Vista, XP, Ubuntu… Oh my!

by on March 22, 2008

Who said having three operating systems is a bad thing?

I just got my new Dell Inspiron E1505 Laptop yesterday and have spent a great deal of time getting it set up to the way I like. Not to mention, the learning-curve involved in adapting to the new Windows Vista has been quite a task in itself.

First off, I have to say the Dell laptop is extremely sleak and a well designed machine in itself. I have always been somewhat against Dell, but the thing that really made me fall in love was the crystal clear display. I of course opted to shell out the extra $100 to get the new UltraSharp SXGA+ with TrueLife display. It was well worth every penny.

Anyhow, the specs are as follows:

  • Dell Inspiron E1505

  • Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GHZ, 4MB Cache

  • Windows Vista Business Edition

  • 15.4 inch UltraSharp SXGA+ with TrueLife dispay

  • 2 Gigs Shared Dual Channel RAM

  • 80 Gig SATA 7200 RPM Hard Drive

  • 8X CD/DVD Burner

  • 256 MB ATI Mobility Video Card

  • Integrated Audio

  • Intel Next-Gen Wireless N Card

  • 9 Cell Extended Life Battery

Windows Vista is taking me some time to get warmed up to. Its definitely a visually appealing system. The major differences that are really bothersome is the operating systems lack of compatibility for some older programs of which I still use actively on Windows XP and the new UAC system. You might have seen that Apple commercial where the PC guy is there with a security guard and he is talking to MAC. The security guy keeps asking him “allow or deny.” Well, the commercial is no exageration. It really does that no matter how simple the task. To say the least, it was the first thing I disabled before even removing many of the useless apps that Dell places pre-configured on the machine. (If you haven’t seen it, click here to watch it on YouTube.)

And finally, I found an awesome piece of software which could be useful to anyone who is an Interactive Designer, Programmer, or IT Professional. The software is called Parallels Workstation. Its a virtualization software. For those of you who are unfamiliar with virtualization, it basically allows you other operating systems within your primary operating system. For me, this could be a lifesaver.

I have spent a good deal of money over the past few years on services like BrowserCam which allows you to take screen shots of websites in various Internet browsers in many different operating systems. This is basically done by logging into a web interface, typing in a URL, and within a few minutes the website logs into many different servers a takes screen shots of your URL. Then it serves those screen shots back to the website where you can easily sift through them to validate the aesthetics of the website on any given environment.

Anyhow, having Parallels running on my laptop gives me the ability to log into Windows XP or Linux Ubuntu from my local machine to test the URLs myself. Not to mention, with the already mentioned compatibility issues I have with software no longer supported on Vista, I now have the ability to install these softwares within the virtual XP system in Parallels.

Parallels is easy to install, understand, very affordable (only $50) and puts your PC at ZERO risk when running other operating systems. I definitely give it two thumbs up. And I strongly recommend that if you are a Designer, Developer, or IT switching to Vista, you switch with Parallels to help ease your pains in transitioning.

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