Meet My New Laptop, Eridani

posted in: computers 2

Laptop Eridani

My old faithful laptop, Antares, went neutron star on me a month ago. I hated that, partly because I really liked her red glowing keyboard, and liked her in general. But nothing lasts forever, or so they say. I almost jumped in about four different directions on the replacement, but this is the one I settled on. I named it Eridani.

The dictionary will tell you that this name (a constellation, the River, though this is the genitive form), is pronounced:


This is balderdash, as any spacer will tell you. Out there in the Up and Out, we pronounce this name:


Get it right, please. Eridani is a Dell XPS with a 15-inch OLED screen of amazing brilliance and resolution. I had a difficult choice, because the Dell Latitude has a better keyboard, but a worse display. Way worse. Keyboard and display are the two things I look hardest at, but in the end I chose easy on the eyes, and accurate rendering of colors (especially when creating book covers), over keyboard. I have had occasional regrets about that, as I work to get used to this slighty-smaller-than-standard keyboard.

So far, it’s a fine machine, and fast. Just for the fun of it, I thought I’d show you the list of programs I had to install to get back up to speed, even with the old Antares hard drive plugged in at its side. Herewith, my guide to:

Software to Install on New Computer

FIRST: Do not set up Windows by signing into your Microsoft account! That way lies only pain and regret! Set up a local account, which won’t impose a brain-dead user-profile path that will break all of your libraries, playlists, etc. You can sign in afterward. Now, as soon as you’ve uninstalled McAfee, start installing:

  • KeyTweak – swap Caps Lock and Left Ctrl keys
  • OpenShell or ClassicShell replacements for Windows Start button
  • Dropbox (select which folders are online-only with SmartSync)
  • Reassign Pictures library in File Explorer to Dropbox>Pictures
  • Microsoft Office, esp. Outlook and Word
  • Firefox (and LastPass)
  • Chrome
  • Sync2 to sync Outlook contacts and calendar with other machines
  • Scrivener
  • Malwarebytes
  • iTunes
  • VLC media player
  • Calibre (copy plugins from other drive)
  • Paint Shop Pro or maybe a newer graphics program
  • Printer drivers and utilities
  • Scanning utility for printer (Canon or Epson)
  • Kindle for PC
  • Send to Kindle
  • Kindle Previewer
  • Nook reader
  • Adobe Digital Editions
  • Overdrive console
  • iDrive Backup
  • Aomei Backupper
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • 7-Zip utility
  • WinPatrol
  • Safe PST Backup
  • Filezilla
  • Quicken
  • Audacity
  • WhatsApp
  • Sigil epub editor
  • Handbrake
  • Audible Manager
  • Zune
  • CD/DVD burning utility
  • Customizations to Word:
    • Change location of templates: Options>Advanced>General (scroll down)>File Locations
      Use: C:\Users\myusername\Dropbox\Microsoft\Templates
    • Custom dictionary: Copy your own custom.dic to:

Done? Now back the whole damn thing up before anything goes wrong!

Now you can relax and enjoy your new machine.


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2 Responses

  1. David Bosboom
    | Reply

    … and at some point you need to have an external SSD for a quick secondary backup of your data. I love iDrive but even with fast broadband (I’ve got 240Meg Dn & 20Meg Up) it takes too darn long!

    • jeffreyacarver
      | Reply

      Got the 1TB drive (relatively new) from the previous laptop right next to it. (Most critical daily backup is via Dropbox.) My book files and like that are backed up about six ways from Tuesday.

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