Good and cheap

One of my e-mail accounts was getting clobbered with spam, upwards of 150 pieces at a whack. The reason was that a while back, in order to enter a comment on a Web site, I stupidly agreed to let it access my Facebook account. I have since disabled the application platform on Facebook, and that seemed to fixed the problem [perhaps not!]. I wanted to add a comment to a Consumer Reports list of favorite laptops, with the assumption that being logged into my CR account would let do that but, no, it requires the FB integration that I no longer have or want. So I’ll post it here instead.

At this moment I am working on a HP Pavilion 14-ab166us notebook computer. It is running Windows 10 on a Hyper-threaded, dual-core i3, with 6GB of memory, a 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive, and a DVD reader/writer, with the Cyberlink Power MediaPlayer included, so I didn’t have to bother downloading it for $15 from the Microsoft store.

So far no problems. Screen resolution is only 1366×768, but that’s fine, as I’m more concerned about color and gray quality anyway, which was why I bought an X-Rite ColorMunki Display for $150 a couple of years ago. The only significant compromise is this particular HP won’t do 5GHz Wi-Fi. Bluetooth works great for external speakers, and the internal B&O speakers are much better than the ones in the Acer netbook that the HP is replacing.

Staples had this notebook on sale with a $50 rebate (that HP has confirmed it’s processing), taking the total price down to $330 — which, for me, is the right price for a general-purpose machine these days. A few months ago I bought a Dell mini-tower from Staples with a quad-core i5, 8 GB of memory, and a 1 TB 7200 rpm disk. That deal came to only $300! Staples may be struggling as a company, but they have been beating Amazon on computer deals.

The other Beatle George

George Martin at the EMI REDD.51 Stereosonic 4-track mixing console, where almost all of the Beatles recordings were made until "Abbey Road"
George Martin at the 1959 EMI REDD.51 Stereosonic 4-track console, where almost all of the Beatles recordings after “A Hard Day’s Night” and before “Abbey Road” were produced.

George Martin made it past the 50th anniversary of “Rubber Soul,” the last album engineered by the late Norman “Hurricane” Smith. It would have been nice for him to have lived to see the 50th anniversary of “Revolver,” the first album engineered by Geoff Emerick, but it was not to be.