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Considering buying a Dell notebook to transcribe. How easy is it?

Posted By: anon on 2005-07-08
In Reply to:

Meaning, how is the ergonomics?  I'm afraid it may cause carpal tunnel or maybe back problems due to positioning.  Would like input.

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I love my Dell notebook (sm)
When I bought my Dell notebook I had the same concerns, so I purchased a "docking station."  I don't think that's the correct term.  But the notebook hooks onto it and then I can easily adjust the height of the screen.  I can also plug into that my ergonomic keyboard, foot pedal, etc.  Love it!
I bought a Dell because I got a better deal than buying locally.
I got the computer, Windows XP, WordPerfect, other software, a photo printer and a digital camera shipped to my door for $398.  However, I worked as a computer technician for several years, so I know I can add components, fix it, or upgrade as needed.  I don't like the fact that Dell offshores so many jobs, because they totally forced technical pay rates down, laid off thousands of American workers, and forced computer prices down.  However, I figured they'd be losing money on this deal if I just bought their basic system on sale with nothing added.  Some guy from India called wanting to sell me an extended warranty and service plan.  I told him NO because I can do all of that myself, as well as working any job at their company.  I didn't want to buy locally because most of the local computer stores are staffed by idiots.  There's a high rate of bankruptcy and computer stores going out of business here, then they won't honor their warranties.
When buying a new computer would you use a company locally that builds new computers or go with Dell
or a large outfit like that. This local company has been around awhile. Not sure what to do about buying a new computer that is going to be compatible with just about all MT jobs.
I have both a Dell Latitude Laptop and a Dell Dimension desk top PC and bought both...
off of Ebay.  The laptop I paid $300 for had Windows XP and works great.  It wasn't wireless, but they sent me a PCI card with it and it works fine.  The desktop PC has XP on it as well and I paid $250 for it.  Both have Pentium IVs.  Both work great for work.  I have no complaints and I feel like I got a great deal both times out on Ebay.
Company provides a Dell for work, I have a Dell for personal use, too.
Dell customer service is overseas. I have had a Dell, a
Toshiba Satellite, and an HP.   The Dell was a piece of junk from day 1.  The HP hard drive crashed after 4 to 5 years, but otherwise no problems.   I bought a Toshiba about 6 months ago and it is okay, nothing special.  I was looking at the Sony Viao and the salesman said that some laptops are made to be portable, but that the Sony was not one of them, but the Toshiba was.   My keyboard also has a numerical pad on it, but it throws the other keys off a bit, so when I'm in a portable mode and don't have room for an external keyboard it really slows me down.  I have a Duo Core processor and notice no difference whatsoever in speed, the number of programs I can have open, etc.   I have also noticed that even when I am not on battery power that every so often the battery is charging.  I don't know if this is a defect or something that is supposed to happen, but I need to investigate it. 
I've had two dell laptops and 5 Dell PCs. Here's the thing...

Make sure you get the extended warranty, again, MAKE SURE YOU GET THE EXTENDED WARRANTY. And, here is why.

My first laptop went out on my, though it was a couple of years old.  Because I had the extended warranty, a service tech came to my house, replaced motherboard, hard drive, heat sink, and keyboard.  He was able to back up everything first and restored it once all the new stuff was in place. 

One of my PCs kept giving some weird blue screen error and I couldn't get to go even in safe mode. I called up Dell, told them the problem, they looked up my extended warranty and they sent someone out to repair it.

Overall, I have been happy with Dell products.  The only drag is that everything Dell sells regarding accessories is proprietary and you have to order it through Dell.  No generic accessories will work.  My suggestion is if you decide to buy a Dell laptop, make sure you get the car power supply and you might even get a 2nd regular power supply because I have been known to leave town and forget the power supply at the house.  Now, I have everything in my laptop bag for when I go out of town and can just throw my laptop in the bag and know everything is there.

Lastly, some Dell laptops require a special aircard to connect to the internet.  I ended up getting a 2 cabled USB air card and I'm glad I did because 2 USB plug ins give better reception than one.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. I'm happy to help.

I don't like Dell. I bought a Dell laptop and it

was a piece of junk, so I'm not the one to ask if you should buy a Dell.   I'd get at least double that processor speed.  My computer is about 10 months old and I have 5 times that, which means that there is probably something faster out now, or soon will be.  It is more than I need for work, but I also use computer to download music/pictures, and a bunch of other stuff.   The Dell I had had 650 mHz and it was slow and that was almost 6 years ago.   You may have to customize anyway to get XP unless you buy one previously owned, which you can also buy from Dell.   It is always a good idea to buy bigger than you need currently just to allow for updates to any software or new software you may add.    You need to also think about tech support.  I know Dell has tech support in India, which can be extremely frustrating.  I don't know that other computer companies don't offshore their tech support, but that would be a question I would ask and find out if there is a locally authorized dealer to handle warranty repairs or if you need to send off the computer.    I would not recommend a Gateway computer and I would not recommend any computer that has a Celeron processor.   They tend to be in all the lower end computers. 


little red notebook
go to horusdevelopement.com. Your can use it free for 30 days and then buy it, I think for 20.00.
Notebook ?

