Techies needed – what computer should I get?

I am low tech.  You’re about to find out the extent of my Ludditism.  Don’t judge me.

My 2012 MacBook Air is starting to creak.  Some updates and new software are no longer working, the memory’s running out, and occasional bugs scare the willies out of me because out here in the jungle I cannot back up automatically to the cloud.

Let’s face it.  I love this little machine, most of the time, but one day soon it’s going to go to that big, polluted, Nigerian recycling and data-stealing slum in the sky.

I’m going to run this baby right into the ground, but I’m already starting to consider what to replace it with when it finally gives up the ghost.

My needs are so minimal as to be laughable to you tech guys with your fancy games and marketable skills.  Some wag will no doubt suggest I go out and upgrade to a stylus and papyrus scroll.  But this is what I need:

– Microsoft office

– Web browser

– Keyboard (you have to say that these days)

– USB ports (“ ”.  Need ‘em for third world reliability)

– Something CHEAP

– Something light, small and easily portable; concealable in a small safe for third world living

If possible, I would like:

– iTunes.  I bought some music for the jungle as I cannot stream.  Once I’m out of here I guess YouTube will suffice, but I may go to a country with expensive internet so keeping the music would be a nice bonus

– More memory than this bad boy has.  Most of it gets used up by the music

Yup, that’s about it.

I don’t need:

– Massive power for graphics or anything like that

– Cool speakers

– Impressive video

– Anything for games

– Large screen

– Any of those other jumbles of letters and numbers you’ll ask me about.  I don’t even know what they are

Other comments:

– I’m not rusted on to Apple.  Good design but I find the software clunky in comparison to daggy old PC.  In particular, it is so bloody hard to scroll.

– I’m cool with cheap, weird brands.  I’ll go Asus.  But nothing from mainland China.  I do have some standards, you know.

– I am open to any combination of hardware that might achieve my ends, i.e. smart phone, tablet, external memory or keyboard etc.  I’ve heard that eventually the smart phone will serve as the CPU with all other bits becoming add-ons for home or work but I’m not sure if we’re there yet.

What do youse reckon?

Keep in mind the Soviet code of conduct when debating the matter in the comments section:

– You must call anyone who disagrees with you a fucking idiot

– You must use swear words in every post

– You must belittle myself and all other commenters

– You must post gifs that mock your interlocutors

Posts that do not adhere to our community standards will be deleted.



  1. TechieDude · December 20

    Thinkpad. You can get a refurb or used one dirt cheap. They are reliable and bullet proof.

    And comrade, make by heroic chinese commie brothers.


    • Nikolai Vladivostok · December 20

      Cheers, I will consider.
      Where I live, it would be handy to find one that’s literally bulletproof.


  2. luisman · December 20

    If it needs to fit into any hotel safe, you’ll have to choose a 11″ or max. 13″ display. If you can tolerate that screen size (as you do if you have an airbook; not for me, as I need glasses to find my glasses) you can look for a refurbished Dell Inspirion 11xx, usually in the 50USD range, which can run Win7 (forget Win10), has the bare minimum memory and 100-300GB HDD. Check if the Windows license is actually valid before you buy it. Put your valuable data on an external new HDD, before the little fucker crashes. The new Dell Inspirion 11 3000 Series starts at 180USD, runs Win10. Instead of Windows Office you can use the free Open Office. An external 1TB USB HDD costs another 50USD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nikolai Vladivostok · December 20

      Cheers, I’ll look into it. Also, I just scheduled a post responding to your comment on ‘Africa win again’ but it won’t be appearing for months. Further, there is also an article coming soon about my adventures in Monsoon City.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TechieDude · December 21

    Sadly, you are in the dark continent. Lenovo and Dell are business standards, and usually leased. At the start of the year, leases come due and Dell and Lenovo laptops flood onto ebay. Not sure how you’d take advantage of that.

    That’s where I score my field work laptops – ones that will be exposed to crappy conditions, that I need to leave somewhere to gather data, or when I travel on personal business. My current flogger laptop is a thinkpad T431s I got on ebay for $180. I’d second the notion – get an SSD drive. I put one in that laptop, removing the windows 7 drive, and adding windows 10. When I get sick of it, I’ll put the old drive back and flog it on ebay.

    I don’t remember the model thinkpad it was, but I had one that had a titanium alloy cover for a lid. I picked up my open backpack out of the back of the truck and it flew out and hit the ground on the corner of the screen. The result was a dinged, scraped lid. The thing worked well until I was given another.

    My new one is an X1 carbon. It’s outstanding. Probably the nicest laptop I’ve owned. Nicer than my last macbook.


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