Sunday, January 14, 2007

Getting A New Computer Bugs Me!


Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
Where have I been all year?
Our old & slow 1999 computer was locking up on a daily basis, I was losing e-mail by the box loads, and the poor thing could barely play a CD anymore, much less a video or DVD.
Over the years I added all the RAM it could support, replaced the original 8 GB hard drive with a 20 GB drive, installed a USB 2 PCI card, CD/DVD burners, a second internal drive, card reader hubs, and two external 80 GB USB 2 hard drives until finally all the slots and ports were full and the antique 486MHz Pentium III just couldn't keep up anymore.
So, on January 3rd, UPS delivered a fast new computer (2.40 GHz dual processor) to our doorstep, and then I spent several days adding a Firewire PCI card, 2 Gigs of Ram (in addition to the 2 Gigs which came installed), a 3.5" bay hub 13 in 1 card reader, a Firewire 3.5" bay hub, a second external USB CD/DVD burner, the two 80 GB USB drives scavenged from the old system, and I still have a second 250 GB internal hard drive to install.
Phheww...
Then it was time to transfer files and programs.
Yikes!!!
After a few more days of saving files from the old machine to disks, and then, realizing that I didn't have a clue about how to move my essential programs into the new one, I broke down and called my computer geek buddy Tom. He came over to help me out last night and now I finally have enough stuff transferred so that I can blog again.
It's truly a love/hate thing with me and computers...
I love the creativity enabled by them, the access and democratic openness (for the time-being) of the internet, and I even rather enjoy installing hardware (it reminds me of working on cars in my younger days---without the grease).
However, installing and learning software is another thing entirely.
I hate the installation and registration processes, the steep learning curve of a good in-depth program, and, especially the complicated marketing, monitoring, security, copyright protection & surveillance schemes of corporations like Microsoft, Adobe, Apple and Symantec, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...
But I'm hooked* on the damned things just like I was on the automobile in previous decades and that bugs me!
So, right now I'm going to play with our new toy, err..., I mean do some work with our new tool!
;~\
* The radical Luddite in me is highly critical of dependence on such contraptions!

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11 Comments:

Blogger Val said...

Enjoy the toy! We live in a wonderful world, where we can meet folks a world away. There are such benefits to this new stuff. I'm hooked too. Spent all day playing on www.geograph.org.uk but I suppose the U.S is too big for that sort of fun!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Prairie Chick said...

Glad your back and totally understand the computer thing! I have read your whole blog while you were gone and I am soo impressed! I will be back on a regular basis.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous pablo said...

But you know you'll grow accustomed to it and eventually forget how difficult the transition was. (And we'll all be the richer for it because you will continue to make blog posts.)

3:29 AM  
Blogger Madcap said...

There's a group called Luddites OnLine. I think you'd qualify as a member.

5:24 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Luddites Online--oh, the irony!

I too have mixed feelings about reliance on technology, but at the same time I think the community created through blogging just might help us move towards real life solutions. And, as pablo stated, your blog posts make all our lives richer!

By the way- I still plan on sending a home brew your way some time in the near future. And, when does the new Bigfoot come out? :)

7:05 PM  
Blogger Madcap said...

That's what I think too, Deb. Computers certainly have their nuisance aspect, but I sure have learned a lot about "real" life (homesteading, chickens, taking steps away from the monetary system) because of them. Compared to flying or driving around the continent for conferences, they're pretty low-calorie.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Tree said...

I struggle with the computer/Internet issue as well. Computers, like so many other things, clog up our landfills but can be very helpful to have. The Internet can connect us to other people but too much of it can isolate you. Everything in moderation, I guess.

6:15 AM  
Blogger the Contrary Goddess said...

Well, I think computers, and especially the internet, are wonderful. Sure, you have to sort through cr*p but you can find out ANYTHING and to a autodidact, that is wonderful. We could get along without but life would be less colorful not knowing my California and Canadian (and others as they come) friends.

Which, I saw just the other day someone advocating regulating what people can say on the internet. Stupid people blow me away.

7:10 AM  
Blogger clairesgarden said...

a good friend of mine just recently upgraded from his old 'word processor' type pc, he had a total of 6mb of storage on it. . . .

12:35 AM  
Blogger the Contrary Goddess said...

Jim, I can't find an email address for you so I'm asking you a question here (sorry everyone). I obviously love your photography and know you have a groovy camera and all. Our camera we bought way back in 99, it blows out with 1.6 megapixels and all! Ah, but we are shopping. Thinking in the $100-200 range which I know is semi-low end (but we've seen some interesting ones!). Would you have a recommendation or maybe a list of priorities of what to look for?

THANKS! Another use of the net! Getting a real photographer's opinion on my penny-enny proposed purchase.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Computers certainly clog up landfill and the licensing burden is growing worse all the time to the point where you no longer own the goods you buy, but simply have permission to use them in limited ways. But it doesn't have to be this way.

I've been using the Linux operating system and Free Software for a few years now (Ubuntu, at the moment), and I've also got involved with a local group that recycles the machines that aren't fast enough to run XP/Vista and other similar bloatware. It's truly miraculous how much creative use you can get out of the super-abundance of IT equipment that others are throwing away.

To my mind, the dilemna is this: invest money in a new machine, or invest time in developing your own knowledge. If you choose the first, you'll be buying another new computer in 3 years time - if choose the later, you won't ;)

But people do like to choose what looks like the "easy" option, don't they?

1:23 PM  

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