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#39973 - 04/18/16 07:31 AM Getting away from the Desktop
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
I had back surgery a year ago and for additional reasons I would like to do less reading sitting up looking at my desktop and more time in another room, either in a better chair or lying down. I sit in a $500 Steelcase Leap, but it doesn't make much difference. Remember that when you buy an expensive chair.

There's much on the internet, and in .pdf and other text format on my imac, that I want to read, but I don't like reading in my current position, esp. not for long periods of time. I grew up with paper books. I also enjoy watching YouTube more than TV or most movies.

I welcome advice on the options I've come up with and anything else you might offer. Money is a consideration.

1) Buy a cheap laptop, like an old white Macbook or Dell. Connect wirelessly to the desktop. Or download and copy files from my desktop to a laptop.

2) Buy a Kindle (or Kobo or Nook). Download web pages, .pdfs, text files, and convert them to Kindle format with Calibre, then transfer them to the Kindle.

3) Connect to the internet through my Samsung smart TV. Watch YouTube or browse the net while lying on the couch. Too bad I can't download Youtube videos in large groups, put them on a USB drive, then plug the drive into my TV.

4) Buy a Chromebook.


Edited by deniro (04/18/16 07:35 AM)
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#39975 - 04/18/16 08:22 AM Re: Getting away from the Desktop [Re: deniro]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
What about an iPad? Interfaces better than non-Apple options with your desktop Mac, won't get slowed down by modern technology like an old white Macbook, avoids conversions, and is large enough so that it is comfortable to use for reading (Kindle app or iBook) and watching YouTube. Refurbished iPads should be quite affordable and come with the Apple warranty, although newer ones may be in your price range.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#39977 - 04/18/16 09:36 AM Re: Getting away from the Desktop [Re: Ira L]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
I don't like iPads. I don't like touchscreens. For some reason I could never swipe properly to get the damn thing working.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#39979 - 04/18/16 10:06 AM Re: Getting away from the Desktop [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Personally I find the Herman-Miller Aeron or Mirra chairs to be vastly superior to anything offered by Steelcase but admittedly at 2 or 3 times the price of Steelcase. However given their 25 to 30 year lifespan that brings the annual cost down to less than $50 a year — a small cost to pay for real comfort and back support. But that is just mine and my wife's opinions.

As to your remote computer access question…
  • While I realize cost is a consideration — it is for all of us — remember a cheap but unsatisfactory solution is inevitably ends up being an expensive waste of money.
  • Generally with an old computer you get less performance than you pay for and more problems that you do not want. (I just worked for a week on an older MacBook Air trying to get it to work satisfactorily and finally gave up because I couldn't even get it to reinstall Lion and run — obviously it had other internal problems so it was not a bargain.)
  • You want a screen that is big enough to see comfortably and of you are going to be writing much at all you want a decent keyboard.
  • I frequently remote to my desktop using a 12" iPad Pro with a keyboard and it works VERY well but that runs $1,200 or more. I also remote in from my iPhone 6 Plus but the small screen and onscreen keyboard make that doable, but only for very limited tasks
  • Factory refurbished Apple laptops are available at reasonable prices, but may still be out of your price range. (11" MacBook Air runs $750 and anything with a larger screen pushes the price to over $1,000).

That leaves me with the following suggestion. Assuming your desktop is within bluetooth range (nominally 30 feet) an Apple TV attached to your television set, Airplay your computer desktop to your TV via the Apple TV, a good wireless keyboard, and careful configuration of Mouse & Trackpad options in System Preferences ➢ Accessibility to handle those functions. Even if you have to start from scratch and buy the Apple TV and a wireless keyboard the total cost could be less than $300 and a lot more satisfactory than other options. That also gets you Hulu, and a variety of other data sources.

I can't say that I have tried this, but it should be workable and would give you full access to your desktop computer's resources.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#39996 - 04/19/16 10:48 AM Re: Getting away from the Desktop [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
As you might expect, I don't want to spend much money, but maybe I ought to rethink the amount.

I was hoping to stay under $300, so I was thinking about a used Dell laptop because, as we all know, you can get much more for your money. The most obvious drawback I see in Windows today, aside from its obviously clunky and frustrating system, is that you have to baby it due to malware. You have to pay constant attention to software updates, system updates, security updates, and security news. That takes a surprising amount of time, and I find that very little is easy when it comes to Windows. There's no such thing as quick work on Windows. The maintenance is tedious and annoying, but aside from security the internet experience is better and faster than on the Mac. I'm not much interested in the Mac OS beyond 10.6. I am not at all interested in phones, watches, ipads, the cloud, mobility outside the house, downloading mp3s and movies, or watching DVDs on the computer.

I use a 17" screen built-in to the imac at a resolution of 1152x720. Sometimes I wish I had a bigger monitor, like those nice 21" Dells that you can get for a song and that I bought for my parents -- the downside being, at least to me, that monitors have been getting wider rather than taller. I was told this is so people can watch widescreen movies, something that doesn't interest me. Considering that a printed page can be only 8.5" or less wide, and that reading on a computer usually means vertical scrolling, it makes sense to me to have a taller screen rather than a wider one. A wide line is more difficult to read, or so I learned from various sources since (and including) high school typing class.

Some MacBooks have 13" screens. I would have to see one in person to know if I could deal with that. Surprising that people don't mind using such a small screen. I recently reached the point where I need glasses to read print up close.


Edited by deniro (04/19/16 10:55 AM)
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

Top
#39997 - 04/19/16 11:02 AM Re: Getting away from the Desktop [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
My TV is on the first floor while my imac and router are on the second.

Wifi works with some things but not that well due to my slow ATT DSL speed. Hulu, an app built in to the Samsung, doesn't work. YouTube usually does if I watch something with a low resolution. But I'm putting off doing much more internet use on the TV until I'm more confident about security.

Otherwise the AppleTV idea sounds interesting. I don't know anything about it or Airplay. I read some about the Roku, but streaming is impractical with slow DSL speed.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

Top
#40025 - 04/23/16 07:34 AM Re: Getting away from the Desktop [Re: deniro]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
One other option. I have an old Dell laptop that runs Windows XP Professional, an OS which I always hated. I could install a new OS over it, Windows 7 or 8 if I could get an inexpensive copy or, for free, Linux. I've never used Linux before, but if it's no more difficult than Windows, and doesn't have hefty system requirements, then maybe I should consider it.


Edited by deniro (04/23/16 07:44 AM)
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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