The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The New Computer


I spend way too much time on my computer. Most of it is wasted. Nearly all, in fact. Now that I have got into blogging, that would range around the 99th percentile. Before that, I would estimate only 95 percent was truly wasted.
I recently purchased a new computer to replace my old one. There was nothing inherently wrong with the old one, mind you, but I was challenged. I was about to embark on a journey (64 miles) to the Sam's Club to pick up supplies when Faye remarked "Don't come back with a new computer." Well, I certainly hadn't intended to until then. Now I had no choice.

The new computer runs Vista. Those of you who are laughing, please stop. I actually like Vista. I am a PC guy. I have been for many years. I have played with other operating systems but I am stuck on Microsoft. I suppose it is all part of the Great Conspiracy to destroy our minds, steal our souls, and reduce us to automatons controlled by Lord Bill Gates (PBUH) but it could be that it just does the job for me and I am used to it. You have to understand (and sympathize with) me. I started out on unix (which was linux before it went through therapy) and CP/M. I also had to deal with operating systems that had no name that anyone ever told us which ran massive computers which turned your voice into little bits of data and then back again. Obviously, I was doomed from the start and I am too old to change now.

Here's a glimpse at what I used to do before I came to my senses after 34 years.

(no, that isn't really me)

Western Electric (now Lucent) #4ESS

Those of you who aren't computer geekish or Phreaks (phone system hackers and such) won't be interested in that so I won't go into detail.

After I booted up the new computer, I spent a few hours trying to move the important stuff over from the external backup drive onto it. I was almost successful. Fortunately, I gave the old computer to my sister-in-law, Frannie. Which means that if I ever get her (now) computer connected to the wireless router, like her old one was, I will be able to recover those files I really wanted but didn't bother to check were backed up on the external hard drive. My family and friends think I am a computer guru. Man, have I got them fooled...

We have four computers now. 3 desktops and 1 laptop. Actually 4 desktops if you count the one sitting behind me on the floor that is not hooked up to keyboard, monitor, or electricity. That's Frannie's old computer which used be one I kept at work so I could play games and sneak onto the internet without the company knowing. The laptop is for when we go on vacation or when I am sitting in the living room and I just have to look up something I saw referenced on TV.

I like this new computer. It has more RAM than my old one, a faster CPU, and a bigger hard drive. I can now lose files much more quickly than I ever could before. But it's a bit arrogant and rude. It won't play with my old, way out of date, scanner.

11 comments:

Embee said...

You sound like my 15-year-old son who has seriously lost his soul already to the world of computer tech. Since I work from home, on my computer, I have upgraded fairly often, so we have a plethora of computers of varying ages lying around. My son is like Dr. Frankenstein, cobbling together stolen parts from each trying to create a new and better monster...er....computer. He knows way more than I do about the guts of the machines and spends hours with the disemboweled computer offal piled around him, in giddy creation. I have to say, though, I'm so happy that this is his addiction. As a teenage boy, it could certainly be a lot worse!

Douglas said...

I was relatively old when I got into computers. Your son is a keeper. I put together all the computers in this house except the New One and the laptop. And probably a dozen others I no longer have. Much cheaper to cobble them together than to buy them outright. Or it used to be before Gates & Co figured out to keep us from cloning the operating system easily.

Neo said...

been messing with computers since 03 when I bought one from dell, have 2 in the closet bought at garage sales and they have worked ok in the past, I love xp have diddled around with 98 and 95 but have no idea what or how vista is, have heard its like a deluxe xp... came across your blog and enjoyed your last post, stay in touch please.

MilesPerHour said...

After many months I finally bought a laptop. Here is some advice: DO NOT PLAY WITH A MAC IF YOU JUST BOUGHT A PC! 6 weeks later I have a MAC. Anyone want a brand new PC for cheap?

Douglas said...

MPH, you are undoubtedly happy with your conversion. I have more than a few Mac owning friends who all inform me of how wonderful they are. I am happy for them, and you. I am a practical, pragmatic, and cheap guy. I paid less than $700 for my laptop and under $425 for the New Computer. I understand I could have bought a Macbook for just about that much that would almost have as large an HD as my laptopn has (but not as large as the New Computer's). I am sure I would have been much happier if I had done so. Really I am. But, being a practical guy, I figure since I only use it to go on the internet, burn a few CDs, and play a few mundane games, why bother?

This comment was not intended to start a Mac vs PC war, this was to head one off. To argue Mac vs PC is like discussing religion or politics.

The Logisitician said...

I entered college in 1969, and immediately started taking a computer course, using Cadetran, and version of Fortran. Typed cards on a hole punch machine, and then fed them into a reader.
The computer was in a climate controlled room, and we had to wait up for hours to see if the program worked, and if not, tweak it at 4 am or 5 am, before getting to sleep. Oh the days.

Douglas said...

I did not get involved with computers until 1977. But, once I did, I was hooked. The first I actually got to work on was a DEC PDP-11 that you re-booted after it hung (oh, once a week at least)by setting the front panel switches. It had big washtub-like devices which held the disc packs (the hard drive storage), what seemed like miles of cable, a rack of 1200 bps modems for data transfer, and it sat in a very cold room.

When the Osborne1 came out, I bought one, which I lugged around for a year, vainly trying to become proficient in Z80 assembly language. All of this will someday be a blog post, I am sure.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Makes me feeeeeeel soooooooo old, my first "pc" had to load programmes of cassette tapes... LOL

AV
http://netherregionoftheearthii.blogspot.com/
http://tomusarcanum.blogspot.com/

Douglas said...

MPH, you are undoubtedly happy with your conversion. I have more than a few Mac owning friends who all inform me of how wonderful they are. I am happy for them, and you. I am a practical, pragmatic, and cheap guy. I paid less than $700 for my laptop and under $425 for the New Computer. I understand I could have bought a Macbook for just about that much that would almost have as large an HD as my laptopn has (but not as large as the New Computer's). I am sure I would have been much happier if I had done so. Really I am. But, being a practical guy, I figure since I only use it to go on the internet, burn a few CDs, and play a few mundane games, why bother?

This comment was not intended to start a Mac vs PC war, this was to head one off. To argue Mac vs PC is like discussing religion or politics.

Douglas said...

I was relatively old when I got into computers. Your son is a keeper. I put together all the computers in this house except the New One and the laptop. And probably a dozen others I no longer have. Much cheaper to cobble them together than to buy them outright. Or it used to be before Gates & Co figured out to keep us from cloning the operating system easily.

Embee said...

You sound like my 15-year-old son who has seriously lost his soul already to the world of computer tech. Since I work from home, on my computer, I have upgraded fairly often, so we have a plethora of computers of varying ages lying around. My son is like Dr. Frankenstein, cobbling together stolen parts from each trying to create a new and better monster...er....computer. He knows way more than I do about the guts of the machines and spends hours with the disemboweled computer offal piled around him, in giddy creation. I have to say, though, I'm so happy that this is his addiction. As a teenage boy, it could certainly be a lot worse!