Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Computer inventory, fall ’10 edition

Okay, so I mentioned my computer count had grown over on my Facebook page, and Bill asked me a bunch of questions about what’s what, so here’s a quick rundown, in reverse order of age:

  1. Lenovo ThinkPad T410 – the new work machine, running Windows 7.  Maybe this doesn’t count because it’s not mine, but it’s here 100% of the time now.  The hardware is pretty nice, with a lot of extras: 3G modem, DVD burner, 4 GB memory, a million ports I’ll never use.  But man, Windows 7 sucks.  I’ve spent far more time trying to figure out why the hell some 32-bit software won’t work, or why you can’t install 64-bit Visio and 32-bit Office at the same time, and why they insist on you installing 32-bit office on a 64-bit machine, and so on.
  2. MacBook Pro – My main machine, a 17″ 2010 Unibody with the fastest i7 CPU, 8 GB memory, and a half-terabyte of disk.  I absolutely love this machine, and it’s an example of how to move from 32 to 64 bit without turning your entire life sideways.  Other than reinstalling all of my MacPorts stuff, it Just Worked.  This machine is home to my iTunes library, my pictures, my writing, and pretty much everything else.
  3. MacBook Pro – Sarah has the 2009 17″ model.  Not sure of the processor, but it’s not the fastest one, and it has 4GB.
  4. Samsung NC10 – A tiny netbook, with a tiny screen and almost no memory, still running XP.  It’s next to the bed, and I mostly use it when I’m sitting in bed reading.  It’s also a nice travel machine, because it’s so light, gets incredible battery life, and if it gets stolen, the bag it’s in is probably worth more.
  5. MacBook – My old 15″ white 2007 model.  I don’t use this much anymore, but maybe every few weeks, I find something that I need on it or that won’t work in Snow Leopard.  For example, I still use it to import video, because I’m too cheap to go buy a different FireWire cable.  And until a week ago, I couldn’t get our scanner to work with the new Macs.  (Turns out if you swear at it enough, you can get Preview to scan stuff.)
  6. Toshiba Portege Tablet – This is a 2005 model that has convinced me that as long as it runs Windows, Microsoft will never get a tablet to work.  (A Windows Phone tablet?  Maybe that would work.)  It’s no longer running XP Tablet, because it needed an XP reinstall, and the included media won’t work.  It’s sitting next to my couch downstairs, and it’s a dedicated IMDB and baseball score machine.

Other computers-that-aren’t would include two iPhone 3Gs, a PlayStation 3, a Kindle, and maybe you could count the NAS I have in the closet.  (It takes up an IP address, anyway.)

The tablet is on its last legs, and the MacBook will eventually get fully retired.  I sometimes wonder if I just used an iPad for casual web browsing and travel, if I could get rid of everything but the MBP and work laptop.  But as I become more convinced an iPad would be an okay purchase, I get more in the hole with this move.