FIRST post from new laptop and the latest Windows Live Writer. Everything is shiny and new. Vista Home Premium is humming along with whatever I throw at it. The special effects are sweet, although Flip 3D, the Mac-like window-switching effect, is a tad bit slow. Ah well.
The laptop is an HP Pavilion dv6919ca from Wal-Mart, for $598. That came to about $676 with tax slapped on, but I still consider it a pretty good deal. Here's HP's page with all the info on the model. I think the main thing is the AMD processor--that's what cuts the price down so much. Oh, and the Wal-Mart back-to-school sale. I actually would have gone for a Toshiba Satellite that was $50 cheaper and ranked higher on Vista's built-in performance score, but it was sold out. Looks like the people can tell when there's a free lunch around.
Anyway, another thing about this machine is the monster 3 gigs of RAM, which finally gets my mind off worrying about whether I have too many programs open, too many background tasks running in the taskbar, and too many gadgets on the desktop. I'm just piling up whatever I like right now. No doubt it'll slow down a lot later. Maybe by then I'll be proficient enough with Vista to speed it up a bit myself.
Now about the graphics card--the Nvidia GeForce Go 7150M. I don't know much about Nvidia cards and their capabilities on laptops, but from the name this sounds like a mobile graphics card. It shares the system RAM--doesn't have any memory built in--but since I (think I) have plenty to spare, I don't mind. I don't see any heavy gaming in store for this machine so it should be fine.
Btw, Windows Live Writer is surprisingly polished. It's just very well designed all round, and is working with Blogger like a snap. I tried using a Firefox addon called Deepest Sender to do snap blogging, but it errored out on me. Kudos to the WLW team.