Stuff I Like

We haven’t been doing our part to support the ailing economy here at Casa Armed Liberal, but we have bought a few things, and I thought I’d comment on them…

My old Lenovo t60 started exhibiting bad behavior – which I finally tracked down to something mechanical – when I moved it while it was running, I’d get a BSOD. Not the best behavior for a laptop that’s often used at the breakfast table or on the sofa.

So I went shopping – for about 3 hours I considered a Macbook Pro – and settled on a Dell Vostro 3400 with an i5 processor, 4GB or RAM, a 350GM HDD and Windows 7 Pro.

Nice!! Very nice!! I’ve migrated my key files over and set up most of what I use, and golly gosh I like it a lot. It’s smaller than my old 15″ notebook, but that’s as much a feature as a bug, and it seems decently solid. So far, great battery life – I can but a 9-cell battery for it if it becomes an issue. The keyboard touch is a little light, but when I do lots of writing, I’m on a regular one.

I do wish it had a docking station – maybe soon.

Windows 7 was a little awkward at first, but now it’s pretty transparent. And the machine is faaaast.

In the course of moving the files to the household desktop to transfer them over, it became obvious that our 10-year old desktop was just filled plumb up. Plus it hasn’t really liked XP (it came w/Win2K)…so when we went to best Buy to look at NAS, we decided to spend a few hundred more and just go buy a new desktop.

Looking at the reviews on my Droid, the ASUS Essentio minitower looked pretty good, and cheap, but while they were looking for a boxed one, we noticed an Asus CG5275…a full-sized tower with great specs – i5 again, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, highly expandable…and only $175 more…so we went from a $250 NAS to a $700 desktop. Someone frugal is going to be mad at me…

It’s running Windows 7 Home, and again it’s been really easy to set up. The biggest hassle has been that it has no parallel port so I had to get a USB cable for the B & W printer (an old, reliable HP1200).

I’ve still got to consolidate 800GB of data on the old XP box – there are like seven images of the laptop files system, and move all the remaining data over. But I can take my time to do that.

So we’ve done our computer spend for the next few years…and you may understand why blogging has been light for the last week.

On the non-computer front, I bought some m/c gear…

My old Held winter m/c gloves had been getting pretty ragged, so I went out and got some Alpinestars 365 gloves. I tend to spend a lot of money on gloves because I figure that in reality, I make my living with my fingers…so I like them to be safe.

They have been great. A little warm for warm days, but great from cool to cold, and yesterday I rode home in a small downpour that soaked through my Gore-tex Aerostich suit in a few places – but my hands were dry and toasty.

So were my feet, because I replaced by seven year old pair of Sidi On-Roads (two resoles, one re-Velcro) with a new pair of Sidi Canyons. Comfy, better-armored than the On-Roads, and again – my socks were about the only garment I had on that wasn’t wet someplace.

So now I’m computing speedily on the road and at home, and have safe and dry fingers and toes. What’s not to like?

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