Thursday, February 22, 2007

New Dell Laptop

So, I'm getting settled with my new laptop and I definitely like it. I have 4 USB ports (finally!), and media keys on the front! I've missed having keys to control the music player ever since my wireless keyboard that had them bit the dust a few years back. I think the computer is actually surprisingly pretty, given that it's a Dell. It is a light shiny gray on the top and inside, the bottom is black (which makes the rest of it be noticeable), and there is a banding of white all around the keyboard area and the lid. Even my officemate who is a Mac lover thought it looked nice!

Although it is a 14" screen, it doesn't seem all that small, which is definitely a plus. It also feels lighter than my old HP, which is fabulous. Another thing I love about it is the fact that it has a slot on the side for an SD card, which is the type of memory card my new camera takes! It makes it much quicker to get photos off, especially since Vista has a built in card reader that actually works. The speakers are also on the front, which means if I have the lid closed I can still listen to music without headphones very easily (especially with those media keys).

Vista is awesome (I have Vista Business), although it definitely has some annoyances. They did make it easier to do some things though, like getting rid of certain items in the system tray, and changing computer settings. I absolutely LOVE the sidebar, which you can customize with different gadgets and either have disappear behind other programs or stay locked on the screen. I have it locked so that I can always see it. I have a clock (I rotate between the 8 choices, I used to have one with a pokemon character on it), a picture slide show (currently with my India pictures), a weather bar, a system meter to show my CPU and RAM usage, and a large calendar so I can easily find the date. :) Many of these things I had in some way or another previously (desktop photo changer which was annoying, weather bar in firefox that wasn't very useful, task manager minimized in system tray), but now they are finally useful, constantly accessible, and pleasing to the eye.

Of course, there are a lot of annoying things about Vista as well, like the dialog boxes that warn me I need administrator rights to do certain actions even though I am logged in as an administrator and it works. It also asks for permission to run any program, which gets really old when you have a new computer and are trying to install a lot of things. I'm sure you can turn these messages off, but I think they are there for a good reason (preventing programs from installing themselves). There is also plenty of software that is not yet compatible with Vista. Even Visual Studio 2005 (made my Microsoft!) has some compatibility issues with Vista, even though it does still work and seems to only be minor issues.

BTW, my desktop image is a picture I took.

Overall I'm very happy with this new laptop. Since this is everyone's favorite part of Vista, here's a screenshot of the program changing (windows key + tab, instead of alt + tab):

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