I made a choice (Windows) and I’m sticking with it…

OK… I confess… I’m a Windows user. 

Long, long, long ago, I had to make a choice as to which operating system I was going to use to run my business computer.  The year was 1994 and I had to decide whether I was going to buy a Mac or a PC.  At the time, Mac owned the design market and Microsoft owned the business end user market.  So I made my choice and committed to the uncool, nerdy old white dude in the Apple ads:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRAUlK8_2VE[/youtube]

Yeah… I know.  Hindsight is 20/20 as they say and after 13 years, at least it’s the devil I know.

Last December (on the 31st) I hastily purchased a PC to replace my dying Toshiba notebook.  It was an HP (an EXPENSIVE HP… it was $1500…just so you don’t think it was a cheapy “Walmart special”) that Cnet had given a stamp of approval by giving it an 8 out of 10. 

All I can say is, at LEAST it didn’t come with Vista.  That’s the only way my ownership of this shiny gray turd of a computer could have been made worse. 

About 6 weeks ago, I was on the phone walking a client through their blog when my current computer suddenly shut down… as in “overheat” mode.  ACK!  Quick, make a backup of my data.  ACK! 

Thus began my search for a new PC… but my quest came with a condition.  My new PC had to have XP and NOT Vista.  (I’ve got WAY too many programs that are NOT Vista compatible that I use in the course of my business!)

That narrowed the field… I could either get a Dell… or an Alienware (a.k.a. a Dell).

Alienware, for those who aren’t familiar, was launched in Florida in 1996 and aimed at selling high-end gaming systems. Its mission: “Empower the customer to create, work and play faster by innovating and building the most powerful computers in the world.”

I started at the Dell web site and began configuring my new machine.  My son walked into the room… “Ewwww!!!  Mom, a DELL?”

Me, “I NEED XP….”

Son, “But Mom, Dell’s are so CHEAP.  Check out Alienware.”

At this point, I hadn’t heard that Dell had purchased Alienware….and was THRILLED to see that I could indeed get XP on an Alienware.  So I purchased an Alienware… for about $1250 MORE than I would have spent on the Dell I had configured.

The Alienware arrived within 10 days of ordering it.  That should have been my FIRST clue that things had changed at Alienware.   However, the beast that arrived in the black box with the sinister Alien emblazened in white looks NOTHING like a Dell.  For starters, the cpu case is HUGE… as in “will have to live on the floor because it hangs over the desk by 4 inches” huge. 

My greatest hope is that this time next December, I won’t be purchasing yet ANOTHER computer for my business.   Who am I kidding.  Those Mac ads STILL call to me.  I’m going to have to dip my toe in the Mac waters some day soon…..