Bringing the Money Home

When I realized I was spending one third of my monthly income on petroleum products, I saw I needed to do something different. I took a sharp look at all the ways my income was being drawn away from me.

I had moved to a rural area where the cost of living appeared less. Getting the supplies I needed became very costly as gasoline prices went up. I had a good plan with a flaw. It didn’t work where I lived. I began looking for better options.

That is one of the reasons I live in Guatemala. Here I use a bus to travel longer distances, an occasional mini-taxi for shorter trips, or a launch to cross the lake. My current expenditures for petroleum products are usually less than $25 a month living here.

I didn’t get here in one big jump. I did it in little steps. The first step was getting a passport. Then I could travel and check out new options. I believed there was a better option, and I feel I have found it.

A new life began when I admitted to myself that I wasn’t where I wished to be in my life. I made some serious changes. Now my money goes for my home, food, and purchasing an occasional toy. Toy choice is more simple here. There aren’t very many to choose from, so my money stays home longer now.

I like that. Smiles. ET

Published in: on April 19, 2008 at 7:50 pm  Comments (2)  
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Comparison of the IBM T23 and IBM R51 Laptops

When buying used laptops, it is good to find a brand name that has some depth in its model lines. IBM, is a great example. Their “T” and “R” laptops, have as many as eight models in one line. I believe IBM now markets their laptops under the name of Lenovo, which may help your searches for the “R” series laptops.

The IBM “T’ series laptop was designed to be a mobile business platform, and retailed new for over $3000. The “R” series was released for the personal laptop market, and has features not seen on the business model. It also cost much less when new. The last laptop in the “T” model series is the T43.

There is quite a performance gain when moving to the “R” series. The T43 is the last of the “T” series models, and has the closest performance to what the “R” series laptops deliver. The T43 reaches for where the “R” series laptops go.

I purchased my T23 from a friend last year for $250. It now goes for about $225 on eBay. I saw an auction the other day where a T43 went for around $300. I recently paid $400 for the R51 in an eBay auction. This gives you an idea on how the prices lower for each model as they get older.

There was a noticeable jump in performance with the R51. I moved from a Pentium III 1.1 Gig, to a Pentium M 1.7 Gig CPU. The Pentium M is a CPU designed for use in laptops.

The 30 Gig hard drive in the T23 has proved cramped for my needs. The R51 has a 60 gig hard drive, and gives me room to stretch. I have over-written my hard drive and had to reinstall my whole system. With hard drives, I now feel bigger is better.

The integrated graphics card in the T23, is replaced by an independent graphics card in the R51. That R51 graphics card is a ATI Mobility Radeon 9000, and is 3D capable, at least with Windows. This is a huge jump in graphics capability for me.

The R51 also comes with a 15 inch, Flexview TFT display. This an improvement over the 14.1 inch screen found on the T23.

A larger screen, sharper display, and increased graphics capabilities, help make the R51 display much brighter.

It appears I am back in flow. I can keep up with current technology much better now. Making yearly upgrades through the older Dell, and IBM laptops, has worked well for me. It has helped keep my hardware costs in a range I can afford.

My computer is my major source of distraction, and I like my distractions to be worth the price I pay for them. My used IBM laptops have been worth every cent I have paid for them.

Smiles. ET

Published in: on April 14, 2008 at 5:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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