Buying advice

Pecker

Distinguished Member
I have a Creative Zen Sleek. I have a lap top. I have a new 400gb external hard drive.

I've put all my music on my new external HDD. This now lives in the kitchen, next to the mini hi-fi stereo, as my CD collection is on the top floor of our 3 storey house (not practical to run up and down stairs that much).

However, I obviously can't plug the HDD straight into the mini hi-fi in the kitchen - I need the laptop to interface between the HDD and the stereo.

But the laptop is bulky, and is used elsewhere in the house.

So, what I need is a very small, basic, cheap laptop (or even palmtop?) to go inbetween the HDD and the stereo.

It must be:

- Cheap
- Basic
- Small

It doesn't need a big memory. It doesn't need to be flash. The only think it needs to do is to hold the programme that came with the Zen, and convert the mp3s stored on the HDD into analogue sound, and output it through a 3.5mm mini-jack to the stereo.

If it's a laptop, it'd help if it had a CD drive, too. That way I wouldn't have to connect up the laptop everytime I wanted to put a new CD on the HDD, but this isn't vital.

What should I buy?

How much will I have to spend?

Would it be a good idea to buy a used, re-conditioned model, given its limited use, and the fact that I'm not storing my life's details on it.

Many thanks in advance.

Steve W
 

Ceejayav

Novice Member
I'd recommend a slightly old desktop rather than laptop - desktops last much longer than laptops, you'll get a lot more for your money. You could try a compact one like an old HP E Vectra, these come up on eBay regularly. Main thing to watch out for with any used computer is to make sure it has USB2.0 available - connecting an external disc via 1.0/1.1 will not be good.

Of course, once you've got the PC running attached to the disc with music library it will be a very short step to putting it on a wireless network and adding a streamer in your living room, then it will be bye-bye CDs.....

A slippery slope awaits you....
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
At PC World under 'Handheld Computers' they have this:

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/st...null&sm=null&tm=null&sku=889701&category_oid=



(if that link doesn't work just go to: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/ click on 'Laptops & Handhelds', mouse over 'Handheld PCs' and click on 'Handheld Computers').

For £67 online or £80 in-store.

I'm not sure exactly what a 'Handheld Computer' will do.

Will it act as an interface between my HDD and stereo, coverting the data mp3s into analogue stereo music?

Many thanks.

Steve W
 

GBDG1

Distinguished Member
At PC World under 'Handheld Computers' they have this:

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/st...null&sm=null&tm=null&sku=889701&category_oid=



(if that link doesn't work just go to: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/ click on 'Laptops & Handhelds', mouse over 'Handheld PCs' and click on 'Handheld Computers').

For £67 online or £80 in-store.

I'm not sure exactly what a 'Handheld Computer' will do.

Will it act as an interface between my HDD and stereo, coverting the data mp3s into analogue stereo music?

Many thanks.

Steve W
I don't think so. I don't see why you don't go for the DivX player option
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Right, a new plan has emerged.

As well as a Denon mini hi-fi, we have a Sky Box and 32" LCD in the kitchen.

I've bought a desktop PC tower, though it will lay on it's side, and fit neatly under the Sky Box. We can then use the LCD as a monitor.



It's not small, but as we have the Sky Box there already, it doesn't use any extra space. It has the added advantage of putting a PC in the kitchen, so I can work off the kitchen table with a wireless mouse & keyboard.

Next question coming up.

Steve W
 

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