After six years and 60,000 technology improvements, I finally caved and got a new laptop. I don't make major purchases like this without lots of research (and prayer) because I'm, well, cheap. Even being a techno geek like me, I'm a late adopter when it comes to the latest and greatest computer or gadget debuts. My co-workers still gasp when they realize all the TVs in my house are more than 10 years old.
The time had come to say good-bye to good ole Compaq. She has served me well since 2002, but six years in laptop years is like 80 in adult years. Her gait became pretty slow and she just couldn't load all the newfangled updates found on the internet. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but for the sake of my ability to work from home and to be able to use my computer for more than table decoration, it was time to bite the bullet.
I had heard all the bad things about Microsoft Vista and dreaded having to go that route. Just asking my tech guys at work caused them to throw up in their mouth. But, the laptops available for consumer purchase are all loaded with Vista, so I sucked it up and drank the Redmond Kool-Aid. And, actually, I like it...so far.
To sum it up, Vista is merely Microsoft's attempt at being a Mac without the ability to slap an Apple logo on their wares. It isn't as horrible as I imagined, but I also made sure I got a ginormous hard drive to carry the weight of the graphical burdens of the operating system. Compared to ole Compaq, though, anything was an improvement.
I would recommend Best Buy for those of you in the market for a laptop. My HP was on sale and the "Geek Squad" will load all your software and unload all the promo junk HP pre-loads that you don't need, for a fee, of course. But, it's well worth it. I just had to install my mouse and my wireless modem/router (which was bad...thanks, AT&T!) I'm now working with my wired modem until I get my replacement router gateway so I can move about the house untethered. Now that AT&T provides the WiFi at Starbucks, I'll be able to get free WiFi there as an AT&T subscriber...holla!
When I went to Best Buy this past weekend to purchase my goods, I told Nathan, my sales dude, "I'll be the easiest customer you have all day. Here's what I want." Sales tip: Always go into a purchase like that with your mind made up and your research done. You won't end up spending more money on things you really don't need. And, as a bonus, Nathan earns an easy commission.
I love my sleek, black HP laptop, although I did reminisce about my Compaq purchase in 2002. Best Buy got my business then and I remember getting a $200 discount for signing up for an MSN dial-up account. My how times have changed.