Over the last week I’ve been a laptop setup fool. In less then 8 days I have set up three different laptops: a brand new one for my friend, a new one for my sister, and then a used one for my other sister. Two of them came with Windows Vista, and the other one was re-imaged with Windows XP. Since then I have made multiple visits to NewEgg to pick up additional parts (2.5 GB of RAM, a replacement CD/DVD Burner, a Bluetooth dongle, a WebCam). With all of that, I came to some realizations:
- I learned a lot about Windows Vista. It’s really pretty, and I think most people will enjoy it. I personally hated navigating through it, since the XP keyboard commands are second nature to me. Vista changes all of that. The constant access requests pissed me off too – try making changes to your Start Menu with those stupid alerts one. Moving a freaking shortcut around gave me two separate alerts (let alone deleting the folder).
- You’d be surprised how some extra RAM and a re-formatted hard drive can make your computer feel as good as new. This Dell Inspiron 5100 is pretty fast.
- I can rebuild a machine and get all of the necessary software back on in about a 1/2 day (that is if the machine is accessible to you the whole time).
- A 500GB external hard drive is your best friend during this process
- XXCopy is a great utility for backing up your hard drive
- It’s ridiculous that I had to install 82 Windows Updates on an XP-SP2 reformat – I hate how it turned a 2 gig Windows installation into a 4 gig windows installation.
There are some great utilities that I initially installed on my sisters’ machines. I love FileHippo for downloading all of these:
- Mozilla Firefox 2
- AVG Free AntiVirus
- Comodo Firewall Beta
- Trillian Basic
- iTunes (since all of them had iPods), otherwise I’d go with Winamp
- TreeSize Free
I’m about Laptop’ed out at this point, but I have one more to go. Part of the deal with my sister’s new laptop was that I would get her old laptop to fix and get to my mom. Luckily I’ll have a few weeks to wait for it to come in.