Spending money sucks, especially when you don't have much. Lots of stress in getting the most for your money, etc. Ugh! I just dropped over $1000 for this new laptop and instead of being an easy one-shot deal where I was happy with my purchase instantly, it was one of those long drawn out comparision shopping trips where you agonize over price/value and doubt your final purchase until the very last second. Bleh. I'm happy it's over!
I returned the Advent computer yesterday for a few reasons. First, it was too damn hot. I couldn't use it. I'm not talking PowerBook hot, I'm talking open flame hot. Either that particular machine was bad or its a massive design flaw because it was unusable. It was also too loud. All high-end Pentium based laptops are going to have to dissipate the heat in one way or another, but that computer was pretty noisy. I didn't think so at first, but it was pretty quickly obvious that it was a droning sound. I have tinitus already (that's when you lay down at night when it's completely silent and you hear static or a tone. Mines a low tone.) I have no desire to make it worse with a constant low-level roar.
Finally - and this is actually what tipped it for me, it bluescreened on my twice during the day yesterday (and again when I was reformatting the drive before bringing it back). That, to me, is bad. That meant there was something wrong with the hardware, or like someone said last night, with the drivers. However, on a brand new machine, that should all be perfect. Seeing the bluescreen of death in Spanish did *not* give me warm fuzzies at all.
So I took it back. It was a hell of a deal, that box, better than anything else I could find around here for that price. However, at the end I was just too worried about the quality and longevity of an essentially no-name laptop, with heat and stability problems, regardless of how great the specs were.
So I went back to the store and got a Toshiba Satellite 1410-902. It's got a Celeron Mobile 2.2Ghz, 512MB RAM, 30GB HD, 16MB NVidia Video card, 15" LCD, CDRW/DVD, etc. It's a very nice box. It's definitely not the same specs as the one from yesterday which is a shame because it cost only a few bucks cheaper, however it's definitely a better machine all around.
This morning I'm using it and I'm *happy* like you should be when you get a new toy, not worried that tomorrow it's going to die and leave you SOL or give you 2nd degree burns on your wrists. (No, I'm serious. It was *that* hot).
The things I love about the new box? It's cool to the touch. It's silent. Ahhhhhhh. That's great. My Dell's fan has been driving me nuts. It's pretty snappy - though noticeably slower than the P4 2.6Hz (sadly). The keyboard and the case and cd tray etc. are all *very* high quality, and make me very happy. The keyboard is also basically an American keyboard with different stickers on the keys for the Spanish. Nice. I like the long enter key and the big control key. These are very important being a programmer (and blogger).
Thus, I'm much happier than I was yesterday (can you tell). It's too bad about the money side of things - I definitely didn't get a "deal" by any stretch. But before anyone points out to me Dell's site, you have to realize that you *need* to use Dell.es or you pay custom's duties, even from within the EU (i.e. the U.K). Secondly, the prices don't include taxes or shipping. With that, buying a similar machine from Dell here in Spain would be about the same price or a little more.
Ahh. Thank goodness. Now I'm going to spend the day installing instead of agonizing. :-)