Discussion:
Ask EU: Laptop builders
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BrritSki
2020-10-10 11:24:33 UTC
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ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?

TIA
Serena Blanchflower
2020-10-10 12:05:43 UTC
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Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
I followed an umratic[1] recommendation and got my PC (a desktop) from
<https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/>, around seven years ago, and am still
very happy with it.


[1] My smellchecker would have liked to change this to erratic, which
seems rather appropriate ;)
--
Best wishes, Serena
If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?
BrritSki
2020-10-10 14:11:44 UTC
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Post by Serena Blanchflower
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
I followed an umratic[1] recommendation and got my PC (a desktop) from
<https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/>, around seven years ago, and am still
very happy with it.
Thanks Serena, I had an idea that was the company...
Post by Serena Blanchflower
[1] My smellchecker would have liked to change this to erratic, which
seems rather appropriate ;)
:)
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-10-10 15:51:01 UTC
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Post by BrritSki
Post by Serena Blanchflower
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
I followed an umratic[1] recommendation and got my PC (a desktop)
from <https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/>, around seven years ago, and
am still very happy with it.
I think for laptops, there's not a lot of custom-building that can be
done; apart from varying the amount of RAM and the capacity of the main
drive (and whether it's a conventional spinning one or a solid-state
one), I don't think you _can_ vary much: a given laptop obviously has a
fixed case, sound hardware, video hardware, keyboard, and screen. The
-_manufacturers_ may offer slight variations (on balance, I'd make sure
it has 5 GHz as well as 2.4 GHz wifi these days, at least for a new
one), but I don't think many (if any) third-party companies offer much
variation other than, really, fitting more RAM.

Same applies to all-in-ones (basically giant laptops - a big monitor
with the computer built into the back of it, mains-powered only,
separate keyboard).

Desktops, yes, there is still the facility for customisation (whether
"small form-factor" - the ones a bit bigger than a large dictionary
[that can be horizontal or vertical] - or full-size cases, with the
latter offering more versatility [often SFF only have room for one drive
for example]) - though I'd say there's less reason to customise than
there once was, unless you have specific requirements - mainly gaming,
though some specialised uses (e. g. if you're going to be doing a lot of
say video processing) might justify it. But for most people who want to
do word processing, sound and video viewing (including online), video
conferencing (Skype, zoom/webex, etc.), and virtually anything else I
can think of, the standard configuration you'd get from PC World, Argos,
Tesco, ASDA etc. will have more than capacity. And, galling though it
is, if such a machine has some feature you _don't_ need, it'll still be
cheaper than having a custom-made one without that feature.

(Of course, now that you can only get Windows 10, and you can't stop
Microsoft "up"grading that, how long any even new PC will _remain_ able
even just to run the operating system, is dubious: I'd say expect 3 to 4
years before it starts being scornful of what you've got.)

[I'm talking about Windows-based machines. I don't know enough to
comment on Linux-based; for basic uses, _maybe_ you should also look at
Chromebooks. (As for Apple machines, I'm pretty sure hardly anyone
customises those.)]

This is assuming you're talking about an all-new PC, either one of the
pre-configured ones or one custom-made for you.
Post by BrritSki
Thanks Serena, I had an idea that was the company...
I can't advise, so I'll go with UMRAts' recommendations.
Post by BrritSki
Post by Serena Blanchflower
[1] My smellchecker would have liked to change this to erratic,
which seems rather appropriate ;)
:)
(-:

Going second-hand doesn't mean you are prevented from some degree of
customisation though; there are "refurbishers" - companies, not
individuals - who offer a certain degree of it. They mostly buy bulk
quantities of machines from large companies who are doing a company-wide
upgrade, then strip them down and build them back up to your
specification. Though I've not used them, so this isn't an endorsement,
https://www.bargainhardware.co.uk/ seem to be typical of this type of
arrangement: you select a case/motherboard combination, then pick what
processor, memory, drive (hard or soft), graphics card (which can be
none; most motherboards have on-board graphics, which is probably
adequate for most people), optical drive (from CD reader up to DVD or
even blue-ray writer), operating system (I_think_ they only do W10 now,
but you can have home or Pro, 32 or 64 bit), and even monitor if you
want one; they'll put it all together for you and configure it. All
prices shown for each choice. Obviously some combinations aren't
available, or don't make sense - no point in putting a top-flight
graphics card in the bottom-of-the-range machine (it may not even fit),
and the lower ones can't take lots of memory.

