Packing Tip #01 – Your Laptop

General Laptop Recommendations

Computer Specifications:
– Windows 10 or MacOSX 10.12+
– Intel Core i5 Processor, 7th Generation and up OR AMD Ryzen 5
– 7+ hour battery life
– 8GB RAM
– 128GB+ SSD

This is the basic computer setup that is suitable for MOST word processing, watching videos, and other office kind of application. It can also handle some degree of photo/video processing, but don’t expect miracles.

Linux is not recommended due to lack of compatibility and testing with the VRF form, as well as other plugins that run for Skype. Personally, I would be using it, as it would be better for better performance, but convenience in this case would be much more preferred.

Also, for all Peace Corps Volunteers, you would need to be doing reports through an application called the Volunteer Report Form or VRF as most people would call it. The above specs will run the Volunteer Report Form application just fine.

Here are a couple of laptops that I would recommend. I am currently using the Huawei Matebook D.

ASUS Vivobook F510UA for $500-600
Huawei Matebook D 2018 for $630

These are very basic, very solid choices for a laptop. Either choice would be good enough for your journey. Of course, you are welcome to use your current laptop if it’s suitable enough for you and trust it can last for two years.

Security

While most people might be fine skipping this section, there will come a time where you may have your computer stolen. It may not happen to you, but it happens to SOMEONE.

If I were a theif, I would go for the low-hanging fruit; e.g. no password. So what should you do…?

Password: CREATE A PASSWORD.

Obviously, password, or any variation of that word is an incredibly weak password. Every IT person will undoubtedly scold you for that. Make a password that you can remember. Personally, here is my password creation convention:

Making a Password:
-Think of 4 words; two nouns, a verb, and a color
-Combine them all together
-Make it personal, something you can remember through memory or experience

Examples:
– boxrunningblankwhite
– beltwoodbendsorange
– clocktreedestroysyellow

These aren’t any of my memories, but if it were, it sounds like a terrible Dr. Seuss world.


Conclusion

These are just a couple of tips to get you started on trying to figure out what to get for your Peace Corps adventure.

This was written in 2019, so be aware that things may change over time.

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