This entry has nothing to do with Visual Basic, but I need an outlet for the frustrations I have endured while shopping for a notebook computer. Okay, maybe it’s somewhat related—I plan to use this notebook to develop new VB features. Does that count? Whatever...


The goal is to purchase a machine which offers mobility but can be used as a PC at home. Of course, I want the notebook to be portable, i.e., thin and light, within reason. I don’t want a sack of bricks. It needs to be quiet and capable of digitally connecting to my stereo and LCD monitor, via SPDIF (or Toslink) and DVI-D interfaces. The display should be a nicely-sized widescreen so I can watch DVDs on the go, and (important) so it can support widescreen external displays with widescreen resolutions. Finally, I need a slot for reading Secure Digital (SD) memory. 


It appears that no such product exists.


I thought I found the answer. A solid notebook with a 15” widescreen display, SD slot, 1.6 GHz Centrino, 6.5 lbs., and a port replicator with DVI and SPDIF ports. Too bad—this particular notebook doesn’t support DVI or SPDIF even though the port replicator does. Other notebooks offered by this manufacturer support DVI, but no widescreen.  Some have everything—but weigh ten pounds. Argh!


I looked elsewhere... Still nothing, not even close. Is it just too much to ask?


This is the 21st century and yet most of us are stuck in a 4:3 analog world. In 1996, I bought a cheap CD player in Japan that had an optical port. Widescreen TVs were the norm—I was amazed! 1996. Six years and an eternity later, I’m struggling to find similar features on computers, the essence of digital technology.  What went wrong?