About two weeks ago I decided that I was just completely done with my Dell Latitude D630. I’ve had it for just under a year now and it had continued to disappoint me at every turn. I had had an Inspiron 8600 — which was a pretty darn good laptop — for about a year and then upgraded to a D610. I loved the D610. It was the best laptop I’d ever owned. Unfortunately my lovely wife was underwhelmed with the 8600. Plus, it was now over two years old, the battery was dead so she had to use the power cord all the time, and the processor was no longer cutting it for what she needed it to do. So we shelved the 8600, I gave her my wonderful D610, and I “upgraded” to the D630.
I hate the D630. It drives me crazy on a regular basis. Sure, a large chunk of the blame should be on Microsoft; I’ll admit that. When I went from the D610 to the D630 I also went from whatever version of Office was current three years ago to the “new” version of Office. (I have no idea what the versions in Office are these days. Microsoft, I think, intentionally uses a conflicting and confusing taxonomy to keep us all guessing. Let’s just say that I went from a version of Office that worked “pretty well” 80% of the time to the really slow and obnoxious version that uses all new, not-backwards-compatible file formats and hogs every drop of memory it can.) At the same time I also moved from a Blackberry to an iPhone.
Now, listen: I have been a Windows guy for almost 20 years now. I always looked down my nose at the silly artists and screenwriters eating granola bars, wearing Birkenstocks, driving eco-friendly cars, and using Macs. They had no idea how to use a real computer and certainly couldn’t program their way out of a paper bag. I’m a developer. I program computers. I needed to use a computer that let me build things. And, plus, I never met a Mac user that didn’t spend all day sending me files that would only work on a Mac.
But something funny happened when Y2K struck. I stopped writing computer programs. I am still a developer, but now everything I do is on the world wide information superhighway. It’s been almost a decade now since I needed to code a DLL or an actual client-side application. I still build fabulous and amazing applications, but they are all web-based. And that means that I have been working almost exclusively with plain old text files. And you don’t need Microsoft to work with text files. (Hell, you don’t even need a GUI to work with text files!) Combine that realization with the awe-inspiring, paradigm-shifting, mind-bending total f&$*@ing coolness of the iPhone (and the iPod!), and you can start to see why I finally decided to switch to a Mac.
So I did it. I made the switch. I bought a MacBook Pro. I’ll keep you posted.
I don’t want to get into all the reasons I don’t like the D630, but I’ll list my top three.
- It’s much heavier than the D610.
- Even with the extra RAM I purchased from Dell, it still is sluggish most of the time. And
- the battery life is deplorable.
I also should note that I fell in love with the new Dell XPS line and was going to get one. What a rad laptop! So cool! But … you can only get one with Windows Vista. I’d rather have leeches attached to my eyeballs and festering boils on my crotch than have to deal with history’s worst operating system. It was when I called Dell and tried to convince them to sell me an XPS with XP installed instead of Vista, and they refused and told me that I’d never be able to buy a Dell with XP again that I finally marched down to the Apple store in the Century City Mall and bought a Mac.
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