All right, so I have the new laptop…

Well, on Monday, my new laptop finally arrived. It’s a Dell Latitude D620 laptop, which is more or less the standard model of laptop we get at the office. I know I posted why I got the company laptop earlier; I posted a bit more detailed explanation of why and what I used before on a Slashdot comment, responding to a story asking about getting UNIX workstations at work.

Up until about a week ago, I used a self-provided PowerBook G4 as my work machine.

Not too long after starting at where I work, I was given the task of overseeing my employer’s Linux boxes. Seeing as most users did their Office et al work via Windows terminal server, I loaded Linux onto my laptop and used rdesktop for the terminal servers. It was… okay, but the power management and various interface issues annoyed me. I ended up buying a PowerBook G4 for both work and personal use, and it worked beautifully for the most part. (Though, MS’s Remote Desktop Connection for Mac software was crap, and for the most part I still used rdesktop on X11.)

However, I finally ended up switching back to a Windows laptop last week. I’m doing more and more remote site implementations, and I found that not only was getting my USB-to-RS232 adapter working with minicom something of a chore (for programming switches, routers, and the like), there were a couple of programs that I would need in Windows that ran dog slow in VirtualPC. Also, I couldn’t justify the cost of a new MacBook when the old one still worked well for personal use, and I knew the company wouldn’t buy me one.

So, for work purposes, I now run a Dell Latitude D620 with XP Pro. If I need to administrate the Linux boxes, I use PuTTY and Xming, and if I need to do some local testing I have VMWare Workstation installed locally. I still keep the PowerBook for personal use.

A couple of other things I didn’t mention were that the D620 I requested came with a docking station and a Cingular 3G broadband card. While I could have gotten a BookEndz docking station for a MacBook Pro, I don’t know of any 3G support for Mac OS X. Also, from a corporate perspective, Dell Gold tech support is faster than AppleCare should I have a problem.

So, how is the laptop so far? Besides myself, I’m impressed. It’s worked fine, other than an issue with my laptop having sync issues with the domain controller, but I suspect the VMware network adapters were responsible for that. Otherwise, since I’ve loaded my work software on it, it’s worked fine for me. I’ve also got a USB stick with my personal apps like Thunderbird and Gaim installed on it for when I travel, so it’s ready on that front. All in all, it’s a decent machine. And despite my worrying about not asking for a case, it turned out one was ordered for it anyway by accident.

As for the PowerBook, it’ll be my personal machine, and travel with me on personal trips and Mortal Kombat Online related trips. It’s still a workhorse, and will serve my purposes. I just need to bring it in to an Apple Store to have them look at the spacebar and figure out why it’s not working properly.

Ah, well. I think I’ll be good on the laptop front. We’ll just see how it goes. :-)

2 thoughts on “All right, so I have the new laptop…”

  1. Not to start a flame war, but you should try IBM/Lenovo, if only for their excellent international support on laptops — OMG they are better than Dell. We got tired of sitting on hold for four hours because we didn’t pay they extra $ for Gold support just to talk to some in India. If I want to talk to someone in Mumbai, I’ll call our Mumbai office!

    And, question for you– I recently helped a friend out by replacing a harddrive in a Mac laptop (I forget the exact model) and it literally took 42 steps to remove, and another 42 steps to “sew it back up”. Now don’t get me wrong, I think Apple laptops look sweet, but 42 steps!!! I think it goes a long way to the reason why Apple is still a niche market player in these kinds of things. People like me want to upgrade/hack/adjust/phreak their equipment. That and I’m still waiting for the second button. :)

  2. Oh, trust me… if I had any decision making power, I’d be suggesting Lenovo, if only because I remember how good the ThinkPad line was when it was part of IBM and I’ve heard it’s just as good now.

    As for Macs… yeah, corporate-wise I can see what you’re saying. I think it’s only a niche market among hardcore tinkerers and corporate users, as the average home user doesn’t open up his/her PC at all if they can at all help it. Still, given the choice of a laptop running Linux and a MacBook in my company, I’d choose the MacBook simply because getting the MacBook onto an ADS domain and logging in via an ADS account was FAR less painful than doing so under a Linux box.

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