Do you think this is adequate for a notebook for what we do? Thanks!


Notebook if you have the $$$$$
If ALL you are doing is wordprocessing, which is what transcription is classified, you do not have a need it for graphics etc., and you have the $$$ to put in to what you need, a notebook is best because it is portable. BUT -- remember that notebooks no longer come with serial ports and few companies will include it unless it is a custom build, so a serial foot pedal cannot be used for transcription. I have tried many different adapters, and they do not work; it was explained that the TRUE serial port technology is so old that it is frequently incompatible with the USB technology used in the new operating systems, and that is why an adapter will not work. If you would like more info on your question, feel free to email me.
Another notebook ?

I really know nothing about these sort of things and would like a second opinion, so thank you for your patience in answering these questions for me!!

I looked at Sam's and basically saw nothing that was decent in memory and still high prices. I've been looking at Dell's website and saw they have a new line out for businesses. There are 3 here I am looking at. Each looks the same for memory. I really do not see what the difference is on each one or if one would be better than the other for my needs. Could someone please take a look at these 3 and give me their opinion.

For the money and with the amount of memory being offered, it seems that Dell is the way I need to go.

I appreciate the help! :o)


I would suggest instead of a notebook, use WordPad instead or any word processing program your hospital has on their computer. I would keep my WordPad document open at all times while typing, then use the Alt+tab key to switch between Meditech (the program my hospital uses) and WordPad. Every single thing I looked up, I added to my WordPad document. The advantage of having it in a computerized document is that you can instantly find a word by just typing in part of the word or what it s/l, then using the Ctl+F function to search the document using the whole or just part of the word. If it sounds like a certain thing, when I add it to my WordPad document, I also type "s/l _________" beside it. So that when I look it up with the search function, it will find the the word even if I didn't spell it right. I kept two separate documents, one for medications and one for all other words. If you take the document home, you can use MS Word "sort" function to list the words in alphabetical order, which I did periodically (but has to be saved in text format to be read in WordPad). If you have any questions, e-mail me at angelathrall@yahoo.com.
Little Red Notebook
Google for it.  I love mine and it is really cheap. 
notebook/lap top
How many of you use a notebook or laptop to do your work?  Are there any disadvantages? I just brought one and figure I can go to the library or somewhere else to work and not be stuck at home.  TIA.
notebook/lap top
Thank you. I had not even thought of HIPPA. At least I can work other places in my house.
Get a notebook...

Divide it by accounts.  Print samples and client profiles if possible.  Put some spare paper in there to make notes when you've done a Google search for a drug, city, street name, referring doc, etc.  Write it down.  Then when you get that account again, you slap open your notebook and it all starts coming back to you. 

Gone are the days of the same dictator over and over again.  They can only dictate so much in a day, so most of us have to expand our horizons. 

This notebook has been my lifesaver! 

P/S:  I do not use an expander.  I only use Word autocorrect.  I am old school, so to me Expanders seem like they would confuse me as I can type pretty quick after 20 years. 

The easy answer, taking all the easy work and
Vostro notebook (sm)

Pros, cons, any other info welcome.  Thank you!

Have a notebook or rolodex (sm)
or anything with alpha tabs to record terms looked up. The very act of writing it down will help you commit it to memory. I once knew an MT who used a little rolodex system and would write a definition on a card for later reference. Periodically she would look through her rolodex and weed out the cards that she had completely memorized, keeping her system streamlined. I thought this was the best learning system I ever heard of.
URL for Lil Red Notebook inside
Sorry, I meant to add the website, although you can find it quickly by using Google.

Acer notebook
I had a Radio Shack notebook several years ago. I loved it. It was back in the days of floppy discs 3 1/2 inch. I never had to have it serviced.

I have a laptop now and would not go any other way. I have used it for transcription for over four years and had very few problems other than spy ware which you can get on any computer. I got mine at Sams with s 3 year service agreement and never had to use it.

