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New PC for ME!

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  • Miqque
    Champion of the Balance
    • Apr 2004
    • 1002

    New PC for ME!

    Hi kids. Not bragging, as I did not purchase this machine, but do have exclusive use of it (as I work in a home office where I live). This brings us (the couple I live with and myself, our company) to three new PCs, new furniture, and generally the biggest mess and load of work I've had for a while. I already mourn the loss of my Favorites list (if there's a link you think I need, post it or e-mail or PM me, will you? Thanks!) and this here new cheapie keyboard has an Enter Key the size of Texas and a Backspace key the size of Rhode Island, so I'm getting lots of forward-slashes and such.

    But I'm keen on this new PC. The old on (very old, mind, about 120 in PC years) could not run newer programs - like Excel - without freezing or crashing. Very off-putting to get any work done. This new one is a monster. Sure, people talk in Gigahertz for speed, but this one apparently has dual processors a 1.88 GHz each, effectively running at about 3.6 GHz. Which I believe does not make much difference, as th new quick bus still is just over 1 GHz, and I believe the transfer rate is limited by the bus. Cool, anyhow!

    So there may well be some bizarreness going on as I adapt to a new system and such. Remember, this isn't a 'brag thread' - just informative. And I am curious about how y'all connect to the internet. Who all uses laptops and WiFi? Who gets office time on the net (like me)? What do you use?

    Yep, I'm a curious critter. The other thing that's weird is having to update or add programs or whatever whenever I try to do something. Makes me a slow puppy. But me, I am READY for Y2K7!


    OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
    OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
    System Name MIQQUE5
    System Manufacturer INTEL_
    System Model DG965RY_
    System Type X86-based PC
    Processor x86 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 6 GenuineIntel ~1864 Mhz
    Processor x86 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 6 GenuineIntel ~1864 Mhz
    BIOS Version/Date Intel Corp. MQ96510J.86A.1577.2006.1115.2351, 11/15/2006
    SMBIOS Version 2.4
    Time Zone Mountain Standard Time
    Total Physical Memory 1,024.00 MB
    Available Physical Memory 694.37 MB
    Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
    Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
    Page File Space 2.35 GB

    I'd be interested in any comments or critiques of this system, as I am in no wise a technical wizard. All I know is it that this PC is big and fast and hopefully wont crash every spreadsheet.

    Please! Tales of YOUR PC!

    With love and confusion,
    ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...
  • Morgan Kane
    Lost in the multiverse
    • Jun 2006
    • 1428

    Fine for you ....... My PC is 20 months old ......... is enough for my needs and levels of expertise .....


    • David Mosley
      Eternal Administrator
      • Jul 2004
      • 11823

      Can I ask - though it's not really important - what brand PC it is? Also what model? And what size Hard Drive?

      From what I can tell (according to Intel's technical specs for your system board) your PC can take up to 8GB of RAM (currently you have 1GB). If you ever decide you need to increase it, check out for decent prices. (Currently, upgrading to 2GB will set you back $180, but wait a while and that price will probably drop in due course.)

      When you say the old PC couldn't run 'newer programs like Excel', I guess what you mean is it couldn't run newer versions of Excel, which is something that happens to all PCs in due course. Your old PC might have been fine running Excel 95 or 97, which may have been contemporaneous with it, but would undoubtedly struggle with Excel 2000 or XP or 2003. Watch out the same will almost certain happen with this new PC over time. All PCs are obsolete the moment you unpack them (old IT joke ), but as long as they keep running the software they were designed for you shouldn't have any problems in 2, 3, 5 or 10 years time. The troubles begin when you start upgrading.

      Key question is what do you plan to use your PC for? If spreadsheets, email, and Internet then it should be fine for a good while. If you plan to play games on it, expect it to last 18 months before the latest games force you to upgrade (mainly on the graphics side).

      For myself, I access the Internet at home through up to four PCs - though not always at the same time. :) I have two desktop PCs (a Compaq and a Dell) one upstairs, one down; a Dell laptop and an IBM Thinkpad. All connect through a Secure Wireless Network to a Broadband ADSL router. Connection is good and I haven't had any Internet downtime (which wasn't due to hardware failures at my end) in over 6 years.

      I used to play lots of PC games but haven't for a couple of years and haven't bought any for the last 2-3 years, so hopefully my current systems should satisfy my present requirements for a few years yet.

      Back to you: please please please make sure you're running good Anti-virus and firewall software. Watch out for spyware and malware: there are good free products out there to protect your system from them like Ad-Aware, Spybot, SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard, so don't be tempted to buy something that pops-up on your screen offering to check your PC for you.

