I was originally going to write this post as a "reasons I don't need a new computer," piece explaining my current setup (one laptop, a virtual server, and a lot of bailing wire) and explaining that despite some problems (a lack of local redundancy and small screen size) a new computer wasn't exactly warranted. Though I wanted one, particularly after seeing the new MacBook Air, and I've long thought about getting a 15 inch laptop as I still lament my last 15 inch machine. Since I didn't really need a new machine and there wasn't a convincing reason to do an upgrade, I was going to write about good reasons to avoid upgrading just 'cause.
Clearly I failed.
Particularly, since I'm writing this post from a new laptop.
A few weeks ago I saw a very good deal on a current-model 15" Lenovo ThinkPad (T510) with all of the specifications that I wanted: the larger resolution screen, integrated Intel graphics and wireless, a bunch of RAM (4g) and a 7200rpm drive. It even has a Core i7 processor (quad proc), which was a pleasant bonus, and so I went for it.
I'm quite happy with it. Besides a great deal and in many ways an ideal machine, I decided that being dependent on one (and only one!) system for all work and non-work computing was probably a bad idea. Additionally, I've wanted to reorganize the way my laptops' hard drive partitions in a way that requires at least a short period of down time, and a process that I didn't want to attempt without some sort of back up.
It took me a few days to get everything sorted out on the new machine, as it usually does, and there are some cool new things that I can do that I have yet to get ironed out, mostly around figuring out some virtualization technology to do awesome things with this system. But for the day to day stuff, it's perfect and works just as I like.
This is the first time in several years where I've regularly used two systems for day-to-day work, and it's the kind of thing that I've tended to avoid as much as possible. It's just a hassle to switch between systems in terms of getting everything synchronized. I've got a pretty clever setup sketched out that I hope to be able to share with you all shortly.
In the end, this might not have been an absolutely essential purchase, but I think it was wise (in terms of the redundancy,) it makes some interesting things possible (virtualization, more processor intensive tasks,) and for the kinds of things I do, the extra screen space is very appreciated.
I'm sure I'll write here from time to time about these things, but for the moment: Onward and Upward!