled laptop.
It means General Packet Radio Service. In other words a mobile phone type connection.

Ian
 

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I think you will find that using GPRS via a mobile phone is very expensive indeed whatever connection method you use.
Hotspots are not very abundant yet outside the USA, and are inconvenient for motorhomers anyway.
Personally, I use a Vodafone Connect Card on contract. This is also a GPRS connection of course but is considerably cheaper. My tariff in Spain is 120 Mb per month for 50 euros which is very cheap, but I think the same thing in UK is a bit dearer. There are other tariffs of course. I have the 120Mb because I use it at home as well (no landline).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice and info, sorry it's taken all weekend to get back to you, but no internet at home at the moment (carpet fitter nailed gripper rods through phone line :evil: ). Bought What Laptop at the weekend which has just thrown the choice wide open again!

Think I just want to make sure I'm not missing something off the "wish list" when I finally place an order. I think we will try to use internet cafes most of the time so that we know exactly how much we are spending, but it's nice to know that if we really needed to, we could connect up some other way.

As for satellite - not until we win the lottery!

Not sure whether to keep on with the research or just stick a pin on the page and go for it! I'm sure we're never going to use even a fraction of it's capabilities - much like my brain........

Thanks again
Rachel
 

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I use internet cafes normally, but I can also use my PDA to access the internet at a pinch through my mobile phone. It is expensive but it's nice to have a backup that you can use anywhere there is a phone signal. I use an HP2215, and a Sony Ericsson Z600, I also use the PDA in conjunction with a Navman system as an in van satnav, very helpful in France a couple of weeks ago. I've had a few electronic pocket gizmos for keeping addresses and phone number etc, but I can honestly say that this HP PDA is the best so far because it is so versatile.
John
 

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you would be a fool, nay, a muppet, to buy a full-priced laptop when you could get a few hundred quid off a top-spec one at www.dell.co.uk/outlet

Have a good gander - the best deals are available at half past and on the hour (F5 is your friend to refresh the offer pages).

When you see something you like simply Add To Cart and then worry about the finer points. It's a bit competitive - sometimes there are a few people on there looking for similar things - but it's so rewarding.

Do it - you won't regret it! You'll probs get free delivery at the mo too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't think a PDA is going to be enough to for us - want to be able to burn photos to disk etc too.

As for the Dell website - have looked at their stuff before as seems to get good reviews. I have enough trouble shutting down my browser when the boss is on the prowl as it is - if I'm trying to bid on the hour and half hour too, I might end up having a heart attack :lol:

Starting to wonder why we need one at all - pigeon post is so much nicer, if less convenient!

The search continues............
 

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:D Hi Rojamr. I have just noticed you mentioned the GPRS PCMIA Mobile modem. I have a Nokia Phone Card to replace the Nokia Data Suite with cable attachment to Nokia 5110 that I used to use. You simply take your Sim (or another one) from your mobile phone and insert it into the Card before slotting it into the PCMCIA slot. Supposed to work above 9600 if you are on the right phone network. I only use it to access emails and the occasional access to Yahoo. It is not really suitable to download and send photos unless they are small JPG's or JPEG's. :cry:
 

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I had a Vodafone Connect Card which worked fine the first time I went to France. Then I received the upgraded software and installed that and it didn't work after that, mind you I had installed XP sp2! I uninstalled xp sp2 and the new connect card upgrade plus had engineers out twice and still it didn't work properly i.e. I could sent emails via vodafone.net but wouldn't recognise my settings for incoming email even though they were correct! Spent hours on the phone to vodafone and tiscali my server. Error message came up and anyone sending me an email had it returned saying there was a router problem.
It is a pity because it was useful for sending emails and photos home to relatives but the fact I couldn't receive emails was a pain. In the end I cancelled my vodafone contract. Contacted tiscali who said my email address wasn't working but it had been, they checked my settings which were all correct and then they must have done something their end because their test email came in! I don't think they like d the fact I had been using vodafone to connect to the internet!
Maybe it was just my bad luck.
 

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:D Hi zulurita You said:-
I don't think they like d the fact I had been using vodafone to connect to the internet!

I had similar problems with Yahoo not connecting through the correct dial-up number
I had similar problems with Oriolnet not connecting through the correct dial-up number
I had similar problems with Gonut4free not connecting through the correct dial-up number
I had similar problems with Freeserve not connecting through the correct dial-up number

You should always use the correct dial-up number for that particular Service Provider. Sometimes, if you are abroad and using mobile? Yahoo and the like refuse to allow you to connect because they have no way of claiming thier little commission on the connection. 8O
 

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I recently bought a new laptop to replace my dying Dell which I also use for navigation with InfoMap Navigator. The one I bought was a refurbished/shop soiled one (it had some scratches on the lid) 2.66Ghz with lots of whistles for £450, at that price I'm not worried about any scratches. It's not a widely known make, but it's a Medion who are the people who supply Aldi and Lidl stores. They currently have a Athlon XP2500 for £370. Go to https://www.medionshop.co.uk/ and follow the links for refurbished products.

As I said it may not be one of the more popular ones, but even if things like batteries etc. are not available everywhere, there's loads of companies who can fit new bits into your existing cases.

--------------------------------------------

With regards to 'hot spots' etc., what is the process for getting a connection etc. (hardware already fitted by the oem in my case)?

Steve
 

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:oops: I find the whole question of how I am going to conect to the internet when we tour a mystery and I welcome this information - must go and print off all this information and study it LOL! Thanks because it has answered many questions that I have wanted to know. :lol: Ana xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Strewth! Getting a bit lost in the tech talk :oops: slightly concerned I am going to get this all singing all dancing laptop and still not be able to connect cos I can't work it out :roll:

The reason I asked about the GPRS mobile modem is novatech are selling a vodafone one with £20 of credit with a deluxe laptop case for just under £60 which seemed like a good deal? Seem to recall seeing them for anything upto £200 or maybe that was something else altogether :roll:

The more I look at different models etc the worse it gets. Was originally happy to just have a CD RW/DVD combo, but lots now only come with a DVD burner. What sort of burn speed should I be looking for? Current CD RW at home burns upto 52x (but I only ever use 24x as was told this was better?), but some I have seen in the cheaper laptops only burn at 8x. Is it just speed or is it quality too?

How did we all manage in the days before mobiles and laptops?

Rachel
 

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:D Hi Rojamr with regards Writing speed of DVD's? They are not yet up to the CD writing speeds (not if you want a consistent burn). They now do double sided DVD's but are a little expensive and also the media is expensive. If you get something like a 8x or 12x burn it should be more than good enough. Don't worry about what DVD+R or DVD-R means. It's just the different standards of writing the disc (both work on most DVD players). Qaulity does count, but you may also pay for the NAME. 8)
 
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