Laptops: Bane or Blessing?

It remains to be seen whether my new laptop will make my life easier or more complicated. I’m still trying to figure out what role it will have in my daily life. So far I have spent almost an idolatrous amount of time “playing” with it, adding programs, getting it set up “just right.” I suppose all you mac users would say something like, “What’s there to set up? When I got my mac it was all ready to go.”

Anyway, I know that it will be nice to have on trips. If I have writing to do, I will be able to use it on the way. The kids can watch DVDs on it. But I’m not sure how this is going to work out in my daily work life. My home pc and my computer in my study at church both work well. They’re hooked up to printers already. I can see one disadvantage to the lap top thing being that if I want to print something off, I have to plug in to a printer either at home or down at church. That could get annoying. It doesn’t make sense to have it be a stationary computer, since I already have two of those. It will be nice to take it up to the Public Library, which has Wi-Fi. Having it at hotels on conference trips will certainly be an advantage. I don’t know. I’ll see how I like it a year from now. By then I probably won’t be able to live without it.

So what about you? How have you worked laptops into your daily life?


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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7 Responses to Laptops: Bane or Blessing?

  1. Old School says:

    Three words: Microsoft Office 2007. There are a lot of great programs in it, but the one that takes the cake in mobile computing is OneNote (especially for the TabletPC folks, of which I am not one). My laptop comes with me almost everywhere, and OneNote is fantastic. I do my sermon prep on it, because it’s simply a note-taking app. But the synergy of the whole Office suite makes it that much better.

    If you haven’t done so yet, you might try downloading the trial version here. You can tinker with it for 60 days and then decide if you’re ready to pull the trigger.

  2. Pastor Beisel says:

    I did that on my desktop, and actually I was not that impressed with Office 2007. I have Office XP, and I like that much better. It is simpler to use, in my opinion. But the feature you noted does sound helpful.

    Like I said, I’m just not sure if having a laptop will make my life simpler or more complicated. I’m always trying to make things simpler for myself, but I’m not convinced yet that this will help.

  3. Rev. Benjamin Mayes says:

    When we bought our tiny house in Michigan, we became an only-laptop household. Now I can’t imagine doing it any other way. You can do your work anywhere. Of course, when you want to print you have to plug into a printer, but that’s not such a big deal (at least not with a Mac).

  4. Pastor Beisel says:

    I can see the advantages of that. With our growing children, who like to play computer games, it is nice to have a gaming computer and a non-gaming computer (i.e. my laptop). I imagine a lot of it is just getting accustomed to it. I enjoy typing on it a lot. As you can see I’ve had more blog post volume since I’ve gotten it.

  5. Old School says:

    The other workaround, and then I’ll get off the thread, is a wireless print server. Plug it in to your printer, put it on your wireless network, and all the computers–wireless and wired–can print from the same printer. The utter lack of cables in our home has been priceless.

  6. Lawrence says:

    “I’m just not sure if having a laptop will make my life simpler or more complicated.”

    Probably a little of both. Laptops are great for mobility, but they have their own unique drawbacks.

    As far as printing, keep an eye out for a deal on one of the new priters with built-in wireless networking.

  7. Pastor Beisel says:

    Well, I think I have figured out how this laptop is going to work into my daily life. I moved the Church’s computer out of my study and set it up on the table with the copier/printer. It will be used primarily for bulletins, etc. My lap top now spends most of its time in my study, but will come with me when I go out of town. That will enable me to work on projects even when I am away.

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