Tuesday, 05 August, 2003

Laptop:  One Month Later

I've had the new laptop (see July 17) for four weeks now, and I can't imagine how I got anything done without it.  For example, when I was doing my initial testing on Windows 98, I needed to have my development machine handy so I could make changes to the program.  Without the laptop, I'd have to make the changes at my desk, walk across the building to the testing lab, copy the program, and run the test.  With the laptop and a wireless connection, I was able to sit down in the testing lab and just work.  I saved myself hours of time and a lot of walking. 

Converting from the desktop to the laptop was no trouble at all, mostly because they gave it to me with all the development tools already installed.  Well, that and I've become pretty good at placing program data files where I can find them (rather than were the program usually wants them) so that switching machines usually involves installing programs, changing default file locations, and copying one big directory.

With the addition of the USB mouse (see July 30), and the Microsoft Natural keyboard, the laptop is just as easy to use as the desktop, and the display is much sharper.  I tried to use the 19" monitor from my desktop machine, but the laptop's screen is much crisper and more readable at 1600x1200 resolution.  Also on July 30 I mentioned the lack of the context menu key on the laptop.  It's there, just in the wrong (to me) place.  The key is up above the function keys.  Inconvenient, but still useful.  I'm grateful that Catapult decided to get the laptops for us consultants rather than replace the desktop machines.