davidd (davidd) wrote,

Does Your Lenovo Go?

I was talking with one of the staff at work yesterday about our Lenovo laptop computers; actually, he was joshing me about being "a Eugene, Oregon type" with my Apple Powerbook. I told him I use it because it connects wirelessly pretty much anywhere there's a signal.

He told me he has no problems using the work-supplied Lenovo laptop. He said he just took it to the mainland and connected at hotels and other wireless hotspots without difficulty. I responded that I can't even get my Lenovo to connect at home, and another co-worker, a PC fan, also has been unable to achieve consistent wireless performance from her Lenovo, as it either works at her home, or at work, but not both. Right now it's not working in either location.

The the Lenovo fan suggested phoning Lenovo tech support. He said that's what he did, and they talked him through an hour of set-up... after which it still didn't work. Then he sent it to "a guy I know, I can put you in touch with him," who kept it for several days and sent it back in working order.

So you see, there's the difference between Mac and Windows. Maybe you can eventually get a Windows-based box to work properly, if you're willing to spend hours talking to tech support and if you happen to know "a guy" who can fix things. Personally, I'd rather pay the extra bucks to buy a box that does what it's supposed to.

Also yesterday, the parent of a student was admiring my Powerbook, and asking if it was school-supplied. He said he's looking for a good computer for his son, and wondered if the school had a line on inexpensive laptop computers. He was disappointed to learn that the Powerbook is my personal computer, and that neither I nor any of our tech staff could line him up with a "cheap" source. Then he started telling us about the great laptop he has at work, which set his company back five-thousand dollars. But, he also knows "a guy" who refurbishes old laptops and sells them for about $450, and he thinks that's what he'll end up doing.

That's another odd thing about Windows-based computers. It's kind of an odd, quasi-underworld community of "guys" who build or rebuild or fix or otherwise supply the needs of the PC community. It's not like with Apple, where you walk in to a shiny store at the mall and walk out with a shiny new Mac that mostly works. Of course, if you want to, say, hook your Mac up to a projector or a video monitor, you'll need a special adapter which no longer comes with the machine... but still, once you get the adapter, the Mac will work with your projector. Probably.

I cannot figure out how to mirror the Lenovo display to show what's on the computer screen through the projector. I've fussed around with it twice to no avail. Even the default setting on a Mac is to extend the screen space, rather than mirror it, which is a bit of a nuisance for my purposes, but at least the configuration process is straightforward -- just click the little box that says "mirror display." There's nothing like that in the convoluted Lenovo control panels. Or if there is, I can't find it. I suppose I could call "a guy," and probably have to meet him in a dark alley with a satchel full of small, unmarked bills, and find the solution to the problem. It's easier, however, to just use a Mac.

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