Technology review

After a little clear out at home this weekend, I found out the receipt for my Windoze PC at home.

It’s five years old this month!

This was a surprise to me, and my first impressions were that it’s lasted well, then I started to look at what I’d replaced on it.

  • 19″ CRT monitor replaced with an LCD monitor last year. I could warm croissants on my CRT monitor, and it’s now doing sterling service for my parents.
  • I’m on my second mouse, and my third keyboard (orginal keyboard was fine but a bit grimy, I bought an early wireless keyboard but it didn’t work very well, now a slick Logitech multimedia wired keyboard which I’m really pleased with).
  • New hard disk – after a problem in 2005 where I fouled up my machine by resetting some BIOS settings the old hard disk died. I should get the other one set up as I’m running out of space on my main drive, though to be honest it’s mostly full of rubbish.
  • New CD-writer. The original DVD-ROM is going fine, but the CD-writer caused the problems I tried to fix in 2005, which caused the problems above.

So a bit like the worker who had the same broom apart from four new handles and three new brush sets, my PC has evolved. One thing I’ve never done is added any extra memory – until recently 512Mb was ‘adequate’, but with another 512Mb costing less than £20, this could make a big difference to performance, especially as the graphics card shares this memory. The Athlon processor at 1.8Ghz is slow compared to nowadays, but does me OK, only video work slows it down.

And will I upgrade to Vista? No, I won’t. This machine is a workhorse, and if I didn’t need Windows for my OU work, I would have bought a Mac Mini a while back (I still might, with BootCamp for my OU work).

But I do still like having a desktop machine as well as my MacBook. It’s a little ‘belt and braces’, and I may experiment over Christmas with using just my MacBook (I’ve bought a KVM switch to make this possible), though I need some more cables/adaptors to connect my MacBook to it).

Better get back to marking, making slow progress.


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