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Hey, this doesn't suck...

I'm spinning up my father in-law's new Dell Optiplex 745. I spec'd it with XP Pro, 'cuase man, Vista ugh. Also, that meant I could buy the box with a gig of RAM and call it 'good' vs. the two gigs that Dell says you need for Veeeesta.

It's not half bad. Dell seems to have learned their lesson about shipping machines with a zillion-and-five pieces of crappy software loaded on them. This has a pretty darn clean build of XP SP2, and little else.

I'm in the middle of the Windows Update deathmarch. Since when did IE 7 count as a critical update? Sheeze. I don't know whether to bite the bullet and install it (on the grounds that now that IE 7 is out MS will soon be pushing IE 6 off the train) or say bugger off and tell Winders Update to never show this again (on the grounds that I've made a Firefox user out of my father in-law, and who's gonna use Internet Exploder on this box anyway?

ETA:
The new Dell reduced-footprint USB keyboard *SUCKS*. I have dug out a PS/2 keyboard and mouse to USB adapter and the Mighty Model M is now in charge. Shit, I think the Model M might weigh more than the PC! :-)

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
also_huey
Mar. 26th, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
Heh. I just bought my dad a Dimension E521, Athlon 64 3200+, because I couldn't see myself spending an extra $220 for the similarly-specced Optiplex just so I could get XPSP2 on it. I figure that an XP license is only $80, so if it sucks I'll just get one and reinstall the damn thing, and it'll still be cheaper.
netcurmudgeon
Mar. 27th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
What has your experience been with the Dimensions? I've always veered toward the Optiplexs on the grounds of warranty, and just liking the systems better.
also_huey
Mar. 30th, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
I have only anecdotal experience with either - all of the large-scale deployments I've dealt with personally were CPQ & IBM gear - but I don't have any real complaints about either. I have an optiplex here in the office (linux hates the RAID card, BTW) and a dimension at home (onboard video sucks, no AGP port to fix that with!) but I haven't had any serious problems with either. I'd say that I'm probably more annoyed with the cheapness of the Dimension than I am impressed with the coolness of the Optiplex, but not nearly enough of either to justify the $220 difference in price between similarly-specced models of each.
evynrude
Mar. 27th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
Click the "never show this again" option. I did it! And I couldn't be happier!!! Ok, so ie7 broke at least 2 pieces of software on my work computer. Firefox rocks! (ok,that's all for my anti-MS dance)
netcurmudgeon
Mar. 27th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
I think that's the way we're going. All hail Firechicken!
half_elf_lost
Mar. 27th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
IE7 = very very bad
netcurmudgeon
Mar. 27th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
I'm getting that impression. :-)
(Deleted comment)
netcurmudgeon
Mar. 27th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
I will say one thing in Microsoft's defense -- they have a hard path to walk. One of the reasons Apple OSs work so well is that Apple exercises iron-clad control over the hardware platform. The same goes for the commercial UNIX OSs (Solaris, HP-UX, AIX). With Windows running on Intel/AMD boxes, you have thousands of motherboards and tens of thousands of additional devices (hard drives, CD or DVD/R/RW/+R/-R/DL/XZY drives, sound cards, video cards, NICs, etc) resulting in of millions (if not billions) of possible hardware/driver configurations for the OS to deal with. That Windows works as well as it does is something of a miracle.

And then they give is IE7 and Vista.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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