Sunday, January 09, 2005

full capacity

remember way back when my heatsink broke for the second time & i had to get a new one? well, when installing that second heat sink barry had to move one of my ram cards, which apparently didn't get reseated properly. even worse, it was the bigger of the two cards (256mb), so i've been operating at 128mb. winxp barely functions with 128mb of ram. anyway, i finally got back in there & reseated all my memory, so once again i'm back at 384mb. positively zippy, compared to the past couple weeks.

and remember way, way back when i vomited on my keyboard? well i finally bought a new one: all this time i've been working with a borrowed one. my new keyboard is a memorex mx3300. it was $16.99 at compusa, with plenty of extra features. i'm adjusting to it (a couple keys are ever so slightly moved from where i expect them to be, but not as bad as with the one i was borrowing from barry, which was also memorex... specifically the caps lock is closer to the A than i'm used to).

so i'm excited to be back where i was in terms of home computing, but i'm still working with a machine that was built in 2000 or 2001. at the time it was fairly high end, but by current standards it's a piece of shit. i've decided that it needs a major upgrade soon: new motherboard, new processor, new memory, dvd burner, probably a newer video card. i'd like a new printer at some point as well. i'll keep my current hard drives, & i was thinking i'd keep my current soundcard also, but i might even consider upgrading that if i do everything else & there's still money. it's a good card, but not up to today's prosumer cards.

i was wondering how to pay for all this (i have plenty in savings but generally hate dipping in to my savings account) & connie suggested using my tax return. i hadn't even considered that, but it seems like such an obvious idea that i almost have to use it. i should get $800 or more for my refund, judging from past years, which would be plenty to replace most of my computer guts.

i'm very interested in the athlon 64 chip series. that seems to be the best family of processors around right now, though my information about chips is probably several months old by this point so i'm not too familiar with the exact chips that are out now. (my most current info comes from working on the maxpc 2005 buyer's guide.) i don't need anything bleeding edge; the 64fx series is probably overkill. but a nice slower athlon 64 chip like the 3000 series with a good mobo should suit me very well for $300 or so, leaving lots of refund money left over for memory, dvd burner, etc. i just need to get my w2s first so i can actually file my tax return...

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