Well, so my personal laptop appears to be fairly junked at this point. The battery now has 0% capacity (more likely something broke in the hardware such that the battery no longer supplies power, given that it still had plenty of battery power as recently as early July) so pulling the plug on it is a hard power off.
Besides that, it currently is unable to access the internet (through either a wired connection or the built-in wireless), is massively prone to overheating (and will hard power off when it does so) even when raised up on cups to let air circulate, and will often hard power off for no apparent reason (not due to overheating). Also, yes, the fan is working… it’s loud as hell and also comes on at random times when the computer isn’t doing anything.
All that and the laptop is only about 2 years old. Meh.
Don’t ever buy HP… they’re reasonably cheap and aesthetically pleasing, but they’re crap.
They also don’t come with install disks but instead a recovery partition… so you can either clean install from your own OS disk and lose all the applications (and have to manually find drivers online–the main reason I didn’t just install Ubuntu on it when I first got it) or use the partition to restore to factory specs (no other option). Also the preinstalled OS is horribly bloated with HP junk so restoring to factory specs isn’t going to give you the clean install you want.
I really should buy a desktop computer soon to replace this (the Inspiron 530 looks interesting) so I have something to use besides my work computer. I’m tempted to wipe it and install Ubuntu if/when I get it… and use VMWare or similar to run Windows XP in it for Photoshop and stuff (because wine seems like a huge pain to get working right). Someone who’s used VMWare before: How exactly does it work? Do I install it and then tell it to install XP from a disk I have or something?
But meh, I feel bad spending money on a new computer no matter how much I may need/want it. (Sticker shock, I suppose… not used to spending large amounts of money at once.) I feel like I get more stingy with each passing day.