Another experiment with Windows

I was getting bored. I guess. Never say never. A month ago or so I bought a Dell Inspiron 700m. Yes, it is true, I have gone back to the dark side. And I got some great rebates along the way!

I have flirted with getting another PC for a little while now. After a year (or so) without a Windows box I have come to the conclusion that I need a PC for my business.

I need Windows for development, and Virtual PC 7 is just so frustrating. I saved the hard drive space and deleted VPC the day I got my Dell. I can't see how anyone could use Virtual PC in a real world production environment. Even on a powerful G5.

Believe me when I say this: I cannot wait until Apple releases Macs with Intel hardware. I can't wait that long unfortunately.

My experiment with a desktop PC failed. For a recap please read that post to get up to speed. I will wait.

To put it simply: Getting a PC for my business was not working out for me. I ended up selling the PC out of frustration. Some may say I am a glutton for punishment, but I learned from the experience. I have also learned, after a year, that I truly do need a Windows box for my business.

Buying a more expensive Mac indeed did work out for me. Much better then the cheaper PC did. Who'd a thunk it.

I learned I cannot use Windows as a primary workstation, no matter how hard I try. I also learned that using Windows emulated with Virtual PC was a futile attempt to keep from buying another PC. I realize how important it is to have a reliable PC on hand for work.

Virtual PC was there, it just was not reliable. To put it simply, Virtual PC 7 was more complicated to use then this new Dell laptop I am writing this on.

My original experiment was flawed. Having me try to use Windows as a primary workstation is akin to putting a died-in-the-wool Windows user in front of a Mac and seeing how that goes. It is amazing I used my PC for a solid year, but I figured I had to give it at least a year. I farad OK, it was just full of frustrations.

I carry this animosity to this next experiment, this Dell Inspiron 700m. A revised experiment, if you will. Instead of the hassle of a desktop, monitor, keyboard, etc, I will get a cheap PC laptop with the bear minimum I need. This will fill a secondary role of a reliable testing platform. This is what I should have done years ago. But then again, I never seem to do things the easy way.

While I am at it, I might as well get something that I would enjoy using - even if it is Windows.

So why Dell? I am really impartial to any PC brand with the exception of Sony. I refuse to buy a Sony (computer, video cam, camera, etc.). The only thing out of Sony I like is their gaming systems. But Dell laptops look nice, get high reviews, and most importantly, gave me more then $800 in rebates and discounts. That is a deal clincher.

I ordered it, and had it within two weeks. Even though the site originally told me it would take over a month because of my custom order.

I decided I did not want to spend more then what I sold my Alienware rig for, and because of the close to $800 off the price, I was able to max out this laptop and not go over my budget. Yep, all the bells and whistles.

I test drove this thing first of course. A friend has a 700m, I fell in love with the screen alone.

So here are the specs:

Intel Pentium M Processor 745 (1.80 GHz/400MHz FSB)12.1-in WXGA
Windows XP Pro
1.25 GB RAM (256 MB on board, 1 GB from Crucial)
80 GB Hard Drive
8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer write capability
65 WHr 8-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
It is more then I thought I would be getting.

Let the new experiment begin. I now actually have a reason for the name "Breaking Windows 2.0," ironic, isn't it.

I am sure glad I documented my first PC experience so I can look up all the little utilities and tweaks that made my with Windows a little more enjoyable.

My first impressions and box opening ceremony coming soon.

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