Monday, January 19, 2009
As I mentioned in Double Speed, I ordered a new Acer Veriton L460-ED8400 for at work. As you can see, it's certainly tiny. (about the same size as the book included for comparison) I ordered from Frontier PC who were very helpful figuring out what memory and hard drive I needed to go with it.
The only minor complaint about the Acer is that the connector between the optical drive and the motherboard is very flimsy. When we opened it up to put in the extra memory and the bigger hard drive a tiny fragment of plastic broke off the clip that holds the cable. We ended up having to replace it with a binder clip!
Otherwise, the Acer works great - it's small, fast, quiet. Vista seems to work well, including all the Aero effects.
I've gotten quite fond of the current Mac keyboard that I use at home. Compared to it, PC keyboards are incredibly clunky. They all seem to think the more bells and whistles the better. Personally, I want a minimum of bells and whistles. I wondered if a Mac keyboard would work on a Windows PC. I took my Mac keyboard to work and it functioned perfectly. So I went and bought another Mac keyboard. I use the wired version since I find the wireless one too small.
On the other hand, I'm not really fond of the Mac mouse. I'm not sure if it's the hardware or the driver, but right clicking is painfully unreliable. It's almost as if they finally gave in to having a right click, but they made it really crappy because they still didn't think you should be using it. It's especially painful running Parallels because Windows relies on right-clicking so much. So I bought a Logitech LX8 mouse. I liked the cordless receiver, especially since I could plug it into the front of the Acer. (It also would have been harder to use a Mac wireless mouse since they are Bluetooth and most PC's, including the Acer, don't have Bluetooth built in. (Macs do)
I kept the same monitor I've had for a while - a 24" Samsung SyncMaster 245BW that I'm quite happy with. I haven't gone to dual monitors, prefering a single large monitor. Partly maybe because I prefer to focus on one thing at a time. The same reason I don't keep my email running all the time. If I was buying a new monitor I think I'd be tempted by the new Apple 24-inch LED Cinema Display.
I'd say it was the easiest switch-over I've had. Despite moving more and more to on-line apps, I still install and use quite a lot of software. I wish there was a way to migrate Windows apps to a new computer. On the other hand, it's also nice to start fresh with clean installs.
Here's the main stuff:
- Kaspersky (we have been using AVG but we're thinking of switching)
- Thunderbird (for our separate internal email system)
- Open Office
- Gmail Notifier (so email links go to gmail, but not running all the time)
- MinGW G++
- Visual C++ 2003 (vc7)
- Visual C++ 2008 express (vc9)
- GnuWin32 - grep, findutils, diffutils, fileutils/coreutils
- Google Earth
- Google Picasa
Plus all my Firefox add-ons:
- Adblock Plus
- Delicious Bookmarks (classic mode)
- Google Gears
- Google Notebook
- IE View
- S3 Firefox Organizer
- Web Developer
I used Foxmarks to sync my bookmarks and passwords (more for the passwords since most of my bookmarks are in Delicious). Too bad you can't sync the add-ons themselves.