I’m a Mac user, and I just bought a Dell. I’m not going to run Linux on it. I want it to run Windows. It’s a little test machine. I must feel some latent guilt about this, because I feel this need to come clean. The most I have to do with Windows is read Preston Gralla’s weblog.
I’ve done this with Virtual PC before, but I never really liked having an emulated Windows: it’s as slow and painful as a spyware infected PC. Virtual PC costs a bit over $200, although I didn’t shop around. I bought a low end Dell Dimension 2400 with a Windows XP and 512 MB RAM upgrade for $450. The real thing comes with a 17-inch flat panel monitor for “free”. I’ve wanted another flat-panel for a while, so the Dell is already as expensive as Virtual PC and the monitor together.
I had an amusing time buying the thing. What’s with all the choices? Steve Jobs just says “You pick one of these and we send it to you”. I can get any color I like as long as its
blackaluminum colored. Dell lets me pick a CPU too. You mean there is more than one? Holy canoli. I don’t even think I know what I have in my, um, G4 except that it’s a G4 something-or-other. After that I have to pick a processor speed? Again, I don’t even know what I have now. I could choose from 5 or so “productivity” suites. It was interesting seeing all the different choices, even if I really just wanted to click a “I’m a cheapskate” button and skip all that stuff. I can definitely see how people might get confused about buying a new computer.
I think it’s cool that I can do all that, and I remember liking Michael Dell’s book about his just-in-time supply chain. It’s all cool stuff. I’ve been indocrinated otherwise though. Choice just isn’t in my Mac vocabulary. The experience wasn’t as difficult as buying a train ticket on Amtrak’s website (I wonder if they are actually trying to get de-funded), but I did have to go through a couple of steps of “Are you sure you don’t also want to buy a …”.
So, somewhere, a Brown truck is pulling up to a Dell location and someone is loading my computer onto it. Some third shift worker is picking up my box and setting it in the truck. This isn’t Gateway, so I’m not imagining so beefy guy carrying my PC while he runs to my house. Somewhere near that truck is a bigger truck going to Chicago. It’s almost romantic. Dude, I’m experiencing the Dell supply chain.
I should have it on Monday (I skimped on the shipping, like everything else). I don’t know if I actually want it right away, because I’m not looking forward to setting it up on my home network. I don’t want it ever to see the internet, and I don’t want the internet to see it. I hope I don’t have to connect to the net to configure it. That would certainly suck.
I’ll see what happens.