Friday afternoon I finally (after putting it off for nearly a year) went and bought a new laptop! I had promised to give my old laptop, which is nearly three years old, to my niece for her and her son to use. He just turned 13 years old last week and really needs a computer for his school work. Anyway, that and an upcoming research trip provided the impetus for me to finally get it done. I also wanted to be able to use a portable scanner with the laptop. Back in June I had purchased a Canon LiDE 70 scanner but the old laptop only has USB 1.0 and the scanner didn't work well with it. So, I took the scanner back.
It took a couple hours Friday evening to get the new laptop setup and running. It's an HP with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 250 GB hard drive, 2 GB of memory, and Windows Vista Home Premium. Also has a built in WebCam, LightScribe DVD Reader/Writer, and other stuff. No manual, so I don't even know what some of the buttons on the laptop are for or what some of the software does.
Getting a new computer can certainly be frustrating. Making sure the computer works, loading a program then making sure it works before loading the next one, etc. Trying to figure out what all needs to be loaded, wondering if the old software will work with the new operating system. Oh, the joys of technology!
First thing after making sure the laptop worked was to download the anti-virus software. Getting connected to the Internet was a cinch; I just plugged in the DSL cable and Vista recognized the network immediately. Cool. It also told me there were two wireless networks available for use but I wasn't brave enough to try either of them. It didn't take long to download and install the program. After rebooting I let it scan the hard drive to ensure that no virus had gotten on it while it was unprotected.
The laptop came with a 60-day free trial of an Anti-Virus and Internet Security program that I didn't want to use because I like the one I've been using for the past 2 years, that happens to be free. The pre-installed anti-virus was annoying because it would automatically start up when the laptop was booted up and then it would display a warning message when I went to close it - caution you won't be protected if you don't complete the install, etc. I finally figured out how to disable it from automatically starting and then removed the program completely.
Next thing to get loaded on was Legacy, the genealogy software that I use. No problem there either. And it opened my databases just fine. What a relief that was!
Two years ago I had purchased an iPod but after getting only a couple of CDs imported into it I had to disconnect the USB2 port that I had added to my desktop computer. Long story, but apparently there was a conflict with drivers and the USB2 port didn't want to play nice with the other drivers. Loaded the iPod software off the CD okay. As soon as the iPod was connected it immediately told me that the software was out of date, so that had to be downloaded and installed, which took quite a while. But now, after several hours of loading CDs, I have more tunes on the iPod, and, as Martha Stewart says, that is a good thing. I don't have all that many CDs (have lots of cassette tapes though) and it is a rather odd collection, I suppose. Some pre-Beatles classic 60s songs, Garth Brooks, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Mannheim Steamroller, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Marty Robbins, Roger Whitaker, Roy Orbison, Chicago, and Blood Sweat and Tears. There are a lot of other singers/groups that I like, I just haven't bought any of their CDs.
I have Office 2000 on the desktop 'puter but thought I'd give Open Office a try on the new laptop. Not sure how that will work with sharing files between the two. I haven't tried opening any of my Word files in Open Office yet. It will take some getting used to. As will figuring out Windows Vista!
The only hardware I've added besides the iPod is the new Canon LiDE 70 scanner. It is working great, no streaks like with the old laptop when scanning larger images. I've done several tests and they came out nicely. Yeah!
So far, knock on wood, Windows Vista hasn't caused me any problems. But I don't have “everything” loaded on to the laptop yet. Still have to get email setup too. And I'd heard all kinds of horror stories regarding Vista. Perhaps I'll get lucky with this laptop though. I can dream, right?