Friday, 21 April, 2006

Computer Upgrade

I went down to Fry's today to get a memory upgrade for the laptop.  I've been running very happily with one gigabyte for the last year, except for when I fire up Virtual PC.  If I have a VPC image doing anything significant, my system starts thrashing.  I'm hoping that doubling the memory (which is all the laptop will hold) will fix that problem.  I went ahead and bought two DIMMs--one to replace the existing module in my computer, and the additional one gigabyte. 

I've upgraded Debra's machine with the old DIMM.  She had two 512 MB DIMMs in her laptop.  I replaced one of them with my old 1 GB DIMM.  The computer boots and seems to work.  I'll keep an eye on it, though, since some systems don't like having different type DIMMs.  We'll see what happens.

While I was at Fry's, I also picked up a 2 GB SD Card for my camera.  At $45 (after rebate), that's about the same price I paid for the 256 MB card when I bought the camera last year.  I noticed that the 4 GB USB drives are under $100.  I look back to what memory used to cost and just shake my head.  When I got my Osborne 1 in 1981, I could almost comprehend a megabyte of disk storage.  A whole gigabyte of disk--not to mention RAM--was unthinkable.

My final purchase today was a Hewlett Packard Double-Layer LightScribe Drive.  It's an external USB 2.0 DVD burner that apparently will burn every common format  (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD+R, CD-R, and CD-RW).  So there I was in the store wondering if I should buy DVD-R media or DVD+R media.  I ended up buying both, coming home and doing some research, and returning the DVD+R media.  I didn't realize that I'd need a Ph.D. in order to create DVD backups.  This is just another case of us (the computer industry) loving standards.  We must:  we have so many of them.

Fry's also was running a special on 1 terabyte external USB hard drives: $600.00 after rebate.  Granted, there are multiple drives in the enclosure, but it's still amazing.  You can now get a computer with two gibabytes of RAM and one terabyte of disk storage for under $2,000.  All we need is to find something useful to do with all that cheap storage.