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Long live the Laptop!

For months (nay, years!) I have been considering buying a new laptop. I just couldn’t scrape up the money to do so. (Buying books, DVDs and eating out all the time coupled with a sucky pay will do that to you.)

After getting my back pay from my previous job and getting a better paid job, I finally could afford to buy a new laptop. But so many choices and decisions had to be made. It didn’t help that I moved to a new city and so had to spend a lot of money on setting up home once more.

Once the bank account was looking healthier, I started looking around. When I saw an advertisement for the Sony Vaio CR series, I was quite taken with them. Since the price was just slightly above my budget, I decided I would buy one.

Random expenses cropped up and I kept putting off the purchase. Then I also read a lot of bad reviews for the computer online, besides which I had second thoughts about the lack of certain features like a graphics card with dedicated memory, the weight and size, etc. (Apparently, the present models have a graphics card, albeit an ATI one.)

Also, while the exterior of the laptop looked quite cool, I wasn’t too happy with the keyboard, which looked a bit small (and too Apple-y!)

All of this coupled with the fact that I was a little uneasy about splurging so much money just to get a “cool” laptop, made me decide against a Sony.

Just then, someone pointed out the new XPS laptops from Dell and I fell in love immediately!

A fast processor, good graphics card, appropriate amounts of memory for Vista, good sized hard disk, a DVD writer and all of this in a light-weight machine that was just about 2kg.

When my brother told me he could get an employee discount at Dell, that just sealed the deal. But, I had to wait a couple of months more. A few mix ups with which bank account my money should be in to pay for the machine delayed the whole ordering process. And when I did finally place the order, the website told me the estimated delivery date was a month away!

But she’s finally here. I received the laptop a full two weeks ahead of the “estimated” delivery date, much to my surprise and joy. She’s been christened Zippy, a “cuter” name than the last laptop had.

While I did save on the laptop because of the discount, I’ve been a bit splurge happy since, buying a new USB flash drive to port a few things and a laser bluetooth mouse to accompany the laptop. Not to mention that I also bought a copy of Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars to play

Oh well, I shall just have to starve for the next couple of weeks!

Welcome Zippy, and here’s to many great hours of games and blogging!

P.S. I bought the black one.

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The Laptop is Dead!

My old, trusty laptop has been in use by me for over 5 years and is virtually falling apart. Poor Eurisco. That’s what I called her, a HP Pavilion ze1210 I bought in 2002.

When I bought her, the AMD Athlon processor was cutting edge and people recommended it over Intel’s then line of Pentiums and Celerons. She had 256MB of memory when about half that was standard on most desktops too! She wasn’t lightweight, but since I just needed a computer to use at home, I didn’t care too much. She still looks pretty stylish in this picture I found online, but if you saw her as she is now…

  • A big gaping hole where the battery should be. After 2 and half years, the battery gave out and I never got around to buying a new one. So to lighten my load, I removed the battery from the slot.
  • Two keys missing. In my zeal to clean the keys and under the keyboard, I managed to break the F1 and Enter keys.
  • A broken hinge. The hinge on the right mysteriously cracked (I have no clue how!) and a small metal piece that held the screen up fell out. So for a long time I had to keep the screen at one particular angle to make sure it was upright, or else it would fall down flat. Oddly, the cold winter in Gurgaon seemed to have done something to the innards since the screen now stands at any angle.
  • The CD-RW/DVD drive doesn’t work anymore. In fact, it randomly clicks now and then in a vain effort to prove it’s still alive. I have some success playing audio CDs, but nothing else works.
  • The USB ports are worn from use, so using any USB accessories is a touch-and-go thing.
  • And the biggest problem of them all, the port where the power cord plugs into the computer is loose, so that if I moved the laptop or jiggled the power cord, it would lose the connection (and since there is no battery, the laptop would go off.
  • On the software side of things, newer apps were beginning to crawl. Firefox was so badly behaved on this laptop that I had taken to using IE7!

I spent many, many hours on this machine coding in Delphi, random browsing, and learned to play an RTS for the first time. Ended up playing hours and hours of Age of Empires II, Starcraft and Warcraft III

I discovered Firefox when it was still called Phoenix and then Firebird. Thunderbird when people still preferred Outlook Express. I used Kazaa (remember that?) when I was first introduced to P2P. And I made my first forays onto USENET posting, IRC (using mIRC) and introduced myself to Linux via Knoppix using Eurisco.

So long and thanks for all the memories! RIP, Eurisco.