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Calling all you tech-heads

By Echidna - 15 October 2010 25

Hi all, bit of an urgent problem. My laptop has packed it in completely I think. I am about to head off to the WA desert for 5 weeks for work. I won’t need a laptop there because they supply one. However – it can’t play media files or DVDs.

I am going shopping tonight. What should I buy and where in Canberra should I buy it to keep some level of sanity? I have an external hard drive with great music and TV shows on it and nothing to play it on.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated! Money is a bit tight so going out to buy another laptop is not an option. Thanks!

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Calling all you tech-heads
Woody Mann-Caruso 2:38 pm 15 Oct 10

If you’ll have access to a TV at the other end, buy one of these for $59 (note – won’t do hi-def – you’ll need this $169 version instead if your stuff is all x264 or 720p+ XviD). One end into your telly, the other into your HDD, off you go. The cheap version has probs with XviD files larger than 1.4gb, too – it’ll just stop playing, and no amount of fast forwarding will let you see the end of the movie (unless there’s been a recent firmware update I don’t know about).

Most portable DVD players that can play DivX / XviD will only play from disc rather than USB, won’t play anything remotely hi-def or non-standard, and have tiny, crappy screens. I don’t think you’ve got time to burn five weeks of media to DVD-R anyway.

If you can’t install stuff on the work laptop, but it will let you plug in your external USB device, get the portable version of VLC. It’ll run without installing anything, needing admin access, external libraries etc, and won’t leave a trace on your PC (well, I’m sure some sort of forensic investigation would find something).

Solidarity 2:26 pm 15 Oct 10

How exactly has your old laptop “packed it in” ?

prhhcd 2:26 pm 15 Oct 10

poo666 said :

You could buy a TV media player, just plug your usb into it and connect it to a Tv and you can watch your media files through it(if the file formats are supported). You can get a Western Digital media player for $50 at JB HI-FI. Check em out, or just get a 360 or ps3.

Thanks heaps re the media player!

prhhcd 2:25 pm 15 Oct 10

georgesgenitals said :

“I am going shopping tonight. What should I buy and where in Canberra should I buy it to keep some level of sanity?”

There’s quite a few bookshops in Canberra. That way you can buy as your budget allows.

George and your Genitals – have a think! I was asking about technology – your intended smart comment just didn’t work. I am taking books but unforunately books provide no background noise… at least not for me, maybe that’s different for you.

georgesgenitals 2:11 pm 15 Oct 10

“I am going shopping tonight. What should I buy and where in Canberra should I buy it to keep some level of sanity?”

There’s quite a few bookshops in Canberra. That way you can buy as your budget allows.

poo666 2:06 pm 15 Oct 10

You could buy a TV media player, just plug your usb into it and connect it to a Tv and you can watch your media files through it(if the file formats are supported). You can get a Western Digital media player for $50 at JB HI-FI. Check em out, or just get a 360 or ps3.

prhhcd 2:04 pm 15 Oct 10

parle – yes should have a tv- thats not a bad idea. Do DVD players do that these days???
The things you find out…..

parle 1:57 pm 15 Oct 10

Do you have access to a decent television at this location? If so why don’t you get a cheap dvd player ($50) that has a USB connection and will play divx/xvid?

Pommy bastard 1:55 pm 15 Oct 10

johnboy said :

Acer Aspire netbooks are excellent value right now ($380ish at JB hifi). If you can install ubuntu on it all the better.

Ooh! Good stuff, I’m after an Acer for the kid’s Xmas pressy! Thanks for the tip off.

prhhcd 1:54 pm 15 Oct 10

I can’t download or put any programs on the work laptop. It is completely locked to that sort of stuff for security reasons (sigh).
Even if I could figure out how to put programs on it (which I very much doubt) I’d get into trouble. Hence my considering the purchase of “something”

john87_no1 1:50 pm 15 Oct 10

If i read your post correctly you are looking for a media player to watch video/music on your lappy in WA.

If so:

You can download VLC or KMPlayer onto your laptop in WA.

Either of the two media players will let you watch any type of format. I use them daily and have never had a problem.

johnboy 1:44 pm 15 Oct 10

Ubuntu only trick is you need to be plugged into a LAN to download the proprietary wireless drivers.

It’s also the only consumer grade OS out there with significant Canberra input.

Homeless 1:42 pm 15 Oct 10

You don’t even need to buy a new laptop or OS. About a year ago when I had an okay job I brought a netbook which also had no CD or DVD drive. I popped into Bing Lee and Hardleys and ended up buying a Buffalo external DVD player / burner for about $90. Just buy one of those and you’ll be right. I predict that most tech stores will have at least one model for sale.

prhhcd 1:34 pm 15 Oct 10

ubuntu???

johnboy 1:33 pm 15 Oct 10

Acer Aspire netbooks are excellent value right now ($380ish at JB hifi). If you can install ubuntu on it all the better.

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