My home computer was a 5 year old x86 single-proc 600 mhz. Stop laughing! It ran Windows XP, Visual Studio 2003, MS terminal-server client, Age of Empires II, and Civilization 3. It could not run Rise of Nations or most any 1st person shooter.

Two weeks ago, we all got the week off for shipping VS 2005. And conveniently, Civ 4 was released that week too. Could I have asked for better timing?

So I finally got a new home computer. It's an Amd x64 dual-core 4200+, which is significantly better than my machines at work.  And I have thoroughly verified that it runs Civ 4 and AOE 3 just fine.  (And by the way, Civ 4 is truly excellent. If you like Civ 2 / Alpha-Centauri and were disappointed with Civ 3, your patient has been amply rewarded).

And it keeps getting better. It turns out my new computer also runs Windows Media Center! We hooked up the cable to the back and it started working immediately. I love it when things "just work". I've never used Media Center before (even though my brother is a dev on that team). I'm cautiously optimistic. After playing around with this, I'm starting to get excited. 

Before this, the last new toy I got was this wireless mouse for my laptop. It was a spontaneous purchase while going through the MS company store. I love it. It's 1000x easy to use than the little erase-nub mouse built into my laptop. The only drawback is that it's missing the "back" and "forward" buttons that you can use in a browser.