This Is Not A
What Blew, Pussy(Cat)?
I really am starting to doubt my sanity.
Sitting at my desk on Thursday (or was it Friday morning?), I could have sworn that I saw a dark-coloured pubic wig fall past the window. It couldn't have been a bird - birds aren't hairy.
I wonder if someone's missing it? Whoever it is, they'd be pretty difficult to spot.
In other news, I've finally ordered a new PC. The one I'm typing this on is perfectly adequate for nearly all of what I want to do, but after six and a half years technology moves on, and I can no longer do things with it that I used to. I mentioned the affair of mlb.com and Silverlight before. Now I find that the latest version of Winamp won't work on Windows 98, so I suppose it's time to move on.
My current setup has been more than worth the £960 I paid for it in June 2001. I bought it from a company called Eaglecom in Oswestry which, sadly, no longer exists. The build quality was such that all I've had to replace was the CPU fan (which went after just over four years) and the monitor, which packed up around last Christmas. Oh, and I added some RAM as well.
I know geeks and historians may be interested, so here's what my present system comprises (and here's a picture):
- AMD Duron 800MHz CPU
- Gigabyte GA7-ZM motherboard
- 128Mb SDRAM (later expanded to 384Mb)
- 20Gb U-DMA hard drive
- CD-ROM drive & CD Re-writer drive
- Floppy drive
- 56k V90 modem (augmented later on by a USB ADSL modem when broadband finally reached us)
- 8Mb (!) graphics card
- Onboard sound and 100W USB speakers
- Relisys 15" CRT monitor (replaced with a 17" Acer TFT)
- Windows 98 SE with CD and manual
- Standard keyboard & mouse
- HP DeskJet 840C printer
- Acer ScanPrisa parallel-port scanner
It wasn't quite cutting-edge stuff at the time, but I thought it would do me for everything I thought I'd be likely to do with it.
And so it has proven, at least up until recently. But all things run their course.
I fully intend keeping it running, though; after all, it works admirably in all normal respects. So, once my new system is up and running, I shall transfer much of the data off the old one, uninstall programs I won't need on it, then try to set it up as a dual-boot machine with a flavour of Linux on it (probably Xubuntu), because I want to get my head around open-source operating systems.
So, what's replacing this venerable old friend? Well cop this spec, courtesy of Micro Plus Computers of Oswestry and Wrexham:
- AMD Athlon 2x 4200+ CPU
- Gigabyte AM2 motherboard (*)
- 2Gb DDR2 667 RAM
- 250Gb SATA hard drive
- DVD ROM drive & DVD Re-writer drive
- Nvidia Geforce 8600GS 256Mb graphics card
- Flash memory card reader
- Floppy drive (more for sentimental reasons, perhaps?)
- Realtec 7.1 sound controller plus speakers
- BenQ 17" TFT monitor
- Windows XP Pro with CD and manual
- Multimedia keyboard and optical wheel mouse
- Analog video capture card and software
- Netgear wired router (not sure which model)
- Epson DX8400 multifunction printer/scanner/copier
Final price: £866.95. Ker-CHINGGG!
I think this is what's known in Bollocksese as a 'step change'.
The new system should be ready for me to pick up by the second half of the week, although I won't set it up until next weekend. This is partly so that I can have the time to do the job properly, but also so as to give me a couple more days to figure out where I'm going to put the old one.
(*) If the Americans wanted to torture a computer expert, would they subject him to motherboarding? Just wondering...