Author Topic: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer  (Read 3820 times)

Threshkin

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About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« on: August 11, 2014, 04:30:39 PM »
I am about 5 weeks away from FIRE.  Sometime soon I will need to replace my company provided computer.  I have been using company provided computers since they came with floppy disks.

Any suggestions? 

I am not a power user but I will need to run some applications, mainly Tax software, Libre Office, and Browser based applications.  Does this rule out something really low end like a Chromebook?  Or a $250 Dell Inspiron or similar?  Dual monitor support would be nice because I have it right now but not having it would not kill me.

My work has kept me stuck in front of a monitor virtually my entire career.  Post FIRE I want to get away (run away) from the computer but realistically I know I cannot go cold turkey.  Plus I dont want to completely disconnect from MMM!

dandarc

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 04:34:29 PM »
Pretty much anything made in the last 5 years will do what you need.

Beric01

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 04:39:17 PM »
Is mobility important to you?

Sounds like you're not running anything at all intensive, so you could get get a laptop and connect a couple monitors and a keyboard/mouse to it (I have a docking station here at work). Any recent laptop should be well-powered for your needs, and would save you from needing to own two computers.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 04:57:57 PM by Beric01 »

Jack

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2014, 04:40:48 PM »
If you get a Chromebook, note that you'd need to install "real Linux" (e.g. 'ChrUbuntu') on it to run LibreOffice. I've only ever used online tax software (or a spreadsheet / fillable forms PDF), so I wouldn't know about that.

Otherwise, I concur with dandarc.

Threshkin

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 04:59:37 PM »
Pretty much anything made in the last 5 years will do what you need.

Thanks.  That is what I was hoping.  We seem to be in a stage where compute power exceeds most software requirements.  Much easier to deal with than the opposite.

Threshkin

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 05:02:07 PM »
Is mobility important to you?

Sounds like you're not running anything at all intensive, so you could get get a laptop and connect a couple monitors and a keyboard/mouse to it (I have a docking station here at work). Any recent laptop should be well-powered for your needs, and would save you from needing to own two computers.

A dual monitor set up is what I use now.  I don't want TWO computers!

Beric01

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2014, 05:16:31 PM »
Is mobility important to you?

Sounds like you're not running anything at all intensive, so you could get get a laptop and connect a couple monitors and a keyboard/mouse to it (I have a docking station here at work). Any recent laptop should be well-powered for your needs, and would save you from needing to own two computers.

A dual monitor set up is what I use now.  I don't want TWO computers!

Still doesn't answer my question though. Is your dual monitor setup with a desktop or a laptop?

dandarc

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2014, 05:19:57 PM »
Is mobility important to you?

Sounds like you're not running anything at all intensive, so you could get get a laptop and connect a couple monitors and a keyboard/mouse to it (I have a docking station here at work). Any recent laptop should be well-powered for your needs, and would save you from needing to own two computers.

A dual monitor set up is what I use now.  I don't want TWO computers!

I don't think Beric is suggesting you buy another computer - just plug in another monitor to your laptop, and if you want a separate mouse (you probably do) and keyboard (more of a maybe), just plug them into the USB ports in the laptop.  I've got a $400 or less dell laptop (it was a gift, so I don't know the exact price) that I run with the built-in monitor and 2 external monitors at home with no problem.  I do have a device that ties the 2 external monitors together so I can plug them into the single monitor port the laptop provides as if it was just one really big monitor, but you don't need that necessarily - laptop screen + external monitor = a lot of desktop real estate to take advantage of.

Threshkin

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 05:37:24 PM »
Is mobility important to you?

Sounds like you're not running anything at all intensive, so you could get get a laptop and connect a couple monitors and a keyboard/mouse to it (I have a docking station here at work). Any recent laptop should be well-powered for your needs, and would save you from needing to own two computers.

Yeah, that is what I run now.  My company laptop is essentially used as a small desktop machine.  I use two external monitors, keyboard and mouse.  I rarely take my laptop out of my office and expect to do so even less post FIRE.
A dual monitor set up is what I use now.  I don't want TWO computers!

I don't think Beric is suggesting you buy another computer - just plug in another monitor to your laptop, and if you want a separate mouse (you probably do) and keyboard (more of a maybe), just plug them into the USB ports in the laptop.  I've got a $400 or less dell laptop (it was a gift, so I don't know the exact price) that I run with the built-in monitor and 2 external monitors at home with no problem.  I do have a device that ties the 2 external monitors together so I can plug them into the single monitor port the laptop provides as if it was just one really big monitor, but you don't need that necessarily - laptop screen + external monitor = a lot of desktop real estate to take advantage of.

Daley

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2014, 05:49:12 PM »
The recommended system from the following linked thread would clearly be overkill, but the advice therein, including if you're wanting to go with a reasonably priced laptop that will be durable has recently been re-covered on the forums, and I don't want to repeat myself so soon. :)

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/need-new-portable-workstation-with-high-end-i5-or-i7/

A nice refurbished Thinkpad T series laptop could be had for well under $400. Start there.

dandarc

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2014, 07:28:32 PM »
Totally agree on refurbished, IP - if I hadn't been given the Inspiron I've currently got, totally would have bought a refurbished.  And had I not messed up the display on my Precision M60 workstation that I bought for under $200 about 4 years ago, I'd still be using that - took a while to start up but once it was humming, ran my 3 monitor set-up just fine.  If only that bezel with the power switch hadn't worked loose and inspired me to pop it open to "fix" it.

gimp

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Re: About to be FIRE'd - Need a Computer
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 08:26:11 PM »
You could get a Bay Trail NUC with an SSD. Very cheap, will do everything you want, and it's tiny and sips power. Probably won't feel "outdated" for ~4 years.