      That's not to say that anything you have to pay for isn't good (i.e. recognised brands like AVG, Symantec, or McAfee) but watch out for scam software. It always frustrates me when I see home PC systems that have been messed up because the owner installed something that they shouldn't have. If in doubt: Google it.

      Good luck! Enjoy!

      PS. I was going to crack a joke about how I wouldn't put (Windows) ME on a 'New PC', but I guess that might be more of a techy joke.
      Last edited by David Mosley; 12-13-2006, 01:59 PM.
      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."


      • Miqque
        Champion of the Balance
        • Apr 2004
        • 1002

        Hey David - thanks for the thoughtful words. It's not a 'brand name', it's custom-built by a local wizard named (oddly) Mike from Fusion PC here in Longmont, Colorado. He custom-orders parts adn builds and maintains high-end PCs.

        As for antivirus, I run ad-Aware and Webroot's SpySweeper. Between the two, and Comcast's built-in stuff, i'm pretty well covered. We do a lot of maintenence to make sure nasty little bugs and Trojans don't get in. (The whole upgrade mania started two years ago when a trojan DID get in, and nobody wants to see that happen again!)

        As for Excel - I meant it. I was using a 486-based PC, and it didn't like anything more modern than Quattro Pro (circa 1991). Even so, the memory chips and system overall had become so shaky (probably from terminal overheating problems) that I had constant crashes. Pulling up MS Word was iffy at best, as if an inquiry came in from the net or something needed to run in the background it would also stall the whole thing out. (And forget the save-every-so-often option, it wouldn't.)

        The hard drive is 313 GB, and - well - I dunno how to punch up the specs. So much new stuff here! But it seems mighty fast, and it's twin brother, which has been in use for several weeks, seeks to work just fine. Fast, too. Also have a DVD RW, which is nice. I prefer two, but I can always add a CD/DVD or some such as I have five full front slots available. (Also need a 3.5 drive, as I have tons of stuff that needs to be converted. Then I can dispose of all the old plastic. Wouldja believe I still have a few 5.25 floppies?)

        There's ports I don't even recognize, like firewire and card readers - so I'm guessing a flash drive is also in the future. (It's unbelievably a blessing to know that none of this is money out of my pocket, but instead out of company funds. Which are low now, as we just bought these PCs and enough inkjet ink to print a small run of novels.)

        There is one drawback. We use a converted (well, designed that way, but don't tell the city inspectors) front porch as an office. It's some 30' by 7', wide and shallow. In this we have three hutches, four filing cabinets, three storage cabinets, six bookcases and a big comfy chair for me. (My back can't take sitting in an office chair, so there's a constant arguement about "appropriate office and business presentation" to which I reply, "Bite me.") All this is semi-chaotic, and my end of the room needs a severe overhaul. So, everything is going to get moved - hopefully to be done right after the holidays. All that means physical work, which is no longer much fun. But it will be more comfy, even though my highly unusual workstation requirements are both hard to describe and put into use. I generally do not like desks, and work with the keyboard on my lap. I do like access to both the tower and to bookcases and current files. This, compared with the traditional office set-up, looks plain weird. But variations of this have worked well for me in many situations, and I have a vested interest in new possibilities of arrangements to assist those temporarily or permanently disabled. (I'm thinking of Mike trying to get comfortable with his PC, the cats, and his foot hiked up.)

        Long post, but it's rare I get to chat about stuff like homke office set-ups. And, such things are part of my business. We're going to have to set up a major office this upcoming year, likely rented until we can buy ... well, I'll leave that unsaid for now. But it's a BIG project. Since we are also in the business of placing people in homes of their own, many in our target population will need at least access to the net, and likely many more will need both some sort of home office and/or accessibility options. (One example is a house we remodeled and sold in Lochbuie, Colorado, seen here: )
        So I've been drafted as architect - not exactly a specialty, but a protoskill I'm going to have to enhance.

        Guess this is one of the main reasons I started this thread. I'd love to see pictures of how people have set up their work spaces. I spend more time awake there than anywhere else (as most of us do), so I see every reason to make it comfortable, welcoming, and very, very useful.

        Oh, yeah. Next year - laptops. I despise laptops and their dinky keyboards and fragile natures. But the need is coming. I rather dread it.

        It's a rather exiting work-time, and I really wanted to share. I look forward to how other folks are dealing with their workspaces, particularly if they are non-USA. It's cheap travel, y'see.

        One lat thing. While PCs become obsolete on the drawing board, I got a pretty new one. If I read it right, the BIOS was created 11/15/2006. Is this not the date of manufacture? If so, this motherboard is less than a month old. About the best one could do if not in manufacturing, methinks.

        ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...