Friday, January 29, 2010

computer changeover coming

It's always a stressful thing to contemplate, but Ben convinced me that his old desktop (which he never uses since he migrated to a small, very powerful laptop) is a better computer than my main development machine, which has been loyally running daily for about 4 years.

More memory, faster processor, better video, etc. I haven't had any problems with my current, very reliable Dell, but moving to a freshly-rebuilt, totally clean PC is too good to pass up.

There were some hurdles to eliminating the few issues with his machine, to wit:

1) It had a very noisy fan, but Ben found a free utility called SpeedFan, that monitors CPU heat and adjusts the fan level accordingly. Most of the time, it's now a whisper, occasionally rising to the level of a murmer.

2) The PC would not wake from Hibernation. I use Hibernate all the time, so this was a problem. He updated drivers on all peripherals and finally ended up flashing the BIOS on the motherboard - problem solved!

3) The built-in Ethernet port was flaky (i.e. not working). Ben said that the guy he bought the unit from admitted this from the start, so he's been using a USB WiFi connector with it. Yesterday, I made a pilgrimage to FreeGeek, and bought a PCI Ethernet card for $5. I popped it in the morning, plugged it directly into my router, and, voila, I am in business.

Now comes the onerous task of moving all my files and applications over, but I just might take the next big step (I've already installed and tested my super-critical apps), to unplug my old computer, plug in the new one, and, little by little, get all my files and apps moved over.

It's a little scary.


megan said...

Hi Barry! Aren't you justa klesmer piano player? Who's Ben?
yours, Megan Hughes

Barry in Portland said...

Hi, Megan. Yes, it's me.

Ben's my older son - didn't you try to teach him a few things, or was that Dylan (who's now living in Ashland)?

Are you still teaching? Your kids must be enormous by now.