New laptop

Tuesday 27 December 2005

As a result of changing jobs, I am also changing laptops. I’ve used an IBM Thinkpad for a number of years. I like it physically, but something about it has always been flaky. I’ve just got a new Toshiba Tecra M3. I chose it because it has a fast large disk, but now that I have it in my hands it seems so foreign to me. The keyboard layout is strange. The backquote key is next to the space bar, the enter key is not the right-most in the layout, and the insert/delete/home/end/up/down pad is split up and the keys thrown all over the place. I hope I can get used to the new layout.

And of course, I have to configure the whole thing, which means getting rid of all the junk that comes pre-installed (Napster?), re-establishing settings I’ve long forgotten I had changed on my current laptop, re-installing all sorts of software, files, bookmarks, and so on. It’s all very overwhelming.


Michael Chermside 10:41 PM on 27 Dec 2005
One suggestion (from experience). Keep a log of what you install as you install it. Then blog it, or otherwise put the list someplace you won't be able to lose it. Bloging it provides the additional advantage that you may get interesting suggestions from your readers, and give them good pointers at the same time.
yeah? I remember the finger-shock I went through when I left the Thinkpad fold. I find the HP/Compaq layouts nice, though. Dells & Toshibas are still a little strange...
Michael, I have a list of what I installed on my old laptop, though I am sure it is at least somewhat out of date. I'm planning to do a thorough documentation this time.

Jake: I'm glad to hear that you thought Dells were a little strange, since I had a Dell a few years ago, and don't remember it being difficult. It bodes well for my adaptability...
Never abandon the ThinkPad!
I copy my Start menu from one machine to the other. That serves as a list of applications I need to install. I install apps as I need them - when I notice that a Start menu shortcut points to nowhere.

I also make sure all my applications keep settings in one folder which can be easily backed up. If an application insists otherwise, I create a folder link (windows junction points).

And by the way, IBM ThinkPads designers should be flogged for placing Fn key in the corner where Ctrl key should be: I always miss Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V (the most frequently used hot keys).

Also, whenever I modify registry manually, I export the registry key to a .reg file. When moving to a new machine, I double-click each file to restore file associations, TAB-key expansion, etc.
Funny, my new laptop is a Toshiba as well -- after using Thinkpads for several years. It's a Tecra M4. It doubles as a Tablet PC but I don't use Tablet mode very much. I've been using the M4 for four months now. I got used to the keyboard layout differences from the Thinkpad within a week or so.

My wife has a Thinkpad which I use occasionally. In comparison to the Toshiba, I'd still give the nod to the Thinkpad for its keyboard and screen but the Toshiba is quite nice.

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