I have had it! I have just completely had it! A few months ago I bought a Dell Studio 15 laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium. I bought it out of necessity. I had a job to complete, I was going out of town, and I needed a laptop to allow me to finish the job. So I bought the Dell because it was inexpensive and it had good specs.
It hasn’t been a bad laptop, relatively speaking. When you run Windows, you pretty much expect quirkiness and problems. So in that regard, the laptop has not been any worse than any other Windows based PC I’ve purchased or built (that has been dozens). But today I just reached my limit as to what I’m willing to deal with.
Once again I’m under the gun to complete a project and I’m just not up for dealing with flakiness. Today I did what should have been a simple upgrade from Vista Home to Vista Ultimate so I could get the full system backup feature (I just love how MS cripples a program and then charges you for certain pieces of it), but as with Windows, nothing is simple. The machine did the upgrade, then promptly blue screened on the reboot. It would not boot. It would not take a reinstall of Vista. It would not restore from the “recovery partition”, and Dell does not ship recovery CD’s with their machines. So I sat there, completely S.O.L. and facing at least 3 to 4 business days of downtime while I wait for Dell to ship me a factory restore disk.
So I decided to go to the Apple store and get the laptop I should have bought in the beginning. A beautiful aluminum and glass 15″ Mac Book Pro. I bought the top of the line, no more skimping on tools that make me money. I’m so happy.
Here’s how cool the entire process has been so far. I walked into the store and tell the guy what I want. He grabs one off the shelf, pulls out a little card reading device from his belt, swipes my card, tells me my reciept will be emailed to me, and sends me on my way. Sweet.
I get home and crack the box which is barely bigger than the laptop itself. Inside is the laptop, a power cable, and two RESTORE DISKS! That’s it. I fire the machine up. It asks me my name. It sees my network and asks me for the password. It asks me if I want to copy my files from another machine. I say no because I want to start fresh. It starts up and I’m done. Too easy.
Now I have a wireless mouse that gave me fits on my Dell. I tenderly plug the reciever into my Mac, fully expecting to have to download and install drivers, etc, etc, etc… nothing. I grab the mouse and my pointer moves. No drivers to install??? It’s not even a Mac mouse! Sweet! Next hurdle: Printer.
Printers are an absolute BEAR on PC’s and because this one is wireless, it’s usually harder than normal. It was a beast to get working on the Dell, but after the mouse incident, I’m feeling confident. I open the printer panel, click the plus sign, my printer shows up in the list of available printers. I select it, it automatically picks the right driver. I click OK. Go to Google and print something…. BAM, It works.
Less than 60 minutes on a brand new piece of hardware and I was literally already back to work with Vista installed in a virtual machine for my programming tools and everything. This is how computers are supposed to work. Simple and not a single ounce of technical knowledge needed to get online, printing and being productive. Yeah it’s expensive, but that’s relative. If I can spend more time actually working and less time messing with the machine itself, it will pay for itself in no time.