They do offer some all-in-ones. And laptops, though the config options
there are just memory, drive, OS, and power brick.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

They are public servants, so we will threat them rather as Flashman treats
servants. - Stephen Fry on some people's attitudo to the BBC, in Radio Times,
3-9 July 2010
Peter
2020-10-10 15:59:44 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
  I followed an umratic[1] recommendation and got my PC (a desktop)
from  <https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/>, around seven years ago, and
am still  very happy with it.
I think for laptops, there's not a lot of custom-building that can be
done;
The size of one's lap imposes a limit. For giants only:
http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~harry/Relay/.
--
When, once, reference was made to a statesman almost universally
recognized as one of the villains of this century, in order to
induce him to a negative judgment, he replied: "My situation is
so different from his, that it is not for me to pass judgment".
Ernst Specker on Paul Bernays
BrritSki
2020-10-11 08:08:38 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
  I followed an umratic[1] recommendation and got my PC (a desktop)
from  <https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/>, around seven years ago, and
am still  very happy with it.
I think for laptops, there's not a lot of custom-building that can be
done; apart from varying the amount of RAM and the capacity of the main
drive (and whether it's a conventional spinning one or a solid-state
Au contraire. You can vary:
- the processor, and even within say i7's you have to look carefully at
what generation it is
- the speed of the RAM as well as the amount
- the size of the disk as wel,l as you say, if it's SSD or HDD
- whether or not you have a second disk and again if that is SSD or HDD
- whether an optical disk reader/writer is included
- the size and type of the display and the size of the bezels which in
turn affects the size of the keyboard as I should have realised when we
bought waife's new laptop a year or so ago
- the graphics card
- the connections - although a certain minimum is normal there are now
new standards like Thunderbolt
- the battery capacity
- the cooling capacity - very important for gaming
- the weight and size although a lot of that is determined by or
determines choices above

So pretty much everything really :/ Although I admit not all of them
will have a big impact on performance, they may be important for certain
types of application.

For example, my current 4yo laptop is a bit slow, but OK really, but is
limited on disk size and with the way I use Chrome I have to reboot
every few days to clear the cache. It also has a problem with the
battery which means the display flickers when unplugged for a few
minutes which is very annoying. I am also recording more video with a
new GoPro so that needs more disk space and more power for
video-editing. Finally it has an Italian keyboard, so although I have a
UK keyboard setting, lots of the shift keys are "wrong", so that will be
good to see the back of.

So I am looking for a 9/10th generation i7 processor with 16GB of fast
RAM. I want an SSD as the boot drive plus a second drive, ideally 500GB
SSB and 1 or 2 TB HDD, although at a pinch that could be an SSD as well.
Ideally I'd like an onboard optical drive, but I think that's unlikely
with a 2nd disk HDD. There needs to be a good graphics card, but as I'm
not into gaming it doesn't need to be the best. I want a 15.6" display
with thin bezels to keep size and weight down (it often travels in a
rucksack) and a full-size keyboard (but not backlit). I'll be happy with
just the standard connectors.

I know there are alternatives to some of these, but I'm not learning a
new OS at my age, so I'm sticking with Win10 warts and all. I also know
there are storage alternatives like RAID servers, and I might be adding
something like that for backup, but do not want it as my main storage.

