The computer is dead! Long live the computer!

The old computer, with its nifty Klingon markings.
As the folks who follow me on Twitter are aware, our desktop computer died a death in the middle of the night this week, rebooting itself over and over again between 2:30 and 3 a.m. early Tuesday morning. It woke me up beeping and rebooting and I went downstairs to shut it down and a couple of hours later when I went to power it up, it just wouldn't boot at all.

We had been having problems with it for months - spontaneous reboots, mostly. It would take it three or four boots to start in the morning, so I got to the point where I told the family to never shut it down because it may not restart again. And sure enough...

But it was old and had served us well and was hardly worth spending a few hundred dollars to get it repaired. I think we bought it somewhere around 2003 or 2004 ... I can't remember and I can't find the documentation on it. But it was a Pentium II running Windows XP (yes, XP) and it was starting to creak against the ultra-modern technology we were trying to make it do, like run HD video from our cameras.

The new computer. No Klingon symbolism.
So I went back to BCom computers (where I buy all my computer stuff) grabbed a quad-core screamer off the shelf with a terabyte hard drive and 4 gigs of RAM and went home and started the fairly laborious experience of transferring our crucial data over from the backup drive. I think I've now got most of that done. To date, we've only had to repurchase one program that was entirely not compatible with Windows 7 (although we've had to find new drivers for several things). And I'm going to have to buy a new backup drive sooner rather than later as my 500 GB drive won't do now that I have, like, 1000 GB available to me on the new computer, plus 250 GB on my laptop. There have been, thankfully, only a few minor hiccups in transferring stuff over, and I haven't nuked anyone's iTunes data yet, so here's hoping...

The big pain in the butt for me was networking. It took me longer than it should have to figure out how to share folders and printers and stuff between my Vista laptop and the new Windows 7 machine. But I got that working, too.

Otherwise, the new machine is awesome. Ridiculously fast and powerful. I can rip a DVD for the iPod in 15 minutes flat rather than the 30 minutes it takes on my two-year-old laptop and the hour-plus it took on the old desktop computer. And I'm looking forward to being able to edit HD video on it. And the biggest surprise is how quiet it is - our old machine had the noisiest fans I've ever heard and always sounded like a jet engine taking off. This one is so quiet, I'm always thinking it's shut off.


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