Wednesday, 15 December 2010

New PC

On Friday my Christmas present from Şencan arrived. It is a new PC, which will take us up to a grand total of 7 PCs in our house:
  • My old main PC: a top spec, circa 2004. Still in good working order. Runs XP.
  • My old laptop, circa 2004. Still usable, but not as a portable (battery problems)
  • Sencan's old PC, circa 2005. Ordered on this walk. Runs XP
  • Sencan's laptop, ordered 2007 to give her a portable computer when she was changing jobs down to Southampton. Runs Vista.
  • Sencan's current PC, circa 2009. Runs Windows 7. Bought to allow her to use software that requires a high-powered PC.
  • My current laptop, circa  2009. An Acer 3810T running Windows 7, it is proving troublesome but has excellent battery life. I shall replace this the moment they produce a significantly updated version.
  • My new desktop PC power machine. Runs Windows 7. It has 8GB memory, an Intel i7 870 processor and a 2GB Raid-0 striped hard drive.
Additional to these are several old PC's (Wintel and Acorn) that I have in storage in the garage. These are of use only for archaeological investigations.

In the ancient past (the 1990s) I constructed several PCs for myself, friends and families from components (bought from various places including Cambridge Computer Supplies, which has its own story). It was fun and relatively straightforward - the hardest task was fine-fettling the settings to maximise the speed.

Now, however, the thought frightens me. A modern PC has virtually nothing in common with the PC from ten years ago. What is more, there is no longer a great saving to be had from constructing it yourself. I was tempted to make my own machine this time, if only to learn the way they are made nowadays.

However, a quick price-up of the components showed that a machine of the spec I have ordered would cost about sixty pounds more than buying one direct from Dell. Add in the time and risk of building your own PC, and it was definitely a non-starter.

So I have my new toy humming away upstairs as data is transferred from my external storage. The adventure starts...

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