Last year I acquired a Dell M1530 XPS to do some analysis and development with. The reviews on it were good, even if it did have Vista on it. I immediately started having problems, like Vista’s update feature got stuck on Office 2003 updates, development problems related to User Account Control, and hard drive read errors. The hard drive has gone bad, the dvd no longer writes, and it has turned into a $1500 paperweight on my desk. Tried to write my own review on it, but the site I wrote it on wiped it.

So who’s to blame? Microsoft for inflicting Vista on us, or Dell for everything else? I would say both in this case. Maybe even me. I heard that Vista was junk, and I got it anyway. I did wait for 3 years between machines, which is forever for me.  I upgraded it to Windows 7, which wasn’t as bad as Vista. Windows 7 main selling point: “I’m nowhere near as crappy as my older brother Vista!” This to me, is like the crappy service you get at the DMV. You wait so long you are thankful for finally getting a window, and you forget to be mad because you waited so long. Maybe we’ve painted ourselves into a corner with Microsoft. Or, maybe we’re just waiting for that one guy in his garage to build an operating system that is compatible with Windows software. And doesn’t explode every year. I have OpenSuse 11.3 running on an older laptop in my lab, and it does fine for non-windows app work. OK, not so fine: its blown up 2x, and the Ubuntu OS I had on it previously, blew up 4x. In 2 years. So much for Linux coming to the rescue. I keep the OpenSuse repair disk close now.

For now, I still have to use a Windows box as a primary. For now.