Friday, June 19, 2009

Starting A Computer Replacement Fund

I should trust my sinuses not the weatherman. Well, the weatherman wasn't totally off just a little underwhelming with his 10% rain prediction. It rained for most of the day at my work. I didn't get that much rain at my RV, only collected a few inches in my water tanks but every little bit helps. I was going to empty my jacuzzi and use the water for my trees this weekend. Now it's not as critical but the trees would appreciate it anyway. There is no more rain in the forecast for the weekend.

I think my computer might be dying. You know how computers make noise when they are working? Well, mine has started to make this rhythmic noise and it is getting faster and faster each day. I think it will burn itself up soon. Perhaps I should start a computer replacement fund. Can I plug my keyboard and monitor in to one of those little netbooks? I know that can be done with a regular laptop. I think that would be ideal, then I can have a portable computer for travel and a full size monitor and keyboard at home.

If I actually put some stuff on ebay this weekend maybe I can get some money for that computer fund. So far I have just been shuffling stuff around, like books. I found some Little House On The Prairie books but did I sell them, no, I put them in another box because I want to read them again. That is kind of silly because pretty much every library in the US has a full set of those books. There is no reason for me to hoard them in a cardboard box in my mobile home, and yet I still do. If it's a choice between a new computer or some old books, I know I want a new computer. I just have to keep thinking of it that way.

10 comments:

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Uh oh. At least computers aren't anywhere near as expensive they used to be. Netbooks keep getting cheaper but add more features it seems. I looked at one about a week ago in a store, and the keyboard wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. Good luck.

Books that I really like are so hard to get rid of.

Daizy said...

I've been looking at the Best Buy ad. They are so much cheaper than they used to be. And anything that I buy will be so much faster than my computer. It has 128mb of RAM. I added more but it still won't play a video without pausing to buffer every 10 seconds.

Back when I had money and no goals I started collecting books from my childhood. Now it doesn't seem like a great idea anymore.

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

If it had 128 MB, you probably got your money's worth out of it by now.

Daizy said...

Since it was a free computer from a friend, I would say I definitely got my money out of it! I did spend $100 for Windows XP. It came with ME and it wouldn't stay connected to the internet for some strange reason. The upgrade fixed it. Then I spent $20 on more memory. It's been a good computer for 3 1/2 years.

bugbear said...

That sound is your hard drive starting to drive. Just find out what kind and size of drive is in there and replace your hard drive and you're good to go. Shouldn't cost more than $80.

Then take a hard drive transfer utility and exactly duplicate the hard drive image onto your new drive.

Plug it in and you are done.

$80 total.

Daizy said...

Thanks bugbear. Can I wait until it dies or do I have to catch it before it dies? Does the hard drive have anything to do with being able to watch video or is that controlled by the RAM only?

bugbear said...

You would want to transfer the contents of the drive *before* it dies or it will cost fancy "drive recovery service" time (like $200 or more) and not be worth it unless you have valuable info on there.

AS to having the video having to buffer for 10 seconds: that's either because your download speed is too small or because you have too little RAM (and I'd say anything less than 512 MB is way too small).

That being said, video takes a lot of bandwidth to download in the best of times. We have 3 year old not-powerful computers with 1GB at work and they take a good 5-10 seconds to buffer video even using their DSL internet line for video downloads.

At home, with dialup, I don't even bother with video or, often, even with images on web pages.

I would suggest borrowing someone's more powerful computer (maybe a laptop that you know does well on video) and trying it at your house and seeing how much better it is. Then you can make a better informed decision about whether to upgrade.

If you decide to upgrade, decent desktop computers can be had for $400 no problem these days, sometimes even for $300.

Try TigerDirect.com--I get a lot of computer stuff for work from them.

Daizy said...

Thanks for the info bugbear. I looked at hard drives on the new egg site today. They were under $40 for a basic one. Qwest just sent out a notice for 2G free back up storage online so I am doing that now. The only thing that I will lose is autocad. I don't really use it at