I have been putting this off for as long as I could, waiting for a better deal, lower prices, new features, etc. Although my notebook computer still functions admirably for its age, it is on the verge of being hopelessly obsolete. Therefore, I am looking at getting a new notebook computer. With this in mind, I have a few questions that I hope those far more knowledgeable than I would take a few moments to answer. Presently, I am considering a Dell Inspiron 9300 with a 17-inch screen. The reason I favor Dell is because my present computer is also a Dell and I have gotten great service over the years. Further, Dell is the only company I know that provides next business day at-home service. That's a big thing for me. Unfortunately, no Dell notebooks have a full-size keyboard, including the numeric keypad at the right of the keyboard as some other brands do for their larger laptops. Here are my questions: 1. Any comments on my favored brand and model? 2. Are there any hardware issues I should be aware of so as not to order any soon-to-be-obsolete features? (Processors or whatever. I'm out of my depth here.) 3. May I assume that 1 gigabyte of memory will serve me well for a few years? 4. Dell has the unfortunate policy of only supporting machines using operating systems originally installed on the machines. This will invariably be XP Pro in my case. However, I understand that Windows will be introducing Vista in the "foreseeable" future. If I lock into XP because of the Dell policy, how long do you think I will likely have before I am obsolete once again? I realize I am asking for a guess. But your guess is almost certainly better than mine. And since I have a have your attention, I have a somewhat unrelated question. With this "wi-fi" thing where you can access the internet from coffee shops and such, do the providers offer some sort of firewall protection? Not that I would ever trade in a coffee shop, but I would like to know if I would make my computer unduly vulnerable by using it for other purposes in such locations. The reason I ask is because I cannot have firewall software installed on my computer for the order entry software to work properly. Therefore, I use a router at home which also serves as a firewall. However, I would not be using my router at the wi-fi locations. And although I understand that XP has a built-in firewall that does not interfere with order entry software, I understand that it, alone, is not a very robust firewall. Any thoughts? I would appreciate hearing from a few knowledgeable folks out there.