YMMV. Thanks though for the input and to everyone else who replied.
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-10-11 14:56:45 UTC
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Post by BrritSki
On Sat, 10 Oct 2020 at 15:11:44, BrritSki
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
  I followed an umratic[1] recommendation and got my PC (a desktop)
from  <https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/>, around seven years ago, and
am still  very happy with it.
I think for laptops, there's not a lot of custom-building that can
be done; apart from varying the amount of RAM and the capacity of the
main drive (and whether it's a conventional spinning one or a
- the processor, and even within say i7's you have to look carefully at
what generation it is
- the speed of the RAM as well as the amount
- the size of the disk as wel,l as you say, if it's SSD or HDD
(You say "size", I said "capacity".)
Post by BrritSki
- whether or not you have a second disk and again if that is SSD or HDD
- whether an optical disk reader/writer is included
- the size and type of the display and the size of the bezels which in
turn affects the size of the keyboard as I should have realised when we
bought waife's new laptop a year or so ago
- the graphics card
- the connections - although a certain minimum is normal there are now
new standards like Thunderbolt
- the battery capacity
- the cooling capacity - very important for gaming
- the weight and size although a lot of that is determined by or
determines choices above
So pretty much everything really :/ Although I admit not all of them
will have a big impact on performance, they may be important for
certain types of application.
You originally asked about "companies that would custom-build laptops
and PCs." I think the above determines _which_ laptop you'd buy; not
really what I'd think of as "customisation". YMMV on the interpretation
of the term customisation.
[]
Post by BrritSki
editing. Finally it has an Italian keyboard, so although I have a UK
keyboard setting, lots of the shift keys are "wrong", so that will be
good to see the back of.
(You might be able to get a UK keyboard for it; certainly you can get
keyboard stickers. But probably not worth the faff, especially if you've
decided to get a new laptop anyway.)
Post by BrritSki
So I am looking for a 9/10th generation i7 processor with 16GB of fast
RAM. I want an SSD as the boot drive plus a second drive, ideally 500GB
SSB and 1 or 2 TB HDD, although at a pinch that could be an SSD as
I'm interested by your "at a pinch" - do you share my hesitancy about
SSDs for long-term use?
Post by BrritSki
well. Ideally I'd like an onboard optical drive, but I think that's
unlikely with a 2nd disk HDD.
Agreed. I hardly ever use my inbuilt one - I think the only times I have
for the past few years are to make (or restore from) images of C:, and
I'd be quite happy to use my external one for that if I didn't have an
internal.
Post by BrritSki
There needs to be a good graphics card, but as I'm not into gaming it
doesn't need to be the best.
What makes "good" if speed isn't important - colour depth? I guess maybe
resolution, but that's usually determined by the display in a laptop.
(Yes I know the graphics can sometimes drive a higher resolution
external.)
Post by BrritSki
I want a 15.6" display with thin bezels to keep size and weight down
(it often travels in a rucksack) and a full-size keyboard
You need, I think, the 15.6" display to get the (more or less) full-size
keyboard (or 17" if non-widescreen, but I don't think anyone makes
non-ws laptops now).
Post by BrritSki
(but not backlit).
I'd love backlit (as long as it was _through_ not just around the keys)!
I often work in poor light. It's definitely not helped by most (all, I
think!) laptop manufacturers making the keys with the legend just tiny
in the top left corner; may look stylish, but definitely form over
function! That's why I've gone for stickers.
Post by BrritSki
I'll be happy with just the standard connectors.
I'd want at least 3 USB; other than that, ethernet is probably useful,
and one display connector - slight preference for VGA, as that's more
likely to work with whatever I come across, but HDMI is taking over (and
_some_ modern things don't have VGA). Can't think of other connectors
that important - eSATA is nice, and an SD card socket, but neither is
vital (card readers in particular I've bought from poundshops before
now).
Post by BrritSki
I know there are alternatives to some of these, but I'm not learning a
new OS at my age, so I'm sticking with Win10 warts and all. I also know
I think I would, if buying a new laptop. (At present, if I have to
replace, I'd look for another s/h 7, but those are going to become hard
to find - or uneconomic - soon.)
Post by BrritSki
there are storage alternatives like RAID servers, and I might be adding
something like that for backup, but do not want it as my main storage.
Not in a laptop, I think.
Post by BrritSki
YMMV. Thanks though for the input and to everyone else who replied.
So it's mainly a laptop you're after. (I suppose I should have looked
harder at the subject! But you did say "laptops and PCs" in the text.)
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to
be doing at the moment. -Robert Benchley, humorist, drama critic, and actor
(1889-1945)
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-10-11 15:12:41 UTC
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On Sun, 11 Oct 2020 at 15:56:45, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
[]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by BrritSki
well. Ideally I'd like an onboard optical drive, but I think that's
unlikely with a 2nd disk HDD.
Agreed. I hardly ever use my inbuilt one - I think the only times I
have for the past few years are to make (or restore from) images of C:,
and I'd be quite happy to use my external one for that if I didn't have
an internal.
[]
(Reading that over: I don't mean I image my C: onto optical discs: I
mean I use the optical drive to boot Macrium from. [Macrium - 5, at
least, probably later versions too - fits on a mini-CD, which I like.] I
image to an external HD [in a dock - USB or e-SATA].)
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Radio 4 is the civilising influence in this country ... I think it is the most
important institution in this country. - John Humphrys, Radio Times
7-13/06/2003
BrritSki
2020-10-11 15:21:56 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
You originally asked about "companies that would custom-build laptops
and PCs." I think the above determines _which_ laptop you'd buy; not
really what I'd think of as "customisation". YMMV on the interpretation
of the term customisation.
It depends on the vendor to a degree. If you look at Curries PCW you
select the "options" and get a list of laptops that meet them.

