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Buying notebook - hardware and software questions (follow-up)
Thread poster: Katalin Sandor

Katalin Sandor  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 08:31
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Feb 12, 2009

Currently I run Trados (2006 FL) on a PC (XP). Now I need to buy a notebook but I will continue to use the PC as well. I have been reading around and saw that a lot of people run into problems when they try to make their new computer work, so I thought I'd ask you in case someone has done this exercise recently and would be willing to share their experience:
What sort of hardware do you think I should go for (I mean, RAM, whatnot). Do I need Vista or should I insist on XP? Which Office version? (I know this has been discussed several times but with compatibility issues arising and being solved all the time, I haven't been able to figure out what works with what). If I get Vista, do I need to upgrade Trados? If I do, would I have to run the upgraded version on my PC as well (probably yes)? Do you think I'll be able to?
I'd appreciate you input on any of these issues.
TIA


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-02-13 07:19 GMT]


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 13:31
English to Indonesian
+ ...
maxed ram with office 2003 on xp Feb 13, 2009

- ram: go for the max. usually it's 4gb now, depending on the hardware and operating system.
- os: i will insist on xp. even microsoft is pushing windows 7 to replace vista.
- office: as you have sdl trados 2k6, i suggest microsoft office 2003. your trados version is not compatible with office 2007.
- in case of vista: you dont' have to upgrade your trados, or your office, if you don't want to.
- if you upgrade trados: you should be able to install it on your pc, as the license is available for two computers, cmiiw.


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Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:01
German to English
+ ...
Vista has a few wrinkles Feb 13, 2009

Katalin Sandor wrote:

> Do I need Vista or should I insist on XP?


Vista is quite nice now, at least I enjoy the user interface. But it is quirky at times!


> If I get Vista, do I need to upgrade Trados?


Yes, Trados has major problems if not upgraded to 8.x on Vista.


> Which Office version? (I know this has been discussed several times but with compatibility issues arising and being solved all the time, I haven't been able to figure out what works with what).


If you use Vista, and you upgrade Trados, you'll have to upgrade Office as well. I found Trados 8.x did not work without Office 2007 on Vista. And Office 2007 is a drain on productivity... Not to mention that several dictionaries (Oxford, Collins) do not work on Vista without upgrades either.


> If I do, would I have to run the upgraded version on my PC as well (probably yes)? Do you think I'll be able to?


Yes, you can probably run the upgraded version on your PC as well. You will have to check whether Trados files are portable between the previous version of Trados and the new version.

It's a tough call whether to go for Vista or XP. Microsoft threatens to pull all support from XP soon. Given a choice, I would have stayed with an XP laptop, even with that threat from Microsoft hanging fire. If you do go for a Vista machine, try to get as much RAM as possible (min 2GB, preferably 4GB). And be prepared for software upgrades!


[Edited at 2009-02-13 06:04 GMT]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 08:31
English to German
+ ...
Larger systems and even larger system resouces are certainly not going to solve any problem Feb 13, 2009

Hi! I am still using win xp sp2 and all versions of trados work on this. I give the system higher swap size and it is doing perfect job at 2 GB working memory. Ultimately what counts is a clean and fast working system instead of waiting for the keyboard or mouse reaction due to a larger system that reuires large memory. Years ago one of my friends, who was good in such things, gave me a very useful tip. Do not leave the Operating system too much memory, because it consumes all of it and waits for more. Today there is Trados 8.0 and Vista and all that is again going to change again with many upgrades and patches, so I opt to go for a stable system which I know inside and out and accomplish my task within healthy parameters. BR Brandis

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 09:31
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Advantages on Vista Feb 13, 2009

Some people keep telling me I'm the only guy in the universe who is satisfied with Vista, but why should I lie?
I use Trados 8.0 Freelance and MS Office 2002 on Vista Business and have no problem whatsoever (except when projects are the source of problems).
Today I again enjoyed one improvement over XP. When I keep open a search and replace window in one application and switch to another application and back, all is right there. IN XP it happened most of the time that the search window alone would show up after switching.

I use only 2 Gb and that's enough for all I need, e-mail, browser, pdf, Trados, Word, SDLX at the same time (and some games).