Hope this helps. Good luck either way you decide. I am sure you can take it back if you wish since you just bought it.

ext. keyboard for notebook? sm
I JUST bought a laptop and my 2-year-old went to town on the keys.   So I need a keyboard I can use with it. I've heard about 'usb' keyboards and mice for laptops. Can someone recommend one that responds to a light touch and is economical?
Buy a Dell!! You can't go wrong with a Dell but
I bought an Emachines and had trouble with it from day one. I returned it, as the store I bought it from a six month return policy, so I returned it after about five months. I bought a Dell two years ago and have had no problems since!! Buy a Dell, you won't be sorry!! :)
I am not a Dell lover. My Dell has been
a lemon.  I just replaced mine with a Toshiba Satellite and I have seen a few others here recommend this.  Dell's customer service is in India.   The only thing I dislike about my Toshiba is that because it also has a number keypad the shift key is in a different position than I'm used to and I end up deleting and retyping when I use the laptop keyboard.  I normally use an external keyboard, but I travel a lot and try to work on the road and just don't have space for an external keyboard.    
Where did you hear that everything you buy for a Dell has to be from Dell?

I have LOTS of peripherals on both my laptop and desktop Dells and they certainly didn't come from Dell. You've been misinformed.

I love my Dells.

Notebook and Legends of the Fall....nm
My husband and I watched The Notebook (sm)

We both teared up.  He told me that he loved me like that, and that I was his Allie.  My birthday was shortly thereafter and on my envelope he wrote "To My Allie."  What a guy I'm married to.  After 23 years of marriage, our love is still growing strong!

Notebook/Laptops with calculator key pad?
I am in search of the brands of notebook/laptops that have the calculator key pad on the keyboard.  I really do not want to have to buy a separate calculator key pad to carry around along with the headphones and a foot pedal.  So, can you all tell me which brands have the calculator key pad already on the keyboards?  Thanks MT Mom
Survey Notebook Vs Desktop (sm)

Which is preferred, Notebook or Desktop for working 8+ hours per day doing MT?  Any specifics you'd like to share about processor/memory would be helpful.  Upgrading my computer and deciding which would work best for me.

What are the technical specs on your notebook (sm)
Would like more info on the specifics such as the brand, RAM, processor speed.
Another option would be to use an electronic notebook sm
Like Microsoft OneNote or Little Red Notebook (is this still available?). It's so much faster to cut and paste with the keyboard rather than stop what you're doing to write it down!

Plus after typing so much for so long, my handwriting is practically illegible at this point!
crash was decent, the Notebook is good
they dont make them like they used to tho !
17 years, my husband's got yours beat, he's STILL crying over the Notebook!

Laptop/notebook recommendations for transcription work?

I am going to get a laptop/notebook in about a month and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for one that seems to work well with transcription.  I need to know specifics like hard drive, RAM, memory, model number, etc.  Thanks in advance

Well, Word is easy to buy and easy to install. Word 97 works great. Cheap. SM
I still would not work anywhere I could not use a spell checker with grammar checker and a Steadman's Medical Spell Checker.

IF they want people to TRANSCRIBE MEDICAL REPORTS, then I guess they better get the programs they need.

It's like probably 110% easier to buy and install Word 97 than to try to program their own programming. And, yes, I do mean Microsoft Word 97. Why? Because you can install it unlimited times, in case you need to install the operating system again. And it has a few features that Microsoft, in its un-wisdom, took away in Word 2000 and 20003 and 2007. So, yes, I'd go with Word 97 for its cheapness and it works better than the later versions. Just my opinion, with 20 years experience being an MT. So what if they "don't have it" on their computer? It's easy to get.
Buying new
The MT company I work for supplies my computer but I have account on the side from my home computer. I had a computer "cracker" here last week for a serious problem and he suggested I go on line and get a Gateway. Does anyone have any input?
After buying car after car and never really sm
having one completely paid off, I finally got into leasing. I traded for a lease car and had it for 4 years. It was in great shape, inside and out at the end of lease period. I took pictures of the car from all angles to cover myself. Then I "traded" that for another lease, the car which I have now. The payments for lease cars are the same as if you were buying one on loan. The higher the down payment on the lease, the lower the payments are. The longer the lease period, the lesser the monthly payments but there is also the interest charge to consider.

At the end of the lease, though, you have the option of trading it for another car or buying it outright. I leased my current car, a mini SUV, for 4 years with payments of $300 per month, then ended up buying it for $7K at the end of the lease period. I essentially paid the same amount leasing and buying this car as if I had a loan on it. Leasing is not cheap, but you always have a new car. With leasing, you get no equity in the vehicle. If you are a person who wants a new car all the time, then leasing might be good for you. I like a new car all the time, too, but the monthly payments are too hard on my budget. Also with a lease you are required to keep up with the maintenance of the vehicle--more so than if you owned it outright. I don't quite understand your statement about "low payment because you only pay for the amount of money it would depreciate for the time you own it." You never own it, and the monthly payments aren't low.

