Just before my Stanford trip, I bought myself a new laptop. I didn’t want a netbook, as much as I love them, because I wanted something I could really work on comfortably. I ended up with what BestBuy called a “Dell Inspiron” (really a Dell Inspiron 1545, I discovered after digging around online): Core 2 Duo 2Ghz, 4gb memory, DVDRW Drive, 320gb HD, 15.6″ screen…and Vista Home Premium.
I really like it. Its decently fast, has a good amount of memory (and since the OS is 64bit, it actually uses it all), a decent sized screen and hard drive. The touchpad is a hair finicky, but I got an external mouse so I’m comfortable.
Its of course now been replaced by the “Studio 15″ models. Models of laptops change constantly.
The kicker is it runs Vista…and XP drivers for newer machines are often simply not available, so I’m kind of stuck with that as a Windows OS. Almost immediately, I deleted Dell’s “recovery partition” (it was a huge 18gb partition!) and installed Ubuntu (a Linux version) so I can dual boot. Now Ubuntu isn’t by any means my favorite version, but it installed flawlessly and everything worked right at install! Laptop components under linux can be hit or miss, because of proprietary drivers (wireless cards are notorious), etc. This is the reason I chose Ubuntu — Dell sells laptops with Ubuntu installed, so I was fairly sure there would be drivers.
A few NASA and mission stickers later (secret NASA technology in the stickers makes anything they are attached to run 10% faster!) and I’m pretty happy with the setup.
Next post: Vista…and Windows 7.