T has decided that she would like a new PC and that I would have the job of sorting it out. So I worked out a list of pros and cons based on her needs to decide whether a Mac, a Linux PC or another Windows machine would be the best choice.
I'm a big fan of the Mac and hope that the rumours of the Mini are greatly exaggerated as I was looking for a small Mac to play around with. The iMac seemed like it would be the best option for her, but with a product refresh imminent, it might not be the time to buy. Furthermore, T has a requirement to operate on Microsoft Office documents, and the added cost of purchasing Office 2004 pushed cost too high (when OpenOffice.org is native on MacOS X this might change things).
The second option was to migrate to Linux. Although I'm a happy Linux desktop user and happy with the combination of OpenOffice.org, Firefox and Thunderbird, there are some applications for which Linux isn't quite there yet (Scribus is a decent DTP program, but it's not as easy to use as Publisher...).
Which led me to investigate Vista. Now, I'm not a huge Microsoft fan and my first experience with a Vista beta was to loudly diss it as a cheap Mac OS X rip-off. But the reality is that at some point, be it at work or when helping my friends, I will have to learn it and use it.
So, this is the start of the great Vista experiment. At the moment, I'm typing the last part of this entry on my laptop which is installing a bunch of Vista patches. I'll blog my experiences - what's good, what's bad - and hopefully learn some things along the way...