Friday, September 5, 2008

About time, I guess.

Back in 2006, I wrote this little ditty:
Entry for February 17, 2006

Joy of computers.


My Mac at home is hopelessly out of date. I've been running OS9 since I got the machine and while it runs well, the browser and OS are incompatible with so many things I'd like to be able to do. (For example, access Yahoo!360 at home and have it not look like gobbledy-gook on the screen) Then again, upgrading is expensive and then I'd still be left with dial-up. (3-5 K/sec)

Still, time for a new 'puter and cable 'net.

A litte bit after I wrote this, we did manage to upgrade my machine to OSX (Which helped solve my browser gobbledy-gook issues) and a cable modem. ZOOOMMMMM!!!
Things were OK for a while and then in February 2007:


My wife's computer has expired.

As one website put it, "The computer was found unconscious and unresponsive."

And the fun starts here.

She'd been having problems with the machine over the past few months. The optical drive didn't seem to work any more and there were issues with the hard disk that would appear to be the cause of it's current demise.

We probably shouldn't complain about it as much as we are because the computer was a "free" Titanium powerbook that she'd used for work at her last job and was told she could keep it rather than turn it in because it was in such poor physical shape. The machine has a cracked case over the optical drive, a broken hinge and a lid that doesn't stay shut. (Consequently, the computer "sleeps" with one eye open...)

I'm not a wizard when it comes to the repair of computer equipment, but based on what I see, I think I can replace the hard drive and we can see if that solves the problem.


Failing that, I will use the hard drive that I ordered to upgrade the storage from 10GB to 80GB in my own machine (They use the same size and type of hard drive.) I seriously hope that this solves the problem, because I don't see spending about $1400 for a new machine right now.

The problem here is that we both use our computers heavily and that's one place where we don't share well. (No, darling, I'm using my computer....) Besides, my machine is only 500MHz and as I noted above - 10GB hard drive - already fairly slow and obsolete. It's probably about time for my own upgrade too, but I'm not prying another $1200 of my own out for the machine I'd like to get. Anyway, for the most part, even though my machine is slow, it does the things that I need for it to do. The only thing I'd like to get is a new optical drive with a CD-R and DVD for it, but that may be another story for another time.

Love 'em or hate 'em, but we can't seem to live without 'em.

Well, I managed to upgrade both machines. Upgrading a laptop takes a bit of doing. Fortunatly for me, I'm fairly handy and there were good instructions available on the web. DW's computer got a new hard drive and a new optical drive. My machine got a new hard drive, more RAM (576 MB from 320 MB)and an upgraded optical drive. At the same time, I also updated to the most recent Mac OS the machine would take - OSX - 10.4. I've limped along pretty well with my machine really.

Not long after this major upgrade, issues started to crop up.
  • I couldn't install iLife on my machine because the processor wasn't fast enough.
  • When typing text in Microsoft Word, the lag time was unbearable.
  • I've started to see serious delays downloading images from a new camera (USB 1.1)
  • I couldn't load Skype on my machine because the processor wasn't fast enough.
  • The display has been having brightness control issues.
Finally, this week, DW sent me an email touting one of Apple's discount buying programs that I'm eligible for. So, last night I finally bit the bullet and bought a new Macbook and got a free iPod Touch to go along with it. I figure I've done pretty well to get my old computer to last for 7 years. With the rate that technology changes, I thought that was a pretty impressive accomplishment. Still, this old iBook will not be put out to pasture. I'll strip it down and re-format the machine. It will get handed down to my DD so that she can learn some typing skills. I think once the wireless is shut down and the applications a bit smaller, it will be a bit faster. I hope it will enjoy its new life!

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