Thursday, January 24, 2008

Computers, Politics, and the Economy?

Computer memory. I've been thinking about it a lot as my 7 year old PC has only 256 MB and has been causing all kinds of trouble with different browsers hanging or freezing every couple of hours. I've researched the problems and done what I can to alleviate the problem, removing plugins known to leak memory, wiping out any adware or spyware, defragging my hard drive, removing applications from start-up. In short everything I can think of or recommended by people who know more than me.

About the only thing left to save this machine would be more memory. It can hold a whopping 512 MB total, a pittance these days but when I upgraded, doubling to 256 from 128 seemed like such a smart move and all that was necessary. After all, I didn't do much more than web surf, email, post on message boards and write a couple personal web pages that didn't use fancy scripts. That's still all I do, I'm not into gaming or utube (youtube? heck I'm not even sure how they spell it!) How can I be when I live in the swamp and there is only dial-up for the likes of me? Video is not an option!

So anyway, I've been checking into buying more memory. Not easy for a machine this old. Very few companies still make the flavor of SDRAM my system needs. One site, after using their scanner, says they don't sell any.
Of course, it also claims I am already using the most memory possible for this machine. Yet elsewhere on their site is a chip that might work. (Assuming CL=2 is compatible, there is nothing on the Dell chip mentioning CL anything.)

Dell, whom I bought my PC from originally, has one that works. Costs about $55-60. To max out I could get 2. But do I really want to spend $120 when a Dell ad in the paper today showed a new machine with 1 GB of memory only costing $449 plus shipping?!! My current supper slow machine cost $1069 back in 2001 and at the time I was getting a bargain! How much money to I want to throw at it now? That 128 MB upgrade back in 2001 only cost $16 extra.

So I've been going back and forth caught in an infinite do-loop thinking yes, I'll do it, then no, don't waste the money, wait till I can afford a new machine. (Or till this one locks up permanently and I have no choice....) ARGH!!!! Perhaps I shouldn't spend any money at all, and end the aggravation of making a decision, after all, I haven't given my latest "fix" a chance to prove itself. I downloaded and installed the Opera browser only last night, thus far, no significant hanging...

Problem solved?

Then watching the news this afternoon I see that the politicians want to look as though they're doing something smart and useful for the people and the economy by giving everyone and their aunt a magical $300! Oh yes, don't get me started on the stupidity of the democrats who came up with this and the idiot republicans who went along (all of them in fear of the next election, screw the fact it is little help to the economy in the long run.) But if they're going to give me"free" money (just wait till they raise taxes as soon as the elections are over to pay for it.) why don't I combine it with that $120 memory upgrade, throw in a little more cash (I'll buy less snack food for 3 months) and get that new, fancier machine?

Yes, perhaps I should do my level best to stimulate the economy! Of course, it would have been nicer if there was a big computer company in Michigan so I could stimulate our economy instead of Texas'..... But thems the breaks!

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