It's done. I'm writing to you from a new computer that is running smooth as silk compared to the one on which I wrote my previous post. In many ways, it's exciting to get a new computer. In many ways, it is stressful. To change computers is like moving out of a house—you worry that you've undoubtedly left something of great importance behind at “the old place.” Did I really take everything I need? If something occurs to me soon enough, I can just hook up the old computer again and get what I want. But, eventually, the old computer will be gone. What will be left behind? Yikes!
So, the most exciting thing to me about this new computer is the hard drive capacity. It's a 1TB hard drive. That's one terabyte, or almost 1,000 gigabytes. Our old computer only held 80 GB! The reason the oversized hard drive excites me is that I can put TONS of music on it. Believe it or not, our old hard drive filled up with pictures and music, and I eventually found myself deleting music for the sake of photographs. (After all, in many instances at least, I owned the original CDs and could just play the music directly from them. But there's something nice about ripping CDs to your hard drive and having them immediately accessible at any given time. For a music buff who owns over half a thousand CDs, such CD-ripping is a tremendous benefit.) With this new computer, there shouldn't be much worry about running out of hard drive space anytime soon.
This new computer also has a quad-core processor (AMD brand, 2.50 GHz) and 4GB of RAM. That should handle anything I would ever throw at it. Of course, the new computer is running on Windows Vista, which apparently requires a lot more of your system than Windows XP did, which is what I had before. It's also the 64-bit version of Vista, whatever difference that makes. So, taking that into account, I might not have made quite as extensive a leap as it sounds like I have made in terms of available resources. But it was still quite a jump.
Now, before it sounds like I'm living the high life, I remind you that our old computer was nigh unto death, and the only reason it was still up and running is because a saintly friend had given me the resources and know-how to resurrect it from the (very near) dead a few years ago. With a great tax break coming, we figured we might as well get a new computer as soon as we found a good deal rather than waiting for the old one to die out completely. As luck would have it, we found an incredible deal almost immediately. (I had been daydreaming and looking into new computers for a while anyway, so I already had some good leads.) Given the amazing specs of this new computer, we paid very little. Little enough, in fact, that I have some concern that the quality of computer we got can't possibly be that great. It's not a brand name with which I was previously familiar, but it comes with a 2-year warranty, which is comforting. Having dealt with computer warranties before, I know it will be no picnic if I actually have to utilize the warranty, but at least I will have that option. And for a year longer than most warranties, from what I’ve seen. Yes, I thought about going with a more familiar company, but even the low end computers from familiar brand names were not much cheaper than the one we purchased. For a few extra bucks, we got a top-of-the-line system as far as specifications are concerned. Let’s just hope the computer itself holds out until I’m done with my Ph.D. program. 2012 or bust!