Considering a Dedicated Windows Laptop for Ham Radio...

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by W3TPL, Sep 18, 2017.

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  1. K1ABX

    K1ABX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a work issued 2010 MacBook Pro, and it worked perfectly fine until recently :) What is your storage like on it. SSD ?
  2. W3TPL

    W3TPL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    500 GB traditional hard drive on it's last legs. I could replace the hard drive and battery and have a machine almost as good as new, but sadly all that's more expensive than buying a dedicated laptop. My MBP has been around the world a few times, dropped more times than I can count, and chewed on by both teething cats and dogs. It's ready for retirement.
    K1ABX likes this.
  3. W1XWX

    W1XWX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nothing but Windows 10 machines -- 4 of them. They run all of my ham software and also the Flex radio without any issues. My main computer is a quad core with 6 gigs of memory. I do all the ham radio digital modes and video editing with this machine. Never found any recent software that would not run--- even old copies of software like Microsoft WORKS, and Ham Clock run just fine.

    I did upgrade the hard drive to SSD about a year ago. 73 W1XWX
  4. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Most ham radio programs are not resource-intensive. Up until last year I was running my station with an old Dell Latitude with a Windows XP operating system. When HRD stopped supporting WinXP, I knew I had to upgrade (Although I still use the XP machine to run my DSTAR DVAP). I went to BestBuys and bought the same computer in the link from the scratch-and-dent area for around $300. I have not had a problem with it, and I run a lot of digital programs along with HRD, DX Cluster software, NetLogger, DX Toolbox and multiple browser windows. I also use it via TeamViewer to remotely control the radio. Absolutely no complaints. I don't see how you can go wrong.

    Good luck.
  5. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Win 7 Pro. with remote desktop.
    KX4OM likes this.
  6. KX4OM

    KX4OM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I shouldn't have any issues with erasing the hard drive and installing my OEM Windows 7 disk and registering it, should I? My 30 day "rollback" from Windows 10 to Win 7 privilege of course expired last year.

    Ted, KX4OM
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It should not be a problem.

    You may want to try it on a spare hard drive, Before wiping it clean.

    Some people are nuts about Win 10. Not me, I have no need for cloud computing.

    No Microsoft support for Win 7, Makes Win 7 even better. No MS updates to hose it.
  8. KX4OM

    KX4OM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looks like a good plan.

    I'm going to install Mint 18.2 anyway, replacing 18.1, and since I don't use Win 10 except for SDR, and a couple of legacy programs on this, my main laptop, I figure why not go back to Win 7 Pro. Most of my other stuff on Win 10 are open source hardware-agnostic including LibreOffice, LTSpice, Eagle CAD, etc. My other PCs are ancient XP and/or Linux Mint, along with two RPi portable ham units with Fldigi for ops of my boatanchor and homebrew stuff. The Linux installations are networked on my LAN; the XP unit is not.

    The last Windows 10 update earlier this month trashed my grub, and I had to use testdisk and then rescatux to get it back to boot Linux or Win 10. That's the second time I've had to do that. Only with the major features updates, apparently, not the Defender updates. I can tolerate the Win 7 security updates until they expire in 2020, assuming this 2009 vintage machine lasts that long. I do have an identical twin Dell laptop that is currently a Linux Mint/potential spares machine. I've replaced a total of 3 keyboards, 2 hard drives and 1 screen combined so far on them.

    I did a full Clonezilla image of the whole hard drive on this machine last week, and I'm going to do a backup to a different hard drive (using the BlacX USB HD unit) of my NTFS "Data" partition stuff and a backup of my Mint home directory before I attempt install the new operating systems. Windows 7 first, and then the new Mint.

    Ted, KX4OM
  9. W3TPL

    W3TPL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks... I just picked up a new Raspberry Pi that's going to eat up a bit of my time... and using my work laptop temporarily to fill that role.

    We'll see what comes around Black Friday and see if any deals can be had. Thanks!
    N2SUB likes this.
  10. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Raspberry Pi is fine.

    You can run Windows on it, But why mess it up giving it MS.


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