Aka. Your local Linux expert heads into the Office territory.

Well, as said previously, I've got a new occupation, one which requires me to cooperate and work in and with a Windows dominated office environment. Not too bad, I'm supposed to be working mostly/Exclusively with the Linux servers, however the others are Windows and Macintosh users, and the things run a MS environment. I can live with that.
When I started, I was asked to spec a nice laptop for myself from Dell, I picked something fairly simple, and what I knew would be a "good" Linux-machine. Dell XPS M1330, in the Light configuration, Intel based all the way, small, about 1.8kg in weight (Well, I wanted a 6-cell battery instead of a 4-cell, so add a bit more weight) 13.something screen, overall what seemed to be a light little laptop that I could use to work on the more real servers with. Preferably from the shadow down in the park or in the corner of a café, well well.

The computer arrived the other day, a new sparkling Dell Precision M6300. Yows, is my only comment. This is a beast in laptop clothing. SATA drive, 17 inch wide screen monitor at 1920x1200, 4GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX 1600M card (256 Mb) and weighing in around 4-5kg.

Yows indeed. This machine is in theory a bit more powerful than my main desktop is. 2.5GHz core2 vs. 2.4GHz in the home system, and as much RAM, slightly smaller monitor that runs at a higher resolution than my own. I'm quite impressed with this. Dell has indeed created a portable workstation, with decent enough battery time.

However, it also came with a Swedish version of Windows XP Pro (SP3) and some additional software, and here in lies my tales from now on.

So, to start with, hit the button and the machine comes up. Or at least the XP logo and a long running progress bar that doesn't show any progress comes along. After this, the standard "press ctrl+alt+delete to log in". So, I hit log in and peer at the desktop, the first thing that greets me is the inexplainable notice that a program has crashed, and would I like to send a report?
No thanks. And no, I have no clue what program it was, I didn't bother writing the name down either, and it didn't make me very hopeful. This is strange territory, and my guess is that it didn't come with the original install of XP, but with the Dell package.

So, my account is centralized on the office server. Unfortunately, I'm not stationed at the main office, but at an office-park sort of place, where I'm NAT'ed and firewalled off, so the remote login to VPN will not work. This then means, that I cannot change my password on the laptop either, because of something. Nope, You're not allowed to change the password when you're not on the network.
If I log in to the network (Office Remote Desktop) I can change my password on the central account, but there is no way to get that update to the laptop. So no matter what I do, I'm stuck until I get to another office. Right. Erm, try again please?

Next. Burn a CD. Downoading an ISO and burning it out should be an easy task. Except that the excuse for Roxio CD creator (sorry sorry, Media center creator something something or the other) decides that after a CD is burned, we should spin the drive as fast as we can, and lock up the window and crash. After 30 minutes, it was still crashed, I force it quit, and windows cannot/will not let me eject the CD, and will not stop the spinning either.

First reboot of the day.

Next, the joy of Windows software. I'm going to have serious amounts of fun about this, but hey, that's well deserved.

Updates were a breeze. Most things were patched up, windows updater worked (but wanted to install Silverlight and a few other things as "recommended updates"). I have no idea how to tell if the firewall is enabled or not, and what it blocks or not. Good for me, I guess that means I'm as safe as your average windows user?
The antivirus tells me it's protecting me. I'm happy.
MSN Messenger. This vile piece of marketing excretions is something that I will have a fun time with. It's semi-required since all the other remote workers use it, so I guess it's "when in Rome, do as the Romans." in this case, register a MSN live account and then sign into MSN. The window is funky and colored, and if you by mistake click on one of the many tab-like buttons (colored and iconed in the middle of the window) it will force you to watch a commercial blurb before you can close it again. The same thing goes for incessant blinking ads at the bottom of the window.
Right, let me get this straight. They deliver advertising into the product they forcibly install on all Windows installations?
Was it Miranda or Trillian to replace it?

Next up, I'll go make a screen shot of a couple of windows to show the consistency of the windows UI. No, I won't talk about the icons or color clashes, just something I saw the other day and made me grin.