Archive - Apr 17, 2011

Taxes, Computers and Cellphones

Well, our taxes our done, and our finances are a little stronger than we expected. That is a relief. However, money is still very tight so I hesitate spending money on any new computer equipment, but it might be that it is getting to be about that time.

You see, my primary computer died again this morning. It does it fairly regularly these days, and each time I managed to eventually resuscitate it. It is an old computer, I am guessing about fifteen years. It still runs Windows NT on it. In a previous life, it had been a corporate server, and I bought it second hand when it was decommissioned. It has four hard disks in in. They were big hard disks by the standards of the time. I think each one may be around 300 megabytes, and when I bought the computer, the people wondered what I would need 1.2 gigabytes for.

Well, since then, one of the hard drives failed. I’ve had memory problems and replaced memory. I think it is the power supply that is going now, and I suspect another hard drive or two are about to fail.

One option would be to power up a couple of the ten year old Windows 2000 boxes. There are three of them that I got when a company I was working for shutdown. I think they’re in reasonable shape and I could probably get by with them for a bit. Perhaps I could mount the disk from the old server into one of these boxes, and copy off the files. I don’t think they have as much disk space, however, and it might be good to get a large external drive for them.

Then, there are three old laptops kicking around. One is about seven years old and runs Ubuntu Linux pretty well, most of the time. It is what I use for a laptop when I need to. However, it crashes fairly frequently. I think the hard disk is dying. There is a heavy ten year old Windows 2000 laptop. It came with the three desktops and is pretty good. I could probably fix that up to be more reliable. If I recall properly, it has a lot of memory in it, but is just heavy. There is a third laptop. This is a nice, newer, sleeker computer. It had been running Windows Vista on it, but it crashed. Besides what appeared to be a hard disk crash, the video has stopped working. I’m not sure what it would take to revive that box.

Then, there is the computer I am using right now. It is only about five years old. I installed Linux on it, and generally, it runs pretty well. However, it is set up as a server, with just about every package imaginable installed on it. It only has half a gig of memory, and has been running pretty slowly, unless I shut down a bunch of different services.

At the same time, I have my trusty Nokia N900 cellphone. It is now a year and a half old and runs pretty nicely. It actually runs as a fairly nice Linux server, besides working as a cellphone. It has also slowed down a bit as I put more stuff on it, and I haven’t really been doing as much programming on it since I started my new job.

I’m also now carrying an HTC Thunderbolt cellphone for work. I’ve really been liking it and am wondering when the time will come that I move off of desktops and laptops over to just a smartphone or a tablet. I’m not quite there, but I’m getting awfully close.

With that, my wife is overdue for a new cellphone. So far, she has not made the leap to a smartphone, but it may be getting time for that.

So, I’ll try to work out something for my desktop and laptop computing needs, as well as my wife’s cellphone needs.

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