I haven't been working on any articles for awhile, mostly due to the holidays, personal issues, and most importantly, my new laptop!
I received an amazing new Dell XPS m1530 for Christmas this year (along with Guitar Hero World Tour). Here's the basic specs:
2.4 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
4 GB RAM
nVidia GeForce 8600 GT, 256 MB
250 GB Hard drive, 7200 RPM
For a laptop, this REALLY kicks ass for gaming. It gets pretty hot sometimes and the airflow isn't terribly great, so I have to be careful when I have it chilling on my lap or using it in bed (which I do often). I had some pretty bad issues with it up until now. When I got it, it worked perfectly at first. After I closed the lid and it went to sleep, I got the BSOD after waking it. Then my laptop plain didn't boot at all. I discovered I had to reseat the RAM which simply meant I had to remove both RAM sticks and swap their places with eachother. Then it was fine. I mean, seriously, this is a huge issue. If I wasn't a tech-savvy person, I'd have to send the damn thing back and wait another week before I could use my $1300 laptop. I'd demand something extra. After that, things were fine for awhile, before the thing threw up blue screens left and right. It was ridiculous. Even in safe more, after a mere 15 minutes or so, I'd get a completely random blue screen and it would reboot.
Finally, I said screw it, wiped my hard drive, and got out the ol' XP installation disc. I was sick of Vista anyway. So I had to do the appropriate research, locate all kinds of drivers for XP (because Dell won't give 'em to me), and make a customized version of the Windows XP installation (because setup wouldn't even read my hard drive). After ALL that, I couldn't get my Windows XP Wi-Fi drivers to work. So I had no Internet. The damn audio drivers wouldn't even work! In frustration I just reinstalled Vista.
Now everything is fine. No errors. No problems. Hopefully it stays that way. I figure the blue screens I was getting before had something to do with software and I blame the stupid crap they stuff laptops with before they send 'em off. When you use the Vista reinstallation disc, thank god, it leaves out all the bloating software packages that I don't want. So I got a fresh OS.
Bottom line; I love this laptop for its look and design as well as its powerful specs. But Dell also pisses me off because they shipped me a flawed expensive piece of equipment and shoved Vista down my throat with no other choice. I really, really hate Vista. It's ugly and incredibly annoying. Ask anyone; Windows XP is the best operating system, ever. If Dell would give me a nice little driver package for XP I would switch in a heartbeat.
With this powerful new laptop, expect to see some more gaming stuff from me soon. My old PC was an 11-year-old Compaq Presario, which was really meant for business rather than gaming. 474 mhz AMD K6-2 processor with some random onboard SiS 8MB video card. I remember it coming with a 4 GB hard drive and 64 MB of RAM. Yeah, those were the days.