’Bye-Oh to My VAIO

Sony VAIO PCG-SR7KJust a moment to say goodbye to my Sony VAIO PCG-SR7K, which I once called “the best computer I’ve ever owned” Ha! Was I really ever that young?

Seriously, I’ve had this ultra-compact notebook since the fall of 2000 (since the Clinton administration!) and it just passed away this past week when I put it in my bag and took it home from the office. I have no idea why it decided to leave for another plane, because I was gentle with it on the way home. But those VAIOs, as I discovered in my second year of ownership, are exceedingly fragile. In fact, they’re junk, and while 3.5+ years is a decent lifespan for a Windows machine, I find it not a little shameful that the machine, for the past two years, has been pretty much unusable.

Such a Tool

The only reason I kept it around was as a quality assurance machine, on which I could test my work against an old installation of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5. So my main lament when I realized it was gone was for a way to access that ancient, pestering version of IE that some stubborn fraction of the Web user population refuses to give up.

Luckily there᾿s the work that Ethan Marcotte did to make it possible to run multiple versions of IE on a single computer. I downloaded one of the hacked software packages yesterday and put it on my Hewlett-Packard at the office and was able to run IE 5.5 on Windows XP without a hitch. Thank goodness, because I really didn’t want to buy another Windows laptop and install Windows 2000 on it just to get access to IE 5.5. In fact, I’d be pretty happy if I don’t have to buy any more Windows hardware again, ever.



  1. Yeah, I’m pretty excited about getting my hands on the latest version of Virtual PC. In the meantime, I’ll be ‘dialing in’ to my office computer via Microsoft’s excellent Remote Desktop client for Mac, which lets me access that machine from home as if it were a kind of virtual PC.

  2. Virtual PC is good, but I find using Remote Desktop Connection is better. Maybe when I am on a PowerMac instead of a PowerBook I will sing a different tune. However I just have the small app instead of a large disk image on my HD. All my computer has to think about is displaying what is coming across the internet (even better when actually in the office and just doing it LAN). If you have a spare windows computer you can leave on and only really need Windows when you can be online anyways it can’t be beat.

  3. I swear by RDC, I manage two clients, one a longstanding one, by it. I’d find it impossble to work without it, so nice and so much better than TermServ or VNC, PCAnywhere, etc.

    On the VAIO tip, I have an old, old one sitting around, superslim, salvaged from a dot-com I used to work for, it doesn’t work anymore, and it completely fragile but it’s beautiful and it’s footprint is tiny.

  4. I followed the “best computer I’ve ever owned link” and it almost broke my heart to think of you back then: newly-enamoured of a slick piece of engineering, flushed with the adolescent joy of a new purchase and thus considering a complete shift away from Mac. How fortunate that you weren’t seduced away.

  5. Peter, there was a time — when Windows 2000 had just come out and the Apple was still mired in Mac OS 9.x — that I felt pretty down on the Mac. Windows was rushing ahead with standards-defining internet experiences, and it seemed so much easier to just go over to that platform. I’m glad I stuck it out, though… I’m having more fun on Mac OS X than I have on any other platform.

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