My new Dell arrived today, 6 days before the original projected delivery date. I'm definitely impressed. If I ever upgrade my laptop, I will probably get a Dell. They definitely make the whole customization process easy.
The computer came in a huge-ass box, which was a bit surprising. I ordered the Inspiron 530s, which, from the photo on the Web site appeared to be a pretty slim PC. It's definitely slim, but it's as deep and as wide as a standard desktop tower. Oh well. You can't win them all. I just meant that I had to scramble to find some room on my already cluttered desk to put this beast.
Setup was pretty easy. I've done these things about a million times, so it's a no-brainer by now. I turned on the PC and got the Vista setup screen. (BTW, Dell actually ships the Vista installation disk!) I filled out the info and and let Vista boot up, even though I had no intention of leaving it on there. I should've just stuck in the Ubuntu 8.10 installation disk on boot-up, but I didn't. Anyway, the Vista setup was pretty fast, and after logging in, I re-booted, put in the Ubuntu installation disk, and away I went.
I decided to go with the live CD installation. It's a bit slower to get going, but at least it allows me to see whether or not the computer and Ubuntu get along. I didn't really foresee any issues, given that some Dells (actually one desktop and one netbook) actually ship with Ubuntu. I was right. Setup was a breeze compared to when I tried doing this on my Acer. For one thing, my DVD drive just churned and churned away on the Acer, taking its sweet-ass time to bring up the live CD session. On the Dell, however, it came up in no time. The base O/S was installed in about 30 minutes. The longest part in this entire installation process was installing all of the damned updates. I think that took about 3 or 4 hours because for some reason, our DSL connection is total crap in this house (another story for another day).
Anyway, Ubuntu is up and running (I am actually writing this post from the new machine), and I'm just getting some configuration stuff done now. After that, I'll be installing Sun Virtual Box to set up my XP VM. Yay! I'd started setting up my XP VM on my husband's quad-core beast, so once I transfer the VM file, I can finish doing the setup on my new box.