Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Aging Computer Blues

My desktop PC is starting to show its age. When I bought a Gateway Pentium 4 1.5 Ghz computer in December 2000, it was state-of-the-art. I've weathered two hard drive failures (luckily they were gradual failures that gave me a chance to do a final back-up as they died) and countless crashes (it is Windows, after all). On the other hand, I have everything I want installed on it, and it works fine most of the time.

I almost replaced it in December (for tax reasons, I always end up buying computers in December when I discover that I had "too much" profit for the year). Since I was on the road most of the month researching my book, I didn't get around to it. After two inexplicable crashes in the past week, I have a feeling that I'm going to regret it.

John Dvorak's PC magazine online column often has interesting and amusing insights. While clearing out a backlog of e-mail, I found a gem called The Ten Axioms of Modern Computing. Every experienced user will find himself agreeing with nearly all of these. The last one really hit home:
COMPUTERS CRASH MORE AS THEY GET OLDER.This is part of a scheme hatched by the hardware and software companies to get you to buy new machines. It's a slow degenerative process that you can do nothing about it. Nobody is really sure how it works. We're studying it.
My guess is that it's mostly due to so much garbage being installed, uninstalled, reinstalled, etc. over the years.

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