April 20, 2006

Assistance, Please

My bro, R, is a mechanic. He works in a shop, but also does a little work out of his garage. At work, he has the opportunity to use a diagnostic program, set up on a Panasonic Toughbook. At home, nothing. So far. This is where you come in...

He's looking to buy a laptop so that he can run this program at home. It doesn't have to be a Toughbook, but it does have to be tough. It may possibly get knocked on the floor, and it will be in a dirty, and sometimes dusty, enviroment. The kicker, and what may put this out of reach, is that he can only spend $600 tops, with $500 being what he'd like to shoot for.

I asked what the minimum system requirements were for the program he's running, and this is what he said; "300 MHZ Pentium, a super VGA display (1024 x 768 resolution), and Windows 98. Also needed are at least one USB port, and Rs 232 port."

Yes, I know I can try to figure out what he needs from reading reviews, but I'd like personal recommendations better. Help would be appreciated.

I'm trusting you folks...

Posted by That 1 Guy at April 20, 2006 02:01 PM

He may want to consider geting a docking station for the laptop and have an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. That way the laptop can stay closed and can even have a cover put on it to keep out dust. You can take the laptop out of the docking station with the press of one button. All the externals stay connected into the docking station. That way you could go with less bells and whistles on the laptop itself and externals (printers, keyboards, etc) are cheap anyways.

That's how mine is set up here at home.

Posted by: Jerry at April 20, 2006 03:27 PM

You want a laptop that'll take a friggin licking and keep on ticking? From my experience in the field and the corporate environment, you'll want to get a used Dell Latitude CPx. Dirt cheap, meets your specs, and runs like pinto...a portable electronic pinto!

Posted by: silentwarrior at April 20, 2006 05:35 PM

I need some help... I have a Dell Latitude CPx, and I want to connect it to our cable internet box. I have a 4 pin "dongle" which I used when I had dial-up, but it won't work with the cable hookup. What do I need to get it hooked up? Any assistance will be greatly appeciated.

Posted by: Tom at April 26, 2006 07:20 AM

Tom, you're gonna need a new PCMCIA card with an Ethernet port on it. You can get them like at NewEgg.com for about $15. Then you'll need an ethernet cable to hook up your laptop to high speed. Good luck!

Posted by: silentwarrior at April 26, 2006 08:20 AM