my HP nx8220 is as reliable as a Mercedes W123 and as sexy as a W115

Two dif­fe­rent per­sons approa­ched me ear­lier last week, tel­ling me about their plans of buy­ing a new lap­top. Knowing that they’ll be fine with a simp­le, sta­tio­na­ry sys­tem (= for­get about bat­te­ry run­ti­me) and a good cost/performance ratio, I told both of them to go for an ACER 5220 / 80 GB HDD / 1GB RAM + WinXPP for some­thing around EUR 500,-.

I took this oppor­tu­ni­ty to also inform mys­elf about cur­rent models and trends and came to the con­clu­si­on that I am just (still) VERY HAPPY with my HP (Com­paq) nx8220. I’ve seen a lot of other equip­ment in the past and also lots of cripp­led corp. IT gad­gets and then I always come back to my beloved nx8220 and think: Ahh, well done, JKE, it was a good deal back then. :-)

Real­ly, I don’t care about fast CPUs or the latest gfx board if the machi­ne does not pro­vi­de a decent bat­te­ry run­ti­me under nor­mal con­di­ti­ons and, most import­ant­ly, has a matt dis­play, a real key­board, an inter­nal micro­pho­ne, a lowe­red track­pad (see Sony VAI­Os — hor­ri­ble) and enough USB ports on each side.

So why not this dead cheap HP 530 run­ning on Linux? Becau­se it has its USB ports on the left side. Now ima­gi­ne fixing your USB mou­se to that port, pul­ling the cable once around the back of the machi­ne to the right side. Or head­set sockets: nice for fixing a head­set — but given the (sta­tio­na­ry) Cele­ron CPU, most users will keep this machi­ne at home and may want to con­nect it to their ste­reo sys­tem. A cable in front just sucks. My col­leagues in Mali are using such a HP 530 and again, I won­der how it per­forms under the heat…

Been stan­ding in front of an Mac­Book Air ad tonight, exp­lai­ning my Indian col­league the dis­ad­van­ta­ges of such a note­book and I would never go for it. He’s into Apple pro­ducts big times (is the­re any secret or sub­li­mi­nal Apple adver­tis­ment in Goog­le Talk or Orkut?? :-) but me, mimi I could nevaaaaa go for an Apple com­pu­ter. (I’ve grown up on an Ata­ri 1040 STF which should still exist some­whe­re in Nai­ro­bi so I’ve paid my dues to the UI on that plat­form…). I won­der why Apple assu­mes that most cus­to­mers who are able to cough up enough pesa for a Mac­Book Air are also tho­se who are fre­quent fly­ers and will be in such situa­tions when this gad­get actual­ly plays out its advan­ta­ges (light weight, ener­gy con­sump­ti­on, data exchan­ge limi­ted to net­work con­nec­tions, illu­mi­na­ted keyboard).

If my nx8220 dies one day, I’ll hope­ful­ly mana­ge to buy ano­t­her HP or, if they even­tual­ly switch the Strg and Fn key posi­ti­ons, may­be also an IBM/Lenovo thin­gy. But then, I’d prol­ly fix it and buy spa­re parts from eBay…

@M: are you still on that Toshiba?
@MB: what about your FSC Ami­lo — working again?
@CG: wie geht es Dei­nem DELL und wie oft nutzt Du Dein ThinkPad?
@Zed & CK: kommt mir jetzt nicht mit dem Apple! :-)

(viel­leicht soll­te man mich mal 1 Woche lang mit einem Apple PC ein­sper­ren, damit ich für das OS mehr Sym­pa­thien ent­wi­ckeln kann…)

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Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

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