Laptop Quandries

So, for various reasons, I am currently debating getting a laptop, primarily for web development purposes. I’ve got a vague idea of what I need: a decent screen size (at least 15 inches, I’m thinking), don’t care if it’s light or heavy, decent amount of RAM (at least 3 gigs, I’m thinking), enough processor speed to handle Photoshop plus gobs of browser tabs plus gobs of Vim windows. Beyond this, though I find myself overwhelmed by choice.

Plus, add to this my quandries on that whole Windows 7 thing. I know it supposed to be significantly better then Vista, but when doing some brief research into laptops, they all came with 64-bit Windows 7. Now, I don’t know a significant amount about 64-bit, but according to my brief research, it will not run some older programs. I haven’t found anything saying *how* old of programs it won’t run. Like, will I be able to run Civ 3 still? Or, what about MS Gif Animator and Hex Code Helper (two rather antiquated programs which haven’t been updated since probably the late 90’s, but are quite good at what they do, so I still use them). Anyhow, I’m hesitant to jump on the 64-bit bandwagon right now.

I could make the jump and get something with Linux (Ubuntu, perchance). It’s going good on my netbook, and I feel like if I’m going to be in any way a decent programmer, working in a Linux environment would simplify my life. Just too used to Windows at this point. I could figure out some sort of virtualization program to use (VMWare?) and install XP? Or, for that matter, I could figure out how to dual boot and have both Linux and XP? Or, maybe I can get a laptop with Windows 7, and install Linux to dual boot with it. It’s also really hard to even find laptops sold with Linux on them (well, that’s not a netbook, at least).

So anyhow, this is what my brain has been mashing around lately.

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