OTOH a company like PCSpecialist lets you start that way and then you
can customise various options.

e.g https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/recoil-IV-15/
krw
2020-10-11 13:57:52 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
(Of course, now that you can only get Windows 10, and you can't stop
Microsoft "up"grading that, how long any even new PC will _remain_ able
even just to run the operating system, is dubious: I'd say expect 3 to 4
years before it starts being scornful of what you've got.)
Far from it. Windows is not moving the goalposts on hardware
requirements. My last PC was running 7 I think and I moved it to 10 -
the hardware was more than adequate. It is no longer the case that the
OS is driving hardware upgrades.
--
Kosmo Richard W
www.travelswmw.whitnet.uk
https://tinyurl.com/KRWpics
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-10-11 15:06:48 UTC
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Post by krw
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
(Of course, now that you can only get Windows 10, and you can't stop
Microsoft "up"grading that, how long any even new PC will _remain_
able even just to run the operating system, is dubious: I'd say
expect 3 to 4 years before it starts being scornful of what you've got.)
Far from it. Windows is not moving the goalposts on hardware
requirements. My last PC was running 7 I think and I moved it to 10 -
the hardware was more than adequate. It is no longer the case that the
OS is driving hardware upgrades.
I have two 7 laptops. One, which I think is single-core, was more or
less completely unusable under 10; I was very surprised the initial
"will it run it" check didn't complain. This one, I think would have
managed (though not blazingly fast), but 10 didn't have a driver for the
graphics hardware, so had to use the W10 default driver - which didn't
have a resolution setting to match that of the display (1366 × 768 - not
an unusual one these days), which didn't suit me. Both are back on 7.
You may be right about 10 not driving processor power requirements.
Though I suspect the RAM requirement may creep up (and the HD, but
that's easily replaced). Maybe it isn't the OS alone, but I do feel that
the march of software in general - probably in particular web pages,
which are in practice software (and very inefficiently-"written"
software at that) these days - do give hardware a short life these
years.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Radio 4 is the civilising influence in this country ... I think it is the most
important institution in this country. - John Humphrys, Radio Times
7-13/06/2003
krw
2020-10-11 15:30:43 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
You may be right about 10 not driving processor power requirements.
Though I suspect the RAM requirement may creep up (and the HD, but
that's easily replaced). Maybe it isn't the OS alone, but I do feel that
the march of software in general - probably in particular web pages,
which are in practice software (and very inefficiently-"written"
software at that) these days - do give hardware a short life these years.
I feel largely the opposite. My last PC managed 7 years I think. This
one has a newer processor but the same amount of RAM as the last one
(16Gb), I am using 75 Gb of space on the SSD on this machine for the C:
drive - the original spec on its predecessor was 120Gb, yes I went for
more on this one but it was not needed.

I don't play games or edit video files so this is more than adequate.
Hardware life is growing, not shortening - I used to replace the desktop
every 3 - 4 years; that is simply no longer the case.
--
Kosmo Richard W
www.travelswmw.whitnet.uk
https://tinyurl.com/KRWpics
Serena Blanchflower
2020-10-11 19:37:29 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
You may be right about 10 not driving processor power requirements.
Though I suspect the RAM requirement may creep up (and the HD, but
that's easily replaced). Maybe it isn't the OS alone, but I do feel that
the march of software in general - probably in particular web pages,
which are in practice software (and very inefficiently-"written"
software at that) these days - do give hardware a short life these years.
I think that's much less true than it was a few years ago. When I bought
this machine, I deliberately got one which, on paper, was wildly
over-specified for what I use it for, to allow for this. Apart from the
fact that its chip is now, inevitably, far from the newest model, its
specification is pretty much the same as Brrittski is looking for and is
still pretty much top end.

