I am looking for an Internet-free laptop to use for writing.
March 11, 2013 2:14 PM   Subscribe

I can't think properly while online. Nor can I think properly if the Internet is a few clicks away. So I am looking for a laptop that can run Open Office, Adobe, and MS Word, has a USB port for swapping files on and off. It must not be capable of connecting to the Internet, at least not wirelessly. Alternately, I'd be interested in ways to permanently disable the wireless on my old unibody MacBook Pro, model 1.1. Then I could buy a second laptop for Internet purposes. The goal is two laptops--one that's capable of online work and one that is not.
posted by thecolor12 to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You could remove or disconnect the Airport card. There are instructions for how to replace one here, presumably they'd work just as well for simply taking the thing out.
posted by Andrhia at 2:17 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you're working at home, you can configure your wireless router not to allow one laptop to connect...potentially you could have a friend do this and have him not give you the router password.
posted by kickingtheground at 2:21 PM on March 11, 2013


Alpha Smart word processor?
posted by hellojed at 2:24 PM on March 11, 2013


Run a local DNS server with a wildcard, such that all host requests are redirected to 127.0.0.1. Set your laptop's network adapters to use this DNS server. This effectively disables network access.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Run a local DNS server with a wildcard, such that all host requests are redirected to 127.0.0.1. Set your laptop's network adapters to use this DNS server. This effectively disables network access.

Pretty sure this would work just as well if you just set your DNS server to 127.0.0.1.
posted by wrok at 2:32 PM on March 11, 2013


There is also software that will do this for you, and it's pretty inexpensive - you might give it a try before buying a whole new machine. Freedom is pretty well-known and is very popular. Disclaimer: I know the guy who created this product.
posted by k8lin at 2:41 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Check out a program called Self Control on the mac. It's pretty thorough and it makes you jump through some guilt-inducing hoops to disable it. It's also free.
posted by Oktober at 3:08 PM on March 11, 2013


If you definitely want to have two devices, picking up a used laptop and removing the wireless card might be the easiest answer. It's usually two screws on the outside shell, then two screws and two wires to undo (very simple) and voila! No more wireless capability. Then if you ever sent it on to a new home, it's just as easy to replace the card.

It doesn't sound like the computing needs would be especially strenuous, so perhaps even a used netbook would do it. You can look up disassembly guides online if there's a particular make/model that you find listed. Or just google "make model remove wireless card" and you'll likely find out how easy/difficult that model will be.
posted by HermitDog at 4:00 PM on March 11, 2013


Seconding Freedom. It is a huge pain in the ass to disable it, and it helps me control my compulsive internet-ing.
posted by araisingirl at 5:53 PM on March 11, 2013


nthing just remove the wireless card. If you go software you'll just end up working around it.
posted by turkeyphant at 6:04 PM on March 11, 2013


I'd buy an old laptop at a thrift store/on craigslist that didn't have wireless capability in the first place. there's tons out there, you might even be able to pick one up for free.

With damn small linux/ubuntu netbook/windows 2000 you could get everything you mention done.

I'd honestly keep the macbook pro as my internet machine, and get something else to write on offline. But then again, i just like browsing the web on macs more than any other system.
posted by emptythought at 6:39 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


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