Friday, 25 July, 2003

Early impressions of the new laptop

This week has been a good test of the new laptop, as I've spent significant time writing, doing Web research, and coding.  I had expected to need an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor in order to work comfortably, but I've found the laptop itself surprisingly useful.  I'm still a little lost without a separate numeric keypad, and I didn't realize how much I depended on the menu key on my keyboard (adjacent to the right Ctrl key) until it wasn't available.  The mouse nipple on the laptop (between the G and H keys) was much easier to get comfortable with than I thought.  Overall, I'm quite happy with the machine.  And fast?  I'm reminded of 20 years ago when I bought Turbo Pascal to replace the Pascal MT+ that I'd been using on my Osborne I.  The combination of more memory and a faster processor makes for an 80% decrease in compile times.  Plus, I can listen to music and do some background processing without interfering with my development work.  No major complaints.

On the subject of my old Osborne I, you can pick up a Dell Latitude C840 for under $1,800.  The Osborne I cost $1,800 in 1981.  This industry never ceases to amaze me.  For 20 years, the computer I've wanted cost right around $2,000.  Capabilities increase and prices stay the same.  I wonder how long that can continue.