Three days ago I received my new laptop at work. We get new ones every three to five years as part of a normal replacement cycle.

The laptop the new one is replacing is a Gateway M275 convertible tablet, which I have to say is the best machine I’ve ever laid my hands on. I wore out two keyboards and cracked the bezel around the LCD, all of which were replaced as part of an extended warranty. It was dropped on the floor at least twice while on, traveled all over the country with me, and went from my home to work and back every single weekday. On the weekends it went with me if I visited family because I used it to troubleshoot and fix their PC problems, or to share the gazillions of photographs I was keeping on its hard drive. (And before you worry, yes, I had everything backed up, I’m a Good Girl when it comes backups.) It played movies in the car and on the plane for my kids, allowed me access to my emails and web site work no matter where I was, as long as I could find a wireless connection. I used it to write my novels on the patio and in my bedroom, and almost every night it sat on my desk, aka the dining room table, and was my primary machine. It read any memory stick/memory card/flash card I put in it, and its wireless antennae could pick up wireless signals from a pretty good distance. It weighed a little over 3 pounds, so it was easy to take everywhere, yet had a full-size keyboard.

Oh, I had a regular desktop machine running Vista, and I used it sometimes, but I much preferred the portability and ease of use of my trust Gateway. It has been affectionately called “The Baby” since I’ve owned it, and it is now 4 and a half years old. It was my primary machine.

Moving to the new machine, a sharp Dell Inspiron souped-up 1525 , has been bittersweet. The new machine is running Vista, which I’m getting used to. It is fast, with 4 gb of ram, compared to the 2 gb on the old Gateway. It has twice as big a hard drive, and reads most memory sticks and flash drives with no issue. It also has four USB ports instead of two, and has a standard VGA monitor port, which the Gateway didn’t have. It weighs just over 6 pounds with the 9-cell battery. It has incredible battery life (in excess of 6 hours of hard usage in the field). But I miss my Gateway already. I miss the keyboard with all the letters worn off the keys, and its finicky way of needing to be rebooted if I changed out memory cards in the slot.

The worst part about moving to a new machine is getting all your stuff off the old machine and onto the new machine. I had to reinstall everything, and I’m still messing with that. I had to transfer all of my Thunderbird email data and settings over, which turned out to be a major ordeal (I’ll put that in a separate post). The worst part is that I won’t be able to reinstall the little programs I downloaded as freebies of the day. Some of those programs I use a lot. So I will have to pay for them if I want to keep them. The other bad part is resetting all of my FTP client info; I maintain information on 17 websites and therefore, have 17 sets of logins and passwords that have to be added into my FTP client all over again.

Maybe that’s why I resisted a new machine for so long. I could have had a new one last year, but I elected to wait. This year I had no choice as we needed to move to Vista, and the Gateway won’t handle it. But transferring all this stuff is just an aggravation. I’ve been playing with it for the better part of a day, trying to get the Dell up to speed.

Poor little Gateway. I’m sure The Baby would cry real tears if she good. She’s been a good little machine and I will miss her, even with her quirks. How is it we go so attached to our technology?