More on my ongoing saga of the possibility of buying a new PC laptop. I went to a store and took a "test drive" on the new Dell machine. I found the Windows interface to be no better or worse than the Macintosh interface I've had to get used to. I remember Windows as being a rather boring screen arrangement and the new screen is more active and colorful. They've also borrowed some features from the Mac, which I could live without. I also liked the glossy bright glass screen.
What I found slightly disturbing (NO ONE else will notice this but me) is that the bright colored laptop case, the one that would be orange (the store didn't have orange but had a vile citrus green) has a kind of weird rubbery texture to it. It is not smooth like metal. I felt as though a strong hit might scrape it off. And dust would stick to it.
So I went back and looked again at my neglected PC laptop vintage 2004. I know that's old in computer years, but it's still quite functional, especially if I give it some attention. It runs Windows XP, which would need to be updated if necessary, but not the much-maligned Vista. It isn't very powerful, so that I would forfeit the use of
music software synthesizers on it. But it still runs CorelDraw 12 (which is 3 years out of date, but again still functional). And that's what I really need it to do.
The image above will show you why I love CorelDraw. It was done in about 30 minutes "speedpaint" time. The starry background was done in Corel PhotoPaint. The texture boxes were then added in CorelDraw. CorelDraw has this wonderful set of multicolored textures which you can add to any shape. You can change the colors in the textures any way you want. I'm sure you can do this in Photoshop too but it is much more work. In order to maintain the industry standard, I could then import my Corel work into Photoshop and re-save it, thus giving it the proper professional graphics cachet.
Revisiting CorelDraw I felt this warm familiarity that I have not felt with a graphic program since I had to switch to Photoshop CS2. I don't have to fight and argue with it and push it around to get stuff done. So for now I am going to stay with existing equipment and not buy anything new, except maybe another drawing tablet. I must then clear up a certain ethical problem in that I promised the laptop to a friend, when I thought I was going to buy a new one. I'm sure that people will understand.