Regards
Heinrich


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:31
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
and another thing... Feb 13, 2009

I've noticed that most laptops and notebooks nowadays actually develop a lot of heat... so if you plan to type for hours or actually try to put it on your lap, make sure you get one that that does produce to much heat !!!

(go to a store where the have several models on display (running), put your hands on them and feel the heat! (also check if they type the way you want, ... keyboard-feel is very important ...)

Ed


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:31
English to Czech
+ ...
Depends on CPU Feb 13, 2009

Edward Vreeburg wrote:

I've noticed that most laptops and notebooks nowadays actually develop a lot of heat... so if you plan to type for hours or actually try to put it on your lap, make sure you get one that that does produce to much heat !!!
Ed


This is mostly a CPU-dependent thing. I've noticed that AMD processors are much hotter than Intel. This also means that they consume much more energy which in turn means less battery time.
On the other hand, AMD processors seem to be slightly faster than Intel, especially with certain motherboards.


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Katalin Sandor  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 08:31
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Feb 17, 2009

First of all, I'm sorry for not responding for so long, I had expected to have time to work on the notebook purchase (and spend time at the computer) but things happened... Also, I did not intend to post this topic twice, I may have refreshed the page and that could have cause the problem.
As to the subject matter itself: your comments have been very instructive. I think I will go for a large notebook, XP, no Trados upgrade, we'll see whether I manage.
Thank you all for your help.


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buyaport
Denmark
Local time: 08:31
Danish to German
+ ...
What do you really need? Feb 19, 2009

I'm using notebooks since 1991, so I've got some experience. Presently I own three of them (2 15,4", 1 17", one with XP, two with Vista, 1 GB, 3, and 4 GB) - and use two.

First question: Why would you want a notebook instead of a desktop computer?

If you want to move it often, a 15,4" notebook (or even smaller) is much more handy than a 17".

Of course you want to use it with Trados. I'm using Trados 2007, and it works well on all of them, both with Office 2003 and 2007. Of course Office 2007 handles the new docx-format, which might be an advantage.

The size of the RAM doesn't seem to matter when it comes to Trados, neither the graphics card - when you want to work with Windows Vista, you'd need at least 2 GB RAM, though.

Having a separate numeric keypad seems to be an advantage, but I don't miss it when working with Trados. Instead of pressing Alt + for the next sentence, I just press Alt Fn (function key, which activates the integrated numeric keypad) and -, no problem cause the Fn-key is near Alt.

I noticed that the keyboards on my 15,4" computers seems to have a more "solid" touch to them, and the keyboard on my 17" computer is more "wobbly".
And the keyboard is really important on your new computer, as this will be the interface, you'll use much, so pay special attention to it, when buying a computer!!!

There is one advantage with a 17" screen: You simply got more space on your desktop (by the way: when working with Office 2007 minimizing the "menu band" gives you a lot more space on your desktop, just right-click on the band to minimize it. When you want to do the formatting after you've finished your translation, it just takes one click to make it large again.)

So the question would be: more space on your computer's desktop or a computer which is more handy? (A larger screen needs also more energy, which shortens the time it works on battery).

If you really find yourself running out of space on your screen and switching between windows, you might want to buy a separate computer screen. You don't need to buy a very expensive one for just displaying documents, neither an extra large one for a secondary display.

But that might be a big relief to extend your desktop onto your second screen. You could for example have your document and Trados windows open on your notebook's display and have your web browser or other reference material on the second screen. (A second screen requires quite some physical space, though).

So my advice would be:
Buy a notebook with a 15,4" or 17" screen, depending on your mobility requirement.
Go for at least 2 GB RAM or perhaps 3 GB (one can't use the extra RAM a 4 GB memory gives you on a 32-bit system, so that would be a waste of money, unless it's a special offer).
Check the keyboard, "gamer" computers often come with keyboards that are rubbish.
Windows XP or Vista doesn't matter. The newest Office version might be useful.

Else: Go for the cheapest computer you can get that meets your requirements. Rather be prepared to shift to a new one in two years instead of having to cling to your expensive notebook just because you invested a lot of money.

Simple calculation: If you use your computer for about 300 days a year, are prepared to invest 1 Euro every day and want to use it for two years: that makes 600 Euros you'd invest into a new computer. (Insert your own numbers).


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