Unlike its predecessor, which had gone from reasonably high-spec to very
underpowered, in about five years.
--
Best wishes, Serena
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent
revolution inevitable. (John F. Kennedy)
Jenny M Benson
2020-10-10 16:29:14 UTC
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Post by Serena Blanchflower
I followed an umratic[1] recommendation and got my PC (a desktop) from
<https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/>, around seven years ago, and am still
very happy with it.
Also following Umratic recommends, I got both my desky and lapdog from
PCSpecialist and have been very satisfied with both.

My only tiny complaint is that the handle came off the lapdog's carrying
bag after very little use and I had to return it at my expense for a
replacement. Unfortunately, the replacement was identical to the
original and again the handle came off after very little use. I didn't
bother to return it again: my daughter replaced the handle. The
original handle was sturdy enough, but attached to the bag by a couple
of rubber "hinges". On both occasions the rubber split. And when I say
"very little use" I mean that on maybe half-a-dozen occasions I carried
the lapdog in it's bag from living room to car outside in courtyard and
from car in drive to living room at the other end.
--
Jenny M Benson
Wrexham, UK
Chris J Dixon
2020-10-10 15:01:41 UTC
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Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
I've had a couple of good desktops from Scan
https://www.scan.co.uk/

They are pretty flexible. You can auto-configure on the website,
and, if you contact them, further changes can be made.

They are PC Pro Best PC Manufacturer and Best Retailer of the
Year 2020.

Further back CCL produced me a good system.

Chris
--
Chris J Dixon Nottingham
'48/33 M B+ G++ A L(-) I S-- CH0(--)(p) Ar- T+ H0 ?Q
***@cdixon.me.uk @ChrisJDixon1
Plant amazing Acers.
Mike Ruddock
2020-10-12 07:43:26 UTC
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Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
Can I hook myself onto BrritSki's coat-tails here?

I am looking for a lap-top with enough memory not to have Win 10
bleating about there not being enough memory free (and, no, my present
lap-top has no provision for memory expansion).

I am quite happy to buy a refurbished model but need a bit of advice on
suitable makers/models. The laptop would be an auxiliary device to be
used in conjunction with a desktop running Win 7

I need hardly say that I don't go in for shoot-em-up games nor do I
store a lot of music, nor photos. Most of my usage is text-based and so
far I have been adequately served by flash memories.
Any suggestions as to suitable kit would be appreciated.

My budget is limited (isn't everyone's?) and £400 would be about the limit.

Mike Ruddock
Sam Plusnet
2020-10-12 21:56:58 UTC
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Post by Mike Ruddock
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
Can I hook myself onto BrritSki's coat-tails here?
I am looking for a lap-top with enough memory not to have Win 10
bleating about there not being enough memory free (and, no, my present
lap-top has no provision for memory expansion).
I am quite happy to buy a refurbished model but need a bit of advice on
suitable makers/models. The laptop would be an auxiliary device to be
used in conjunction with a desktop running Win 7
I need hardly say that I don't go in for shoot-em-up games nor do I
store a lot of music, nor photos. Most of my usage is text-based and so
far I have been adequately served by flash memories.
Any suggestions as to suitable kit would be appreciated.
My budget is limited (isn't everyone's?) and £400 would be about the limit.
For my Wofe, I buy refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad laptops (several firms
offer them via that south american river, but will also sell direct).

These are well-built robust laptops intended for 'Enterprise' use and
have good quality keyboards. They tend to keep on working despite her
tender ministrations.

Your upper price should get you a Thinkpad T530 with 8GB RAM & 120GB SSD
and that will run Win10 without the slightest problem.
There are, or course, other models.
The supplied battery is sometimes a bit elderly so you might later
consider a (generic) replacement as a modest investment, if battery life
is important to you.

This advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.
--
Sam Plusnet
Peter
2020-10-12 22:08:50 UTC
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Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)? Any recommendations?
--
When, once, reference was made to a statesman almost universally
recognized as one of the villains of this century, in order to
induce him to a negative judgment, he replied: "My situation is
so different from his, that it is not for me to pass judgment".
Ernst Specker on Paul Bernays
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-10-12 22:19:20 UTC
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Post by Peter
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)? Any recommendations?
What are the symptoms?
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they
don't want to hear. - Preface to "Animal Farm"
Peter
2020-10-12 22:44:13 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would  custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
 TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)?  Any
recommendations?
What are the symptoms?
Dead. No sign of life at all. What I would be content with is a laptop
(new or second hand) with my SSD put in it, so that when I turn it on I
get pretty much what I used to get with the original. The original ran
Windows 7. I feel myself unable to acquire that new (or second hand)
laptop and transfer the SSD.
--
When, once, reference was made to a statesman almost universally
recognized as one of the villains of this century, in order to
induce him to a negative judgment, he replied: "My situation is
so different from his, that it is not for me to pass judgment".
Ernst Specker on Paul Bernays
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-10-13 01:19:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would  custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
 TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)?  Any
recommendations?
What are the symptoms?
Dead. No sign of life at all. What I would be content with is a
I assume you've checked the power brick is OK. And waggled the power
input plug - a common source of failure in laptops; the connector comes
unsoldered from the motherboard, especially if you actually use the
laptop portable a lot (i. e. keep unplugging it), or bash it a few
times. Fiddly to resolder (not that much the actual soldering, but just
getting at it!). If waggling the plug (assuming you've checked the power
brick _is_ OK) makes _anything_ happen, even just a light to flicker,
then suspect that as the problem. (Try with the battery disconnected; a
totally flat battery - as it will be if this has happened - might swamp
the supply.) The connector itself _can_ fail - probably 30p to 2 pounds
for a replacement, then hours of grief (or a few minutes; depends on
laptop model) wiggling it into place so it can be resoldered. (Or if
it's on a supplementary small board rather than soldered direct to the
mainboard, you can probably get a replacement such board.)

If you know someone with the same model (or just that uses the same
battery), ask to borrow their battery - if it shows any sign of life
with that, it's almost certainly the connector or power brick at fault.

Another thing to try - disconnect both the external power _and_ the
battery, then try to turn on as normal (hold in the power button or
whatever you usually do): this will completely discharge any stored
power. Reconnecting the power can sometimes miraculously bring it back
to life; they can get into a funny mode, and be held in it by a tiny
amount of stored power, which this procedure _can_ sometimes clear.

One more thing I've _heard_ can bring back to life, but haven't
experienced myself, is to leave it on charge (I forget for how long,
overnight should do), either with or without the main battery connected
(try both): sometimes there's an extra internal battery that needs
charging.

Or the CMOS battery may need replacing - usually a coin cell, though in
laptops sometimes shrink-wrapped into a rubber sleeve with flying leads.
Post by Peter
laptop (new or second hand) with my SSD put in it, so that when I turn
it on I get pretty much what I used to get with the original. The
original ran Windows 7. I feel myself unable to acquire that new (or
second hand) laptop and transfer the SSD.
Assuming none of the above works (and yes, they do die: I know an
82-year-old who's had _two_ die on her!):

Just transferring the SSD will give some problems, as unless it's an
identical machine, it will need drivers for different hardware (mainly
the video "card"); though it would _probably_ work, probably at the
wrong resolution, until you can get the right drivers. Then there's the
antipiracy measures: if it thinks (as would be correct!) that it's been
transferred into a different machine, it may sulk - I'm not sure of the
details, but it could be anything from refusing to work at all, to only
working for an hour at a time, to working apart from black wallpaper, to
working fine. But a second-hand machine will probably come with a drive
with 7 on it anyway (with the correct drivers for its hardware and
sorting the antipiracy stuff); transferring the _data_ from the current
drive is then just a matter of putting the old drive in a dock (20 to 30
pounds) or connecting it with a SATA to USB "cable" (which actually
contains some electronics but is jut sold as a "cable"), which might be
5 to 10 pounds. Though you have to get it out of the old laptop. On most
laptops, there's a panel to remove to get at the drive (which is a bit
larger than a credit card, and 7-9mm thick, and just unplugs); if you're
unlucky, you have to take off the whole bottom cover (which is not
difficult, just incredibly tedious - you have to _find_ all the screws,
some of which might be in the battery compartment, or under labels, or
even under the keyboard). But look for a panel first! You'll need
jeweller's screwdriver (Lidl sell suitable sets from time to time; you
can probably find them in poundshops too).
Feel free to ask for further help (including by Skype and/or 'phone); I
have no qualifications or training, but I've dismantled my share of
laptops.

