|State of the machine
||[Jan. 10th, 2012|10:05 pm]
Long-term readers of this blog will remember that the computer I'm currently using has been playing up for the last three years or so. Which is probably not all that much of a surprise - by now it's about seven and a half years old and has made several trips in to the shop to be fixed, with the shop usually unable to diagnose its problems. By now most of its innards have been rebuilt or replaced and it still plays up (typically by shutting down without warning while I'm working on it, with other problems including regularly running chkdsk on startup, data files losing their integrity and entire folders full of emails vanishing without trace). By now I think I see why most offices replace their computer equipment after three years, whether they need to or not.
So, last September / October I finally lost what little patience I had left and ordered a new computer. Parts of it started arriving during late October, and by mid November there was a machine sitting on the new desk that could almost masquerade as a computer in a dim light. It even starts up like a computer, and has all that wishy washing new look Windows looking stuff on it that as soon as the computer is actually finished, I'll tinker around with until I can find a way to make it look like Windows 98, like I did with my work computer (which, like the new computer, runs Windows 7).
(As a digression: No, I didn't build it myself. I don't actually have a clue about setting up a computer or Windows or anything like that, which is part of why buying a computer is such a complicated and highly off-pissing process. I have to wait for people to know what they are doing to do what they know how to do. And I am, in theory, an IT professional. This terrifies anyone who actually knows me. A few days ago our freshly hired Group Manager was brought around to meet our department and (trying to show an interest in his staff) asked us what degrees we had or were working on. Boss has degrees and post-graduate diplomas coming out of his ears. New Boy has a couple of degrees and is working on other stuff. Then it was my turn to say what I'd done. "School Cert. English." (pause) (longer pause) (deathly silence).)
But the latest hold-up on the New Computer front isn't even something that someone who actually knows about computers can fix. Currently, so I am told, there is an international shortage of disk drives, because most of the factories that make them are in Thailand and got flooded out late last year. So, currently, the new machine has its boot disk (which was available at the time) but neither its data archive disk, nor its backup disk. So, until disk drives become available again and I'm able to get my data transferred off the old machine and on to the new one, it's fairly much a cleverly designed computer-shaped ornament with a few programs installed on it that it came with (plus a Home Use Program version of Office, which means that I have been able to begin one of my database projects on it. What's holding up doing any of the other pending database projects is that the new computer has yet to learn to talk nicely to the wireless router. It is my considered opinion that 'networking' should actually be spelt with two 'o's and no 'e's).