I have finally broke (broken?) down and bought a new computer. Yes, I bought. Frankly, I can’t build the machine for the price and, damn it, immediate gratification is so nice. Not that I haven’t been looking for a month now but it feels immediate.
Anyway, I took the plunge and came up with an HP a6120n. (Note to self, here is the mobo spec sheet for later.) Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz, 2 GB of RAM, 320 GB 7200 rpm hard drive.. it hums. Literally. After years of sitting next to my previous homebrewed machine (soon to be for sale, BTW), this new machine makes almost no noise. It’s so quiet, I can hear the hard drive crunching during installs. My last machine was probably clocking in around 60 decibels… way too loud (ask J–).
I also came up from this dive with Windows Vista Home Premium. Yeah, I know. I’ve only spent a day with it so far, so my impressions are minimal. I will say that the UAC (User Account Control) is an abysmal thing to use. Uninstalling all the crapware that comes preloaded on a machine took at least twice as long as before Vista simply because I had to click no fewer than 3 and up to 6 confirmation dialog boxes just to uninstall software as an administrator. That’s BS. I know Microsoft is the biggest target for malware, but how does this help combat that? After the 4th uninstall, I wasn’t even reading the dialogs anymore, just skimming for “Continue”, “Yes”, or “OK”.
That said, Vista is nothing if not pretty. The look is very shiny, and after adding an nVidia 8600 GT, it bops along just fine. The Start menu is so-so. I don’t like it, but I haven’t given up yet. I’ll see how it goes for the rest of the week as I get over the language barrier from XP, but so far it’s looking like OS X has come to Windows (and that’s a good thing, mostly). We’ll see how network configuration goes tonight.