Friday, July 28, 2006

Laptop hell

I've been looking for a laptop for a while. My home computer routinely freezes (2-3 times a day). There are no errors, the entire OS just locks up. There have been a few times that it did not even want to boot up nicely. Grrr! Oh well, it was a free computer anyway. And it's not completely done. If I can just get some time I can try installing a different Operating system and get that going. Oooh, I could have a Linux PC (Woohoo!!! I'm in Geek heaven).

Now. What to do about that pesky everyday PC problem. Well I can get more PC for the money with a desktop than a laptop (no doubt about that), but I'm already going to have a PC sitting there. I want a laptop so I can be super geek and using the laptop while I'm with the family anywhere in the house. "Kids it bath time, just let me get my laptop!". "Sure honey, I'll cook, just let me grab the laptop, there's a new recipe I want to try....What? somethings burning?! Good thing it's not the hard drive."

The real problem I have is that I want to be able to work on ASP and ASP.Net applications (more to come on this in a future post) and in order to do that I need Windows XP Professional. I was hoping to walk into Best Buy or Circuit City and get a laptop with 1 year no interest and pay as much off as I could before I transferred the debt to another credit card of mine. However, retailers no longer support small businesses. I think it's funny that web design/development is one of the easiest home business to start, but Best Buy won't help you buy a computer (laptop or PC) that you can use for it. All of the computers being sold now are for a person to use for a few simple purposes.
  1. Listen to music from iTunes.
  2. Watch a DVD
  3. Surf the internet. (I'd much rather build the internet)
  4. Check your email.
A computer can do so much more, but you have to do any and all of that yourself. I'm surpised that there aren't more Shareware or Freeware applications installed on computers to get you started. A linux OS comes with hundreds of free applications, most of which are also free for Windows if you know where to go get them. Why aren't retailers helping their customers out by providing some of these. Heck, don't even install them, just create the 100 bookmarks that let me go to each one and decide if I want it. However, with an insane amount of people still having 56K dialup, installing it and providing instructions on how to remove it will be faster for the customer than downloading probably even a single application.

Thus I am back to my problem of needing a computer with Windows XP Professional. It appears that about the best I can do is Staples online I can have a Compaq built for me for about 1100, but it's only a 14.1" screen, and if this is going to be my fulltime computer, I really want teh 15.4" screen. Which leaves me with a DELL for only 50$ a month (and 25% interest) over 2 years I will pay almost 50% more than the actual cost of the laptop to pay it off. AARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!! I just need to walk down the street tonight and find about 800$ lying right there that I get to keep and then I'll be fine. I guess it looks like I'll investigate that Dell offer and see if I have to pay any penalties if it's paid off early. Tax money should be here in February (please, please, please say I have tax money coming).