I got a new Dell!  My son, Benjamin, wanted me to consider a MAC.  I gave it some thought, but didn’t want to tackle the software issues—yeah I know there is Office for MAC.

My Dell is a Studio XPS 1640 with a 2.93 GHz processor.  Going with Benjamin’s advice, I opted to put my money in the processor, and I’m happy with that decision.  I’m not a gamer (remember old, white, fluffy), but I do like to multi-task at my laptop, open many windows, and do something else (anything else) while another program installs, loads, runs, or just sits there waiting for hell to freeze over.  Given my new processor speed, hell needs to freeze over very fast to beat it.

An interesting sidebar is I went to Best Buy first and tracked down their fastest laptop, Windows variety.  Talked to the salesperson—read that salesboy—and took in his learned advice.  His best, fastest model was a 2.0 GHz!  “Nothing faster,” he said.  I spoke to Benjamin, left the store, and ordered online from Dell.

It’s exciting to get a new computer.  Even if the buyer doesn’t opt for fancy, the new machine is invariably many steps up from the previous one.  Then there is the reality of installing the software, finding out that some programs are outdated and won’t run on the new or updated operating system, and discovering that the just-install-and-convert simple upgrades don’t work so well.  Then the pain of dealing with the technical support people with heavy accents and canned let-me-look-up-your-problem answers.

One such encounter, this one with Dell, required that I give them the service tag number from the bottom of the unit.  I knew in advance that the number would be required.  (Please remember the old, white, and fluffy part, now.)  I turned over the laptop, found the little tag, and discovered I couldn’t read the tiny, lightly printed, numbers and letters.  I finally discerned them with the aid of a flashlight and magnifying glass!  Seems to be the number should be on the keyboard side, next to the Windows Vista logo, and in a font as legible as the Vista trademark.

By the way, the Dell tech was helpful and gave me accurate information, unlike the Quicken man that walked me through an elaborate series of steps.  After I disconnected from my Chat with Quicken, the problem still existed and I had to figure out how to resolve it myself.  A long, tedious process.  But, it works.