I hope this helps. I haven't had my caffeine yet.
before buying one...

You should maybe rent one for the weekend, drive it around, and see how you like it. I had a rental when my son wrecked his truck, a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo.  I fell absolutely in love and my hubby got me one for Christmas!

Renting one for the weekend will give you a pretty good idea if you're gonna like it or not. I personally have never owned a convertible, but did drive one (my bosses wife's car) and it was ok, though not that great...good luck!

Not buying it...sm

I didn't graduate from CS or from either of the other 2 schools considered the BIG 3. I had a recruiter from MQ call me the very week I passed my course.  My instructor gave them my name after I graduated.

And if you look on MQs website under FAQ, it states that under certain circumstances, they will accept candidates with less than 1 year experience if they graduated from ONE of the MT schools MQ has a relationship with.

Sorry. Not buying it.
You must work for the folks who are pushing this fiasco. I can tell you from first hand experience. It indeed DOES take longer or as long (just to be fair) to edit as it does to type it.
You are so right about buying there
I bought several items this year off Etsy for my Christmas presents, flower pens, individual painted flower cups for the ladies I gave to, have bought soaps there before, lots of stuff. I really like Etsy, some really nice things.
I'm not buying it.
These are just some of the incidents some of my Canadian friends have gone through:
1. My GF's husband decided he was still a teenager and went snowboarding, tore up his knee and had a 6-month wait for an MRI.
2. Same GF her best friend had an abnormal mammo. 3 months to get an ultrasound.
3. Ex boyfriend's ex-wife broke her leg while they were skiing. They kept her on Morphine from Friday until Monday because no orthopedic doc was available to do the surg.
4. Another GF of mine was on a specific type of thyroid medication that was the only one that they found worked for her. Then they decided it was not a covered drug anymore and she could no longer get it in Canada.
5. Another GF's husband needed cardioversion waited over a month to get it, meanwhile he was in horrible shape, legs and ankles swollen.

I'm sorry this is not acceptable patient care. The latest estimate is $1.3 trillion dollars to re-structure our health care the way Obama wants it restructured. Everyone puts Bush down for his "agenda" on Iraq no matter what the consequences. This is "Obama's" agenda. This country does not need another $1.3 trillion debt for future generations to have to try to pay off. JMHO.
I'm sorry, is anybody buying this story? sm
part-time, 16,000 per pay period!!! Come on, I'm not buying this at all.
Buying local ....
Unfortunately, some of us don't live in areas that have a lot of choice. My town is tiny and we have a teensy WalMart that has items that (I really think this!) have been there waiting to be sold since the day it opened years ago! I buy from JC Penney's from a catalog outlet here in town (if they're open) or online, sometimes I shop in one of the larger neighboring cities. Frankly, unless I'm buying cotton or watermelon, it ain't happening here :-).

However, in defense of your statement, when I lived in a larger city and had variety (and choices!) I did shop in town more often than not. I miss those days LOL.
BOS is changed so you have to keep buying the new one--$$$$
Better off buying on Ebay.

I bought this computer and what a mess.  I was told that it was bought for her daughter just the previous year and still had the warranty.  She was going to transfer the warranty to my name. 

I thought that because I used paypal I would be safe, but that is only if you buy off of E-bay.  When I received the computer, it was a whole two years older than I was told and there was no longer any warranty.  The seller conveniently died a week after I received the computer.

So, if anyone contacts you about this computer, BEWARE. 

Just an FYI when buying it from another user
Be sure to notify Textware Solutions that you purchased it & who you purchased it from so we can update our records showing that you are now the licensed owner. This will ensure that you can receive technical support, discounted upgrades in the future, etc.
I usually stick with buying........
...mine from the tattoo shops.  However, I most recently bought one at one of those little jewelry stands in the mall and I haven't had any problems with it. 
Buying a house sm

I need some advice. 

We're in the process of buying a home.  When we were searching today for quotes on a homeowners policy, we found out the home had $14,000 in water damage in 2003 and the insurance company (Farm Bureau) wouldn't insure it for us.  There was, however, one company who would insure it but for a really high premium.

We were supposed to close on the 25th.  I'm considering backing out of the deal because of this.  Would I be able to get my earnest money back since the seller didn't reveal in this in their disclosure?

Also, would you pay the higher premium and buy the house because maybe whatever caused the problem is fixed?

By the way, we haven't had the inspection yet.  It is to be done on Monday.




No sense is buying anything until you have a job.
Transcribers are rarely used anymore unless you get a local account.  C-phones are still used occasionally, but most work is done using a foot pedal.  If a company requires a foot pedal to test you can use Express Scribe, which is free, and just use the hot keys.  I wouldn't want to use hot keys all the time, but they are fine for testing.