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Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Forgot How Much Work It Is

Yesterday, I got my new laptop. It was past time to replace my current one--it's made it five years and is still running, but it's so slow, I spent Saturday cursing it. The new Vaios had finally arrived in the store and it was time. I just forgot one, little thing: How long it takes to setup a Windows computer.

My last replacement was for the desktop computer and I switched to a Mac there. I literally took it out of the box, plugged it in, loaded a couple of programs and was good to go. No arduous setup required. I also bought a netbook this year, but since all I do with it is take it to work to write, I didn't need to do much except load an antivirus program and my writing software. Again, no arduous setup required.

Now? Arduous setup is required.

I spent almost 5 hours last night on the project. I made recovery disks (that took forever), loaded the antivirus software, deleted the software I was never going to use, and then I started loading programs. This is the long, hard part because simply loading them isn't enough. I have to get my preferences set, too. Let's not even talk about the files I need to move. Or the website bookmarks I have. Or setting up the email program. I figure I'm about halfway on the major stuff, but when preferences are factored in, I'll be at this for a long while longer.

I also want to figure out how to move my custom dictionary and my quick words in WordPerfect from my old computer to my new one. The idea of having to re-add each one makes me want to cry. I use both features constantly and probably have an enormous collection by now. I turned to Google for instructions, but I haven't found anything yet that explains how to do this for the X3 version I'm running.

This, however, is a problem for another day. I'm going to stay focused on getting the big stuff loaded and setup and then hit the fine points.

So after a night with my new laptop what do I think?

My first thought was why the hell do MacBook Pros have to cost so much??? The idea of opening the box, taking the laptop out, and being good to go in less than an hour is sounding awfully appealing right now. :-)

There are a few things I'm going to need to get used to on the new laptop. Because I wanted all the RAM I could afford, I ended up with a 16" screen. Awesome, I thought. Until I got the laptop. There's a number pad on the right. Again, awesome, right? Except that the touchpad is centered on the keyboard, which means it's offcenter for the laptop as a whole. Guess who was running her finger over the wrong place? ::blush:: Repeatedly.

The other issue with the 16" screen is the resolution is 1900x something. It's hideous. Everything is tiny. I mean really tiny. I was able to increase the size of my Windows icons, but the icons in Firefox as well as the address bar remain teeny tiny. I hate it and I have good vision; I just had my eyes checked. It's not a matter of needing reading glasses, it's just that small. I tried to adjust the resolution, but then the screen didn't go all the way to the edges of the monitor. I might have to Google this, too, and see if I can figure out some way to increase the resolution, but continue to use the entire screen space.

Luckily, this isn't an issue for my writing software. I set that view to margin width and made the program window wide enough that the text is almost a little too big.

This laptop is running Windows 7 and I find it less intuitive than Vista. Yeah, I know. But once I turned all the crap off in Vista, I didn't have any problems with it. Windows 7 will be fine once I get used to it and figure out where everything is--and once I turn all the crap off here, too. Yes, there is crap in 7. Every damn time I tried to load software it would warn me that a program wanted to make a change to my computer. I was like, yeah, I know, just shut up and load the damn thing. :-) I also don't really care for the appearance of the interface in 7. I think I can adjust that so that it suits me better, but that's a project for later. Oh! And I don't like pinning stuff to my bar on the bottom. I prefer the quick links on the right and the little tabs for the opened windows. I wonder if I can change that, too? Maybe once I get used to it...?

I also need to figure out if I can reconfigure Windows Explorer to look like the XP WE. I don't like the new look at all because I can't see everything as easily anymore. Maybe I'll get used to it. But I don't know. It seems like a lot of stuff I have to get used to and it's making me just a touch crabby.

But the computer is faster. It's quieter. My cursing had to do with Windows 7 and the resolution on the screen, not the laptop itself. I'm sure I'll end up loving it, but right now, wow, well, I wish the MacBooks were like half the cost that they are.