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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Memory Expansion

Back in January, 2006, wife No.3. arrived home from a trip to visit her mother, in a little village near Surat Thani, in Thailand. With her, and why, I still do NOT know, she had a brand-new laptop computer. The computer was, ostensibly, for me to replace a rather dog-eared and complaining PC which I had persisted with for over five years.

Initially, I was delighted with the new acquisition, as one never looks a gift-horse in the mouth, or at least, the old saying goes.

Upon closer inspection, the little laptop looked smart, and appeared willing to take on the job of providing my porthole to the blogosphere. It had 80 Gbs of HD memory (which I have never even used half of), a 1.73 Ghz Intel Celeron Processor, and barely 512 Mbs of RAM. So, it was passable, and I liked the compactness, portability and inbuilt mouse-pad. I was flying! What was even better was that we sold the 'old' PC for more than we paid for it!

So, here I was, with a super-doopa new laptop, cruising along the airwaves, thinking I was Bill Gates. I never had any 'real' problems with it, either, until just recently, when it started making funny noises, too. When I boot it up of a morning, it makes a sound like a disc spinning. Maybe the HD is starting to feel like me - past its use-by date! The little trooper had, for all intents and purposes, worked like a navvy for 5 years, 12-18 hours a day, at the hands of a less than competent driver/task-master - me! It's done a fantastic job, but everything has a finite life-term, that I know of.

I believe that all equipment of this nature, has an in-built term of use. Eighty thousand hours seems like a good figure. That's way more than I used it (12 hours/day/5 years-odd = roughly, 21800 hrs), but its 'HOW' you use it that has a large bearing on that figure, too - rough, gentle, etc. I believe that 'how' you use a laptop equates to a factor of 5 times, which says my laptop is, in human terms, approaching 110 years of age, and ready for the aged-care facility at the local Mater Misericordiae hospital for centurion computers. I'll probably see it there, soon. Do they use computers for basket-weaving?

So, when the noises started, I immediately thought I'd better do some backing-up of what I need, in case it falls over on me. I initially thought of CDs, DVDs, Memory sticks etc.

Now, just up the road from my place, is a fabulous 'techie-type' shop, with more stuff in it, than an eider-down pillow. So I ventured through the doors. I became immediately lost, mind-boggled, and bewildered. (I really do have to get out, more). The equipment these stores have now, is unbelievable. Finally, I met a salesman, and timidly asked him where I would find what I wanted - or, at least, what I thought I wanted. Ha.

He asked me whether I wanted a 500Gbs, or a Terabyte? "What?"

Apparently, since I was last in a 'techie-store', (1977), boxes called 'External Hard Drives' have been developed. I thought when man walked on the moon, we'd seen the last of the technology boom. How wrong was I?

Bear in mind, my laptop had 80 Gbs in Total - partitioned, too! Here I was making a decision on 500 or 1000 Gbs of HD ! What would I use it all for? I don't have that many photos. I don't play games, and I don't watch movies on my computer. Yes, I know - boring! The salesman said; "It's so easy to hook-up, too. Just plug it in and start saving! It's already formatted!" Of course, that's what I wanted. Why not get an External Hard Drive? Mmmm! It wouldn't save the day for my computer, but it would for my storage/back-up requirements! Go get 'em, Roberto!

So, A$89 later, I was the proud owner of a Terabyte External HD drive thingo. My main worry was why a 500Gbs model was the A$10 cheaper! "You mean I will get an extra 500Gbs for only A$10?" I'm no mathematician, but even I could figure out two things:

  • I must be getting ripped-off on 500Gbs models, and ...
  • I am a very smart shopper - I just got a Terabyte HD - an extra 500Gbs, for A$10 more!

Then, after safely depositing my purchase in the back of my friend's car, we decided to investigate the nearby shop, which was also a 'techie-type' shop. Again, lotsa stuff - including exactly the same Terabyte External HD drive that I just bought - for A$79.00 - A$10 cheaper! Needless to say, I felt sick. Being a pensioner, $10 is $10 (4 meals). I ponced-on back to 'my' shop, told them the story, and guess what? That's right - they refunded the difference! Happy camper - again!

So, as an expression of gratitude, I bought two brand-new laptops from them. One for my beautiful, intelligent daughter, who has started University this year, and one for me!

Of course, as I was in the driver's seat on this purchase, I would stick to my age-old theory: - Make sure that the computer has...

  • the right Processor
  • adequate Memory
  • a dedicated Graphics card

I bought 2 x eMachines eME640G Notebooks (I haven't told Jessie, yet)!
The 'specs' look like:

Packaged Weight (kgs) 4.04
Battery Type 6 cell
Camera Type Integrated Webcam
Display Type LED
HDMI Out Yes
Hard Drive Size 500GB
Memory 2GB
Memory Card Slot Yes
Number Of USB Ports 3
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Optical Drive DVD Super Multi Drive (Dual Layer)
PC Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 512MB
PC Processor AMD Athlon II
PC Processor Speed 2.2 GHz
Screen Size (Inch) 15.6
Widescreen Yes
Wireless Acer Wireless 802.11b/g/Draft-N

So, now I'll have 1500 Gbs of HD memory, in total, and a new computer, which is tough enough to handle my requirements, and could, in effect, run a few small 3rd World countries! All I have to do is figure out what I want to use it all for.

Delivery is later today, or tomorrow.


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