Searching YouTube for your model number will _probably_ find good videos
showing how to dismantle. Be wary though - sometimes they title their
videos with the wrong model numbers (make sure the one in the video
looks _exactly_ like yours), and sometimes they show far more
dismantling than necessary (including videos from the manufacturers).
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Veni, Vidi, Vera (I came, I saw, we'll meet again) - Mik from S+AS Limited
(***@saslimited.demon.co.uk), 1998
Peter
2020-10-13 14:31:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would  custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
 TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)?  Any
recommendations?
What are the symptoms?
Dead.  No sign of life at all.  What I would be content with is a
I assume you've checked the power brick is OK. And waggled the power
input plug - a common source of failure in laptops; the connector comes
unsoldered from the motherboard, especially if you actually use the
laptop portable a lot (i. e. keep unplugging it), or bash it a few
times. Fiddly to resolder (not that much the actual soldering, but just
getting at it!). If waggling the plug (assuming you've checked the power
brick _is_ OK) makes _anything_ happen, even just a light to flicker,
then suspect that as the problem. (Try with the battery disconnected; a
totally flat battery - as it will be if this has happened - might swamp
the supply.) The connector itself _can_ fail - probably 30p to 2 pounds
for a replacement, then hours of grief (or a few minutes; depends on
laptop model) wiggling it into place so it can be resoldered. (Or if
it's on a supplementary small board rather than soldered direct to the
mainboard, you can probably get a replacement such board.)
If you know someone with the same model (or just that uses the same
battery), ask to borrow their battery - if it shows any sign of life
with that, it's almost certainly the connector or power brick at fault.
Another thing to try - disconnect both the external power _and_ the
battery, then try to turn on as normal (hold in the power button or
whatever you usually do): this will completely discharge any stored
power. Reconnecting the power can sometimes miraculously bring it back
to life; they can get into a funny mode, and be held in it by a tiny
amount of stored power, which this procedure _can_ sometimes clear.
One more thing I've _heard_ can bring back to life, but haven't
experienced myself, is to leave it on charge (I forget for how long,
overnight should do), either with or without the main battery connected
(try both): sometimes there's an extra internal battery that needs
charging.
Or the CMOS battery may need replacing - usually a coin cell, though in
laptops sometimes shrink-wrapped into a rubber sleeve with flying leads.
laptop (new or second hand) with my SSD put in it, so that when I turn
it on I get pretty much what I used to get with the original.  The
original ran Windows 7.  I feel myself unable to acquire that new (or
second hand) laptop and transfer the SSD.
Assuming none of the above works (and yes, they do die: I know an
Just transferring the SSD will give some problems, as unless it's an
identical machine, it will need drivers for different hardware (mainly
the video "card"); though it would _probably_ work, probably at the
wrong resolution, until you can get the right drivers. Then there's the
antipiracy measures: if it thinks (as would be correct!) that it's been
transferred into a different machine, it may sulk - I'm not sure of the
details, but it could be anything from refusing to work at all, to only
working for an hour at a time, to working apart from black wallpaper, to
working fine. But a second-hand machine will probably come with a drive
with 7 on it anyway (with the correct drivers for its hardware and
sorting the antipiracy stuff); transferring the _data_ from the current
drive is then just a matter of putting the old drive in a dock (20 to 30
pounds) or connecting it with a SATA to USB "cable" (which actually
contains some electronics but is jut sold as a "cable"), which might be
5 to 10 pounds. Though you have to get it out of the old laptop. On most
laptops, there's a panel to remove to get at the drive (which is a bit
larger than a credit card, and 7-9mm thick, and just unplugs); if you're
unlucky, you have to take off the whole bottom cover (which is not
difficult, just incredibly tedious - you have to _find_ all the screws,
some of which might be in the battery compartment, or under labels, or
even under the keyboard). But look for a panel first! You'll need
jeweller's screwdriver (Lidl sell suitable sets from time to time; you
can probably find them in poundshops too).
Feel free to ask for further help (including by Skype and/or 'phone); I
have no qualifications or training, but I've dismantled my share of
laptops.
Searching YouTube for your model number will _probably_ find good videos
showing how to dismantle. Be wary though - sometimes they title their
videos with the wrong model numbers (make sure the one in the video
looks _exactly_ like yours), and sometimes they show far more
dismantling than necessary (including videos from the manufacturers).
Thank you for a very comprehensive reply.
--
When, once, reference was made to a statesman almost universally
recognized as one of the villains of this century, in order to
induce him to a negative judgment, he replied: "My situation is
so different from his, that it is not for me to pass judgment".
Ernst Specker on Paul Bernays
Mike McMillan
2020-10-13 06:55:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)? Any recommendations?
Would they be vets?😊
--
Toodle Pip (My other iPad is an old Pro)
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-10-13 14:36:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 13 Oct 2020 at 06:55:28, Mike McMillan
[]
Post by Peter
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)? Any recommendations?
Would they be vets?0 >
LOL! (Purr.)
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

