New Laptop

This morning the delivery company had the good mind to give the landline a try and we were going to town anyway and picked them up on the way. So after the jobs in town I came home and did the whole unboxing thing.

New Laptop Unboxing

I had a bit of an advantage in that there were two computers to unbox and set up. Cool, I can make mistakes on the wife’s and mine will be perfect (don’t tell her that). So I unboxed the “ruby red” version that Kate got, set hers up and got onto mine. No major dramas with hers at all.

Pictures are good and I took some, check out the whole unboxing there. The model that I purchased was a Dell Inspiron 1720, 2.4Ghz processor, 3 Gig of RAM, Audigy soundcard, NVIDIA 256mb 8600M GT video card and TV tuner. That’s the basics of it.

New Laptop Unboxing

I was expecting to have a laptop full of crapware, but to my surprise there was not much at all. The major one being IE and that was gone as quick as I could download Firefox. IE did have Google Toolbar, which is not a big deal. There is a trial of McAffee Security Center installed. Again not a big thing, I am actually giving it a try because it is there, seems to be doing the job and it is not as if it is Norton. Plus there was the usual stuff from Dell that you might expect and in fact you don’t have that much choice about. Again OK by me and not irreversible.

One thing I had to get used to was Vista. Now I feel kinda dirty saying this, but Vista has it’s good ponts. For example connecting wirelessly to the Internet was as easy as pie. The interface is pretty much XP but prettier. But there are some nice gems among the nice graphics. Such as uploading pictures from my camera. Again very easy and straight forward. I really do like the way that Vista handles images, having them sorted into dates and tags turns what used to be a complete mess into something actually useful. I have not found the UAC to be as annoying as I thought it would be either.

I have to admit that my bashing of Vista was unwarranted in the generalized fashion that was prone to doing. I said I would never get or use Vista. This time I was not given a choice. I am kinda glad that I had no choice. Sure Vista has issues but so does every operating system, the ones regarding Vista are not as bad as people would have you believe. Sorry but I am yet to find a “puke” factor to Vista. I still might and I’ll be the first to let you know.

One peripheral purchase that was a real winner was a Logitech V450 mouse. I still work faster with a mouse and I am using the trackpad as well. But this came in handy when I wanted to feel more at home on the laptop. Setting up was quick and easy, batteries, wireless USB and done in about 1 minute. Only one criticism is the hardness of the scroll wheel button, otherwise a real winner.

Well I am going to enjoy the blogging from bed that I will now be able to enjoy. I am pretty satisfied with Dell and the new laptops. More configuring tomorrow, no doubt that will go on for a week or so. Feel free to ask me anything about the laptop or Dell in the comments!

Vista Crack Update

It was reported on the 12th of November that Windows Vista was cracked. The version of Vista that is floating around on torrents and P2P Networks, dubbed the “Bill Gates” Version can be enabled using this crack, but a crack it is not. A hack to get it working would be more accurate. The time that it is operable under this hack is limited according to a Microsoft statement.

First up Microsoft has claimed that the “Bill Gates” version is not the final code. In addition they claim that this version may have been tampered with and should be avoided (as you would expect them to say).

Second the “crack” that has been used to activate this version of Vista alters the code from the operating system with those from the pre-release version, or the various release candidates. The user is then able to activate the version with a pre-release product activation key. As I predicted these pre-release keys are temporary, they will be blocked using Microsoft’s Software Protection Platform on the expiry date, which has not been disclosed. Enjoy it while it lasts.

In time I am sure that there will be another hack, crack or whatever for Vista. It remains to be seen exactly how Microsoft handle the further attempts to pirate their operating system.

Trillian 4: Developers Blog

As people may or may not know. I use Trillian as my instant messenger client. I even payed for the Pro version. The developers have been very, very quiet the last 6 months but now they are offering “tit-bits” on their blog for the faithful.

For people that have never heard of Trillian, it is an IM client that works across all networks. I don’t have all the separate programs running like MSN, Yahoo or ICQ (it also covers Jabba and AOL). I just have one that accesses these networks. So what I do have is an identity for each network and Trillian pulls all these together into one client. The good thing about this is that I do not have to run these separate applications and I am not locked into one network or the other. It has a small footprint and it works well. There are also plug-ins that you can get as well. There is a free version if you want to check it out.

The latest version is version three. For ages now the development team have been very quiet about any further development. The rumblings in the Trillian community have been everything ranging from they are not developing Trillian and they have abandoned the users. To whatever they are working on is going to be so good that we will be blown away. I am not sure what the developers have been doing or what their intentions are. I however do not think that they have abandoned their users. That said one criticism of Cerulean Studios is the fact that they offer very little to reassure the user base that they are working hard in development. They offer a blog entry every couple of months.

The latest is a screen shot of the new version of Trillian. But it is a very lame log in window screen shot. I would have loved to have seen the main screen of Trillian rather than the log in screen! I think this is a bit of a cop out and I think that they could have given users a bit more of a preview.

That said it looks like we might see a new version of Trillian before the end of the year. I know that is a wide projection but Trillian have refused to say when the new version will be out… period. I guess given other companies’ (“Vista”) ability to keep to promised time-lines, you can not disappoint people if you don’t give one!

But hey Trillian dudes give us a bit more than a log in screen!

The other minor thing that they have announced is a name change for version four. That being “Trillian Astra”. Sounds like an Aussie car to me… very funny. That announcement is accompanied by another lame web page… [update: this page now relates to Trillian Astra with previews and Beta testers login – changed from the original time this was posted] …please. I really hope we get more than this “…in the coming weeks”.

Update: Removed dead links and reviewed relevance of links. The reason being is the same links have been used for newer content related to Astra.