Monday, June 30, 2008

Bringing home a new laptop

In less than 2 weeks I'll be heading to Gillette, Wyoming on my motorcycle for the annual BMW Rally. This trip is going to be a vacation and my wonderful wife is riding with me. So that means we have to pack for 2 people for 10 days using the hard bags, top case and tank panniers. Both of us need to stay connected while traveling so that means carrying 2 laptops.

My current HP dv8000 17" laptop would just barely fit in the door of a side case and would easily fit in the top case. But either place it would be taking up a lot of space and adding weight to the bike. So what's the logical thing to do??? You guessed it, go down to Fry's and buy a cheap 14" or 15" laptop to be my new moto-laptop.

Fry's had a sale going on today on certain laptops. I had 2 primary criteria I wanted to fulfill in this purchase. First it needed to be smaller and lighter than my current laptop. Second I really wanted a trackpad on/off switch. Other than that I wasn't really picky as long as it was cheap. Since this wouldn't be my main development box speed wasn't a major issue. It was more of a case of value once my primary criteria had been met.

I narrowed it down to 2 different HP's and a Sony Vaio. The Sony got knocked out when I realized it didn't have the on/off switch for the trackpad. So then it was a choice between 2 HPs. In the end I spent the extra bucks to get an AMD Turion 64 X2 w/ 3GB of ram, 250GB HD and a web cam. I the extra space and ram were attractive to me. The web cam could provide a challenge for me to work on next year before I take off to Alaska.

I don't know what stars have aligned but it seems I found every single new person at Frys during this process. The friendly sales person that helped me must have done something wrong because when I got to the checkout a manager drug him off to the side and started reading him the riot act. My clerk was a little confused about something but finally continued on. Then after swiping my card there was a problem which required a "csc". So the clerk's manager came over and he got in trouble for not checking something on my I.D. or some such non-sense. Finally I walk out with a new laptop and a $799 credit card bill that I'll have to pay next month when the statement arrives. At least the money is already in the bank.

I get the laptop home and start unpacking it. HP does a fantastic job with their packaging so I follow along with the pictures and do what it tells. When I power up the laptop though my screaming fast 2GHZ AMD Turion 64 X2 comes to a screeching installing the massive amount of garbage that's included with it. And I have to wait while Vista updates itself. So that's when I started this blog post.

Well all that's left now is to wait on the download of Fedora 9 and then I can wipe this thing clean and see how well it does on my OS of choice. In the mean time I might down FireFox 3 and see what all the fuss is about. According to Azureus I have at least another hour before the DVD iso will be down.

More to come on this experience when I have Fedora installed.

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