"Bother," said Pooh, as he fell off the bridge with his stick.
Peter
2020-10-13 21:53:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Mike McMillan
Post by Peter
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)? Any recommendations?
Would they be vets?😊
My pet goldfish often sits on my lap.
--
When, once, reference was made to a statesman almost universally
recognized as one of the villains of this century, in order to
induce him to a negative judgment, he replied: "My situation is
so different from his, that it is not for me to pass judgment".
Ernst Specker on Paul Bernays
Sam Plusnet
2020-10-14 20:05:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter
Post by Mike McMillan
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)?  Any
recommendations?
Would they be vets?😊
My pet goldfish often sits on my lap.
Does it swim laps there?
--
Sam Plusnet
Mike
2020-10-14 21:24:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by Peter
Post by Mike McMillan
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)?  Any
recommendations?
Would they be vets?😊
My pet goldfish often sits on my lap.
Does it swim laps there?
Is that why one can find groins on beaches?
--
Toodle Pip
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-10-14 23:59:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by Peter
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)?  Any
recommendations?
Would they be vets?0 >>>>
My pet goldfish often sits on my lap.
Does it swim laps there?
Is that why one can find groins on beaches?
"Do not tie boats to groins" (genuine sign). Sounds painful ...
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Parkinson: "What caused your conversion to women - was it the love of a good
one?" George Melly: "No the love of several bad ones" (Lizbuff in UMRA
'01-4-25)
Sam Plusnet
2020-10-15 18:33:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by Mike
Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by Peter
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that would
custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)?  Any
recommendations?
Would they be vets?0 >>>>
My pet goldfish often sits on my lap.
Does it swim laps there?
Is that why one can find groins on beaches?
"Do not tie boats to groins" (genuine sign). Sounds painful ...
A more drastic equivalent to the (supposed) traditional method of
pulling a tooth without resorting to a dentist.
(Better take notes, since visits to a dentist are no longer
straightforward as in the halcyon days of last year.)
--
Sam Plusnet
Sid Nuncius
2020-10-13 17:06:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)?  Any
recommendations?
I know an excellent little company near here (Chiswick Computers
in...er...Chiswick, West London) who repair laptops and desktops, but
you'd need to visit them in person. I don't know where you are, though,
and this is probably of no use to you.
--
Sid
(Make sure Matron is away when you reply)
Peter
2020-10-13 19:32:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by BrritSki
ISTR that there was some discussion in the past of companies that
would custom-build laptops and PCs. Any suggestions please ?
TIA
What about laptop repairers (or repairers of laptops)?  Any
recommendations?
I know an excellent little company near here (Chiswick Computers
in...er...Chiswick, West London) who repair laptops and desktops, but
you'd need to visit them in person.  I don't know where you are, though,
and this is probably of no use to you.
Thank you. I am a short train ride from Chiswick. (Short ride, the
length of the train is not known to me.)
--
When, once, reference was made to a statesman almost universally
recognized as one of the villains of this century, in order to
induce him to a negative judgment, he replied: "My situation is
so different from his, that it is not for me to pass judgment".
Ernst Specker on Paul Bernays
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