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Vaio P, my personal challenge.

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Sony Vaio P Gold Color

Are you the type of person that buys stuff just because it’s new and cool, perhaps there’s something nostalgic that draws to you buy? If so, you’re like me.

Before my fate purchase of my custom Vaio P, I had pipe-dreams of days long ago. Upon returning from Japan many years ago, my computer setup was a Vaio PictureBook VR-BP, severely underpowered but small and compact. I installed a 60 Gb hard drive, and given my computing habits it was fine for what I wanted to do. Eventually, moving into a new job, it chugged along as my work machine and in order to effectively use Microsoft Outlook, but I had to hook up to an external monitor for more desktop space. Skip forward to more present times, and in order to reduce “stuff” and offset moving expenses I had to depart with my beloved PictureBook.

Today, I find my much loved Vaio P in dire under-use. An expensive paperweight, it sits on the side of my desk plugged in waiting for me to need some ULTRA-portable computing, as my main computer is a early 2010 13″ MacBook Pro. Last week, I contemplated making a little switcheroo, temporarily using my Vaio P as my main machine. Only, with all my data on my MBP and being so used to OS X now, I’ve just been procrastinating. Thinking about it, there’s no reason for me not to be able to just swap out; the barriers are only mental. I can use two computers if I needed, heck my iPhone is synced to my MBP and I’m not going to change that.

So what do I normally use my MBP for?

  1. Net surfing (check)
  2. E-mail (check, use browser or install mail client)
  3. Addressbook and calendar (hmm… must look into)
  4. RSS (check, use browser or install software)
  5. Skype (check)
  6. Writing (check, online or OpenOffice)
  7. Twitter (check)
  8. Movie watching (check)
  9. Music (can do, but limitations)
  10. Photos (can do, but limitations)
  11. Video editing (can do, but difficult and limited)

So let’s take a look at items 9 through 11. Basic music playing and photo editing should be just fine on the Vaio P, but the big limitation is hard disk space. With only an 80 Gb hard disk, there’s not enough room for my current music and photo libraries. I’m not about to crack this baby open, and replace the hard drive, so one option would be an external disk. It would be a lot of work to manage the different libraries across OS’s, something I’m not interested in doing at the moment. For the time being my iPod and internet radio can fill the gap, but for photos I’ll need to work out photo management for my blogs and personal library. For video editing, I use QuickTime X to cut clips from my digicam and Sony Bloggie and upload them to YouTube. I’m sure there are options for Windows 7, but I have not investigated them and I’d imagine they will not be as easy or may too taxing on the P’s Intel Atom.

On the hardware side of things, the high-resolution of the Vaio P’s screen is great, but I have the resolution lowered for non-eye squinting reading. On the desk, I’ll be hooking it up to a 20″ widescreen LCD sitting unused. Around the house or on the road, as-is will work just fine. Touch typing on the P’s keyboard is fine with my small hands, so I’ll just have to get used to the small right-shift key. And although I do not mind the touch-point nib mouse while on the go, at the desk I’ll be relying on my compact Bluetooth mouse. I do have the feeling I’ll miss the MBP’s multi-touch track pad.

The Vaio P is an amazing piece of hardware, and I cannot sit around any longer for it to fall into obsolescence. Reading the forums, there seem to be quite a few people using the Vaio P to its fullest potential, and I’m excited to join that crowd. Let’s see if I can get my act together and set everything up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Any tips to help guide me or to share your experiences, please leave a comment.

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