March 7th, 2001

Lord Yupa

I am now excessively poor.

After months of deliberation, consideration, argumentation, ponderation, and a near spontaneous combustion, I finally did it. I bit the bullet and ordered my new laptop.

Notes: My final consideration really came down to either IBM Thinkpads, or Dell Inspirons. Both are quality machines that I've personally had excellent experience with, and that I have a lot of respect for.

This initially left IBM as the leader, because I work for them, and I can get an employee discount. However, there were two advantages that Dell had. First of all, greater flexibility. I could select exactly, and with much greater ability to customize, what I wanted with Dell. Secondly, Dell offers the CompleteCare warranty.

What is CompleteCare, you ask? It's prolly the closest thing I've ever seen to a "perfect warranty". It literally covers everything, with the exception of "intentional damage, fire, or loss/theft". This means that if I'm using my computer at the kitchen table (plugged into an AC outlet), and my brother comes by and trips on the cord, smashing the display. . . that's okay. The warranty covers it, and they'll replace it at no charge. (My friend had this happen to him 4 months after buying his laptop, which is why it makes such a good example. ;-)

In the end, I went with the Dell. Here's the details:

Dell Inspiron 8000
CPU:PIII - 8501
Display:15.0" UltraXGA TFT
Hard Drive:20GB Ultra ATA
Video Card:32MB ATI Mobility M4, 4x AGP
Modem/Network:Internal 3com Mini-PCI, 56K v.90 + 10/100 NIC
Operating SystemWindows ME3
Total Cost:$2,518 w/ $100 mail-in rebate.
1. I was originally going to get a P3-700, as the P3-850 was $300 more. Then, a week before I ordered this, Dell went and dropped the price on the P3-850, so it was only $50 more than the 700. Bastards. I was thus forced to buy an 850.
2. Dell charges way too much on memory, so I bought this with the minimum amount of RAM I could, and I'll buy more from Crucial. Right now, I can get a 128MB SO-DIMM from Crucial for $65 (with the 256MB at $255, making the 128 look really good). If I would have bought it from Dell, they'd have charged me $75 to add an additional 64MB DIMM, or $175 to make the existing 64MB into a 128MB DIMM. I don't think so. I'll run with 192 for a while, and then once the price on Crucial's 256MB DIMM has dropped to a more reasonable level, I'll swap out the 64 for that.
3. It comes with Windows ME installed. I'll be installing Debian GNU/Linux on it approximately two days after I get it.

It's such a strange feeling to feel so good about a new toy, and yet, feel so bad about being utterly broke. ;-)

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Lord Yupa

Other toy delays.

The fact that I spent a good bit more on my laptop than I'd originally intended means that my next new toy, a Digital Camera, is gonna be placed on hold for a while. Much as I'd sometimes wish it otherwise, food has to take precedence over future toys. ;-)
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