XPS One – Nice Try, But…

Dell announced their XPS One model and I’m a little shocked that the prices are so high. The sticker shock is reduced as you get in to their higher-end models, but for some reason they all only have a 20 inch screen. You can’t go any larger. They’ve obviously tried to model their new line after the iMac, but all they’re going to do is impress people who have never seen an Apple iMac before (especially the new models released earlier this year).

I would have thought that a company like Dell would really shake things up with some aggressive pricing, but that just isn’t the case. Another thing they have going against them is that Vista appears to be the only OS they’ll install.  It seems that that their recent back-tracking to offering XP and their recent option of Linux would have led to choices for consumers, but … nope.

Still Making Waves, Huh?

Today for some reason I saw lots of articles discussing Vista and its adoption (or lack thereof) by the consumer as well as the business user. It’s been almost a year since Vista was released and people who are giving it a shot only recently have kind of re-started a wave of negativity that began right around the product launch.

It is not that I expected Vista to change between January and today. But as I read these articles that have started to sprout up again I can’t help but remember the way Vista was “received” by Microsoft employees when I was on contract up there earlier this year. People often complained about having to reboot the computer when waking it from sleep because the screen stopped working. They’d complain about the performance. Others just complained because they were happy with XP. But alas – it was a corporate directive that (what was initially a select group of) employees install Vista.

The other dynamic I noticed involved Microsoft employees wanting to be supportive of the company and voluntarily installing Vista on their newer laptops. These people would invariably run in to the known issues and just accept them as part of The Microsoft Tax.

I’m quite curious to see what Microsoft does with Windows 7 and to what degree (if any) the comment “Vista will go the way of Windows ME”  will come true. How many people will just stay on XP, given what we know about Vista, and wait until 2010 when Windows 7 is targeted to be released?

Trust: A TiVo, a Spare Hard Drive, and a Good Guy

I own a Toshiba TiVo with built-in DVD burning, and it ships with a 120 GB hard drive. If you set your TiVo to record programs on the lowest possible quality (which is noticeable when you watch it), this amount of space is probably fine. However, when you want to record things at high quality (one level below “best” quality) the number of hours significantly decreases.

Following the instructions of Bum Wine, I replaced that 120 GB drive with a spare 250 GB drive that I had. I am happy to announce that by following his detailed instructions to the letter, everything went PRECISELY as he said it would, even though my TiVo uses IDE as opposed to SATA drives.

I love it when I discover people like Bum Wine who learn something, perfect it, and then choose to give it back to the public – especially when they have a talent for doing it in terminology that a lot of people can easily understand. 

On another note tied to the same subject, I am grateful that Linux provided the solution to copy ALL of my programs and settings from my original TiVo drive to the new blank one. I also must say, based on my experience, that it’s obvious why Mom & Pop are not adopting Linux as their OS. At this point in time, it’s truly for the tech-type user.

Thanks Bum Wine!

The Times They Are A Changin'

It’s a very interesting time indeed.

Rob Howard, formerly of Microsoft, recently announced that he bought a fifteen inch MacBook Pro to use as his only laptop. This came after Scott Guthrie, currently a General Manager at Microsoft, recently mentioned the pricing of a MacBook Pro in his blog when talking about what hardware helps with performance.

Two years ago I would have been blogging about how Macs are all but extinct and how people who need to get actual work done should be on Dell or IBM hardware running Windows. Now look at me. My, oh my, how things change!

VMWare Fusion on Mac

At the suggestion of my buddy Brad, I set up a Windows machine under VMWare Fusion (as opposed to Parallels, which is what I’ve used up until now). 

I am absolutely amazed. From the time I pointed VMWare’s virtual machine setup dialog to my Windows install media it took a mere 11 minutes to create the VM, install Windows XP Pro, reboot, install the VMWare drivers, and reboot again. The machine was completely ready to go in 11 minutes. So far, the machine seems *really* rock solid and responsible.

Wow. Beat that with a stick.