Gefilte Fish Out of Water


Dead PC
January 16, 2010, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Infrastructure | Tags:

I mentioned last week how my almost 4-year Dell Dimension desktop finally died.  This week I decided to get a new one.  As much as I wanted a uber-state-of-the-art MacBook, I ended up getting a new desktop PC.  Money’s a concern, and I already have the monitor, speakers, mouse & keyboard to go with it.  Plus, it’s not like I’m a graphic designer who really needs those strengths that cater to Macs.  And I prefer to write in a controlled, quiet environment, so a more expensive laptop isn’t a priority for me (and if I need to be mobile, I can use the work laptop).

Now, should I buy in from America or inside Israel.  Since I didn’t have any friends making a trip soon, and I’d heard the import taxes can be astronomical, I decided to go domestic.  My friend Ronnie told me about a company called Yazamco, and this week, I called them up and ordered a new machine over the phone.  I’m paying UDS $900 for an Intel dual-processor, 880 RAM (I think?), 320GB hard drive, CD/DVD disk drive, Windows 7 OS, and Microsoft Office.  I don’t even know the manufacturer, but my friend Ronnie’s referral is good enough for me.  Plus, the hardware comes with a 3-year warranty, and there is tech support in English.  Great!

Right after I hung up, I took the Dell outside and put it in the trash.  I tried to use 911earth.org to find a site that would recycle it, but they don’t give international locations, only within the U.S.

Then my friend Ms. Babble Tweeted me – Um, you know practically anyone can get information about you off that thing? I did know this, but I didn’t so much care.  All my documents/music/porn were kept on an external hard drive, which is still in tact.  But, there is probably loads more info about me buried on files I’m not even aware of.  Plus, she said it was easy and she would talk me through removing the hard drive to recover info off it and sell the rest for scrap.

No argument, here.  So, I went down there, fished it out of the trash, and brought it back upstairs.  It’s in one of those big IKEA bags now, not even that smelly.

My new baby arrives tomorrow.

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Crash!
January 10, 2010, 1:20 am
Filed under: Infrastructure | Tags:

Crap.  My nearly 4-year-old Dell Dimension desktop has been failing since last fall.  Doesn’t matter which browser I use, Internet speed is unpredictably spotty.  Uploading pics to WordPress while blogging has become impossible; I’ve been using my work laptop for that for a while now.

I got determined again to try and fix it last night.  There are some things I just can’t use my work laptop for….like wiring limes to my friend Sean Cody, if you know what I mean.  I wound up on dellsupport.com downloading driver updates, which it turns out is something you’re supposed to do every six months, and I’ve done….never.  Turns out I had 14 drivers that needed to be updated. So, I managed to get the slow clunker to download everything, and got 12 of the 14 updates installed.  Then, my PC directed me to restart.  So, I tried to…only it wouldn’t turn off.  So I had to hold the start button pressed and force it to turn off.  Whatevs, we’ve all had to do that sometimes.  Except when i tried to start back up again, my computer made this horrid Red Alert beeping noise and wouldn’t boot.  I tried to get it to boot unsuccessfully for more than an hour.

I wasn’t flipping out during this.  All my music, professional work and porn are safely backed up on an external hard drive.  And I knew this day would come.  I’d rather have a fast new computer anyway, with smaller, faster microchips and shiz.  But, it still sucks.  Like, I do not not want all the songs wiped off my iPod when I try and hotsync for the first time with a reinstalled iTunes on my work laptop.  There’s software and workarounds to prevent that, but I’ve been burned before, and I just want all my duckies in a row, you know?

The work laptop is a godsend temp measure, and thank God for the external hard drive, but I’ve got to get a new machine fast.  Do I get a media darling,  state-of-the-cool MacBook or PC notebook?  It’s practically my birthright as a Gen-X’er, but you know – I can’t afford it right now, and I can make do perfectly with a much cheaper desktop.  I do all my writing at home anyway.  Then the question becomes – do I buy it in Israel or the United States.  Conventional wisdom is that electronics are much cheaper in the U.S. than here, but you’ll be taxed up the wazoo if you import it.  So, the best way to do it is buy it there and bring it over, or have someone who’s coming over bring it for you.  But there is no one to do this in my case.  Anyway, my friend Ronnie said that’s B.S. nowadays, and especially if you’re just buying a desktop (I don’t need a monitor, speakers or keyboard) you can get fast and powerful machines here for a reasonable price.  He gave me the number of the place where he just bought his wife one, so I’m going to try them I think.  That is, after I log into Google Wave tomorrow and follow the instructions that my friend and programmer extraordinaire Ms. Babble sent me to possibly rescue my current desktop in a way that recovers all my data.

C’mon, c’mon…big bucks, no Whammies …!!….