Xmas for Myself

It’s become somewhat a habit of mine to purchase for myself some sorta technology each Xmas. I’m usually the one to make the purchase myself, because I’m pretty much the only one that knows what I want and need. One of the curses of being so introverted, is that nobody knows what gifts to give you. The situation is complicated by the the plethora of options available in the tech industry and its very rapid change, my family just isn’t inclined to keep up. They shouldn’t get all the blame though, as every time they ask what I want, I haven’t kept up with the industry enough either.

Last year I bought myself a nice quad-core desktop machine, that required its own assembly. I had to get a specific case, so that would hold 6 HD’s, 4 in a RAID5 and 2 in a RAID1. I remember spending probably about 2 weeks going through all the options and choices, doing price/performance comparisons, etc, etc. My desires are really too specific for anyone but myself to buy a good Xmas present. That machine, is still working today, serving up this website, and hosting a large collection of media. Since I purchased it I’ve wanted to run use the quad core for heavy-duty computing, but only wound up doing that once. I still have (long dated) plans to do stock market calculations though!

So, today and yesterday I spent several hours browsing the netbook offerings. I’m pretty sure that I want one of these things now. Last year, the market didn’t quite fit my needs. What I’d really like to have is

  • a decent keyboard
  • HD screen 1366×768 resolution, with LED backlight
  • Long battery life
  • Built-in GPS
  • Wifi, 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth, even though I have no bluetooth devices
  • magnetic power plug, but Apple seems to have the monopoly on these, and isn’t licensing
  • Internet everywhere, without paying hideous $30+/mo. service charges
  • a Solid State Drive, because 5400rpm makes virtual memory paging take too long
  • a processor that can actually do work

It seems that enough of these requirements are fulfilled by the Acer Aspire as1410-8414. While HD video playback isn’t as good as a normal desktop, it’s really the screen size that I care about. I need that space for plenty amounts of text. I assume that if the provided HD is too slow for my tastes I can upgrade in 6months to a SSD, and more RAM. My current laptop, Toshiba Satellite U205-S5057, has a Core 2 Duo, and has held up quite nicely for 3 years now. It’s unfortunate drawbacks are some finickiness with suspend/sleep, and battery life. I think that the season is right for an upgrade. I’ll be downgrading to a Core 2 Solo, but the higher number of pixels, and longer battery life make it all worthwhile.