Monday, 9 April 2012

My New Laptop!

Having recently come into a sum of money, I needed to get it spent before anyone could ask for it back. My first thought was to buy a tablet; but then I decided that it would be nice to have a proper keyboard -- touchscreen keyboards are tiring to type on. Of course it would be possible to have a Bluetooth keyboard, but then that means extra stuff to carry (and roll-up keyboards are no better than touchscreens). So in the end, I decided to treat myself to a nice new Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15.

The first thing I did, of course, was to get rid of Windows! Though I generally use Debian, for this machine I wanted to get a desktop environment up and running as quickly as possible and so I have installed Ubuntu. Version 12.04 ("Precise Pangolin") is going to be a long term support release, but this is still in beta at the time of writing. The newest 64-bit release the installer offered me was 11.10 ("Oneiric Ocelot") and so I chose this (I've upgraded Debian enough times; and on my main home desktop I use Sid, which you have to upgrade every so often as packages update their dependencies).

"Oneiric Ocelot" is based on the Unity desktop. I have always used KDE in the past, but this laptop has a widescreen display and the default configuration of KDE, with its bottom bar, would leave precious little "real estate". The default here is to have a sort of application dock down the left hand side, and a status bar at the top which gets replaced by an application's main menu bar when you mouse over it. This makes sense -- after all, you don't need to have the menu bar there except when you need it, and it saves on vertical space.

The machine itself has a comfortable keyboard, and features both a trackpad and the usual ThinkPad "nipple". The keyboard does not have a number pad, but all the extra functions that used to be shared with the number pad -- home, end, insert and so forth -- are present as dedicated keys, and I don't actually miss it. It's lightweight, it holds its charge for nearly 4 hours, and it charges up quickly. Networking is wireless B / G / N or wired (up to 1 GB). Ports include VGA, HDMI, headphones (no audio in, but USB adaptors are available), three USB and one combination USB / SATA port which will accept either a USB or a SATA connector.

I'm as pleased with this as I was with my first proper cleavage :)

************************* ..... More stars than in the whole universe in fact!