I've just about decided which laptop to get next. But then there's the question of operating system.

I refuse to get drawn into the Apple straitjacket. For all sorts of reasons.

There's really no software on Ubuntu that isn't also on Windows that I really, really want. Well maybe Amarok.

I'm sick of Windows XP degrading over time. Both long term with bloat in the registry and startup programs and short term in that eventually you just have to reboot to get the thing to work again. And I'm sick of the monthly forced boot when MS issue yet another set of security fixes. But XP only has 4 months to run before it starts getting difficult to obtain. Meanwhile there's a constant stream of windows only software I want to play with. Or where the Windows version is leading edge and the Mac-Linux versions appear later, not at all, or there crippled in some way.

Vista continues to look like a really bad idea. I really don't want to have anything to do with it.

So then we get into hybrids. XP+andLinux would let me run Ubuntu programs but like I said, there's nothing I really really want. Ubuntu + VirtualBox + XP makes a lot of sense, but there's continuing horror stories about USB support. All the things like Apache, PHP and MySQL that I run locally could all run in Ubuntu. Leaving Windows really just for website checking with IE6 and 7, Skype, Winamp and that stream of windows only bits.

And just to make matter worse, a bleeding edge laptop is likely to have hardware in it that may or may not have drivers for XP and Ubuntu.

I'm almost persuaded that the solution is to get a proper desktop with an eeePC and to shift as much work as possible to web based systems. And to leave the desktop on all the time with an SSH tunnel so I can get at the disk from anywhere. But I don't like the idea of leaving a desktop running 24/7 because of the electricity/power draw.

Choices, choices. And no good solutions.

And the laptop choice? The top of the range Dell 1525. 2.0Ghz T7590, 4Gb ram, 250Gb hard disk, Intel Graphics hardware, 15" widescreen. It seems to be the cheapest with that class of hardware. Sony's are more expensive and have too much range engineering. The other manufacturers don't seem to have quite caught up with that processor. And it's less than half the price of the equivalent MacBook.

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[ 24-Feb-08 10:45am ] [ , , , ]