The search for a PC

I’m taking an introduction to computer programming class this semester and the program that’s required is only Windows-compatible. That gave me a bigger reason to go out and buy another laptop. Besides the fact that Don needs his own, but it’s always helpful to have a computer with Windows since the rest of the world kind of forgets that there’s another operating system out there (some of you will know what I mean, others will say, “Huh?”)

Yesterday Don and I went shopping, for computers and the rest of our school supplies. We found a nice Gateway laptop at Best Buy for $399. Here’s the specs:

  • IntelĀ® CeleronĀ® M processor 520 with 533MHz frontside bus, 1MB L2 cache and 1.6GHz processor speed
  • 512 MB PC2-5300 DDR2 memory
  • DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive
  • 14.1″ ultrabright widescreen
  • 3 USB ports

It does come with Windows Vista and I was disappointed. I wanted to get a computer with Windows XP, but I couldn’t find a new one that still had XP anywhere. I didn’t want to get a used one. We also upgraded the RAM to 1.5 GB because I read on Best Buy’s website that this computer needed to be upgraded or it was way too slow, since apparently Vista uses over 300 MB just to start up. It ended up being just under $600 with the upgrade/installation and tax, which wasn’t too bad.

I’m actually quite happy with it so far. The first thing I did when I got it home was to reinstall the OS to get rid of all the stupid trial programs. Then I installed Spybot and Ad-Aware. I also turned off all the Vista security features. Windows Defender is quite annoying, I must say. And after being spoiled by Apple’s touchpad, this one’s super sensitivity bothers me. While I’m typing, my hands will brush above it, and it thinks I clicked so it messes up my typing. It’s done it four times while I wrote this post actually. All in all, it’s a great bargain.