Laptop Shopping... February 17, 2008
Blows monkey snot (or insert your own, more vulgar version of "sucks" here). When you're going to look at a store instead of online, of course you have to deal with salespeople who know less about laptops than you do. You can't tell them exactly what you're going to be using it for, because it won't help them decide what model you need, and you already have in mind that you want a "business" laptop. Not something for games, or something with eighteen card readers on it. Definitely not something that comes preinstalled with Windows Vista.
I'm trying to tell the guy, "I don't need HDMI, card readers, Bluetooth, photo album software, MS Office, built in web cam... I have a Mac" :D I just need a good CPU, a fast hard drive, and decent amount of RAM. Wireless is optional. Before I let him in on the little secret that I know a slow mother f@#%@$ing hard drive when I see it, he was trying to push 4800 RPM drives on me.
When he was trying to sell me anti-virus software and MS Office, I sorta just smiled at him and said "I won't be running Windows", in a smart ass type of way that only a true geek can do.
What I ended up with was a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 (as "business" as it gets, and what I have been eyeing online for weeks), with a 14.1" screen (which is running at 1280x800 on Gnome on my FreeBSD, so I'm fine with it), 2.1 GHz Core 2 Duo, 1 GB RAM (but I put in another GB when I got it home), a 100GB 7200 RPM hard drive, and an NVidia basic video card, and tons of ThinkPad goodness (which means nothing!). Minimal but is absolutely awesome. It's 5.3 lbs. It kicks the f%#@ out of my previous laptop's ass. So fast.
Compare to my other laptop (which I'm fuzzy on now):
1.5 GHz single core Centrino, I upped it to 1GB ram, 4800 RPM 60GB hard drive, ATI video card.
A hard drive's speed will make or break productivity in programming. I also just needed an upgrade in CPU speed, and RAM never hurts :)
There's just one thing though that I wish I had noticed about this laptop before I bought it, but I think I can deal with it. Most laptops today have a touch version of a mouse's "scroll wheel" on their pads. My previous laptop has it. This one doesn't :( I can use page up / down, or go old school and use the scroll bar. I'm used to it though, since I had Gentoo Linux on my other laptop for so long, nothing f%@#$ing worked anyway :)
So, I'm installing FreeBSD, getting my development environment set up, and will be creating features for this website, and new websites and software in the near future.