new computer

Over vacation, I managed to convince K that we should get a new computer.  Our old one was bought just after I started my last new job, so… February 2001?  For most things, it worked pretty well: email, word processing and spreadsheets, etc were fine.  It didn’t hurt that we were running Linux, so there was minimal pain for upgrading the OS (it originally came with Windows 98… can you imagine trying to run XP or god forbid Vista?).  But given that it was reasonable for desktop use, it still had a few problems for some of the purposes I had.  It was using USB 1.1, so a max of 12 Mb/s off to an external disk (instead of 480 Mb/s for USB 2).  The hard drive was small and not mirrored, so if it died, we were in trouble.  No DVD burner, only a 4x CDROM writer.  Finally, you couldn’t do much photo editing because of the small amount of RAM and the slow speeds.

On Monday, I placed an order for a new computer.  Nothing fancy, but still a significant improvement.  Well, it showed up yesterday – 3 days later.  Apparently Dell built it at their new Winston-Salem plant and between a quick build and a 3-5 day shipping that turned around over night, I got it much sooner than I hoped.  Hrm, maybe the Dell incentives were worth my share of $250+ million dollars in taxes…  probably not.

So far, the new machine is great.  Mirrored 250 GB drives, fast DVD burner, 2 GB of RAM and actual USB 2.  The last meant that while it took 6+ hours to write our old files to a temporary hard drive, it only took 10 minutes to write ’em to the new machine this morning.  Progress!

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