Well, since Windows 8 became available, I wanted to create Metro applications in Visual Studio. Unfortunately, there’s a challenge with that. To create Windows 8 Metro applications, you’ll need to run Visual Studio 2012 on a Windows 8 machine. And my trusted desktop system is running Windows 7. So I had to consider if I wanted to upgrade my desktop or not. I decided not to upgrade but pick the next-best option: buy a new computer! And here are its specifications, straight from the invoice:
210-40039 Alienware M17x : Standard Base 1 3.089,91 3.089,91 SR 203-33091 N00W7M01 338-16739 Processor : 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3740QM (6MB Cache, up to 3.7GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0) 230-12514 Display : 17.3" 120Hz w/ 3D Bundle WideFHD (1920 x 1080) WLED LCD 319-10808 Camera : Integrated FullHD Camera with dual digital microphones (Win 8) 320-12434 LCD Back Cover : Soft Touch 3D - Stealth Black 340-29243 Ship Accessory : Western Europe Docs (EN, FR, IT, GER, DUT) 340-29315 Placemats : Placemats (Eng, Fre, Ger, Ita, Dut) 340-31186 MOD,SW,MY-DELL,3.X 370-22691 Memory: 32768MB 1600MHz Dual Channel DDR3 (4x8GB) 400-26583 Hard Drive : 128GB mSATA Boot Drive + 750GB 7,200rpm SATA 3Gb/s 429-16657 Optical Drive : BluRay Combo (Blu-ray read only, DVD, CD read & write) 450-13573 Power Cord : Euro 250V 450-16348 Power Supply : Alienware 240W AC Adapter 451-11606 Battery : Primary 9-cell 93W/HR LI-ION 490-14104 Graphics : 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M 510-10451 Sound Card : Creative Sound Blaster Recon3Di with THX TruStudio Pro Software 555-14415 Wireless : Intel 2230 Wireless Card + BT 583-16264 Keyboard : Internal US/International Qwerty Keyboard 619-38677 Operating System : Windows 8 Pro 64bit, Dutch 620-13866 Os Media : Windows 8 64bit, MUI Resource DVD 630-AALP Software: MUI Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013, EMEA 644-10055 Avatar : Avatar not included 650-14174 Anti Virus : Not Included 654-10009 TimeZone : (GMT + 00.00) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London 656-10018 AlienFX Colour : Quasar Blue 754-56825 Standard Service - 1 year of Next Business Day coverage included with your PC 754-81457 INFO 1 Year NBD with Premium Phone Support 754-81459 3 Years NBD with Premium Phone Support
Yeah, I know. It’s a monster. Then again, when I bought my desktop in 2008, it too was a huge monster and it’s still a very powerful system. Sure, it’s price is expensive but it’s a system that will be heavily used by me for the next 5 years or so. It’s not going to replace my desktop but it will allow me to create Windows 8 applications while keeping my desktop intact. And yes, AlienWare is now owned by Dell, but so what? My desktop is a Dell too, and they’re selling great systems, although a bit expensive.
So, what will I do with it? Well, I will install a bunch of software on it. To start with, Visual Studio 2012 and Embarcadero Delphi XE3 so I can develop new applications. Also included will be Altova MissionKit which is practical for managing XML files, schema’s and style sheets. For my CGI hobby I will also install E-On’s Vue 11 and SmithMicro’s Poser Pro since this system will be powerful enough to handle this kind of image rendering. And of course I will include a bunch of other practical tools and applications. I’ll most likely install Alcohol 120% on it, which will allow me to copy a CD-ROM to disk and then play games directly from it. Not many games, though. Just the ones I’d like to play when I’m on a holiday or so.
I hope this purchase will make me an even better software engineer but I also hope to have a lot of fun with it. That’s not too difficult when you consider developing software as “fun”. 🙂