After my latest reformat of my Dell computer, it's been running like a champ. Running so well that it seems to be brand new. I'm very pleased with XP Pro and every day I'm reminded why I don't like Vista. I was visiting one of my clients the other day and a mass comm email went out to the group saying that in 2009 there will be no upgrading to Vista, and this is a company that has thousands of PCs. I have yet to work with any clients running it, and it seems that Microsoft acknowledges the issues with Vista and is pushing Windows 7 out for an early 2010 release. From the specs I read a few weeks ago, Windows 7 is going to be a great system and use significantly less resources than Vista.
My biggest concern with laptops is the screen. I prefer to use 17" lappies, and the screens vary from good to poor depending on the model. When I bought the Dell in 2005, I didn't get the HD screen since it had a glossy finish, and there is not a single Windows-based consumer machine on the market today that doesn't have a glossy finish. I purchased a cheaper HP laptop this year to see if the gloss would be as bad as I thought, and I'm sorry to say that it is. The colors are very vivid, but that computer is worthless is a majority of the settings in which I need to do work, typically corporate offices or outside on a beach. Dell offers a business 17" model (Precision line) which is very expensive and the same form factor as my current comp, which looks dated. My searching led me to the Apple MacBook Pro 17, and with the current new line of MacBooks having went only to glossy screens, it was now or never for the 17, lest Apple only offer glossy on that one.
I'm typing this post from my new Apple MacBook Pro 17 with a HD screen (1900x1200) with matte finish. I must say this screen is the most beautiful computer I have ever worked on. It's powered by LED so it's bright and easy to read, and offers a lot of real-estate for doing remote desktops and development apps. It has a 2.53 Ghz C2D processor, 4 GB ram, and 320 GB hard drive. I installed VMWare Fusion 2.0 and run Windows XP Pro on it. It took me less than 2 hours to have this computer set up exactly like I wanted, and I even have a W2K3 virtual machine with all my servers on it. In short, I finally own my dream machine.
I'm sure I'll catch hell from the guys for using an Apple, but the screen sealed the deal. I would only be happier with this purchase if it was free.
For now, the laptop search is over and I'll try to get back with some consulting stories. Remember it's all about the Damn data.