Been too busy last couple of days.
Gas: jumped to 3.249 on 4/3, today at 3.229. The discount store is at 3.199, we'll see if everyone else follows them down or if the discount store moves up.
Finally got my new work laptop yesterday. My 5 yr old HP died I think in January. I've been shopping around a lot, I had a specific set of requirements in mind:
1. 17" widescreen
2. 200+ GB HD
3. 4GB RAM
5. Blu-Ray Burner
6. USB/SD/Express/PCCard support
7. Discrete Video Ram
Sounds pretty simple, eh? I found laptops that met one or two of the requirements but to get than a couple in one laptop the price was going to go over $3000. When everyone else's laptop costs under $1000 these days that is a tough one to justify. So, I kept looking. Finally found a Sony Vaio at newegg.com, a VGN-AR750E/B. 3g ram, 300g HD (two slow SATA drives), 17", Blu-Ray burner from $2000, and talked the boss into it. Arrived 4/3.
Of course, what I wanted and spec'd was a workstation laptop, what I got is a gaming laptop. Comes with Vista Home Premium on it. I'm using Vista Business on my desktop, but I have an XP Pro Desktop machine on my desk also because so few of our apps run on Vista. So, I created the install disk images and burned those to DVD, then I wiped the drive and installed Vista Enterprise on it. DL'd the drivers from the Sony website. When I was done I only had about half the devices working, and verrry unstable.
So, my current trial is installing XP Pro on the laptop. Of course, Sony provides NO XP drivers (why should they?), so this has been an exercise. I still have 4 devices flagged in device manager, but the keyboard has just quit working for crying out loud.
I decided to give XP Pro a shot, because I would need to run a virtual XP machine on the laptop anyways just to function, and one of the reasons I need a laptop is so that I can tshoot wireless issues, and a lot of those tools don't run on Vista yet.
I used NLite (www.nliteos.com) to add the Intel 82801 Matrix RAID drivers to an XP image, works sweet. I fought for nearly two hours trying to manually add the drivers, then I remebered NLite. What a lifesaver. First time out the gate it worked. Very nice.
Just uninstalled the Synaptic touchpad software and got the keyboard back. hmmm.
Well, let's go on to the NVDIA 8600M GT video card. Of course, NVIDIA does not supply drivers for laptop video so I have to go looking elsewhere. The display is actually working with good color and resolution, but I'm getting some resource conflicts that are, I think, keeping me from fixing other problems. I'm checking out www.laptopvideo2go.com right now for some drivers. Downloaded a set I found recommended on an nvidia user forum specifically for this card from the laptopvideo2go website, but it said it couldn't find any drivers for my hardware, so I'm trying to download a different one now.
I must say that this is a smoking machine running XP Pro right now, but it isn't fair to compare it with it's original Vista Home premium install because as it comes out of the box from Sony it has several items set to run at startup, including a home entertainment center. It does have Blu-Ray, ya know.
I went into Add/Remove hardware and forced the nvidia software to install as an 8600 GT, looks ok so far.
Now I just have Audio and modem drivers left to do. getting closer.
Better get moving, supposed to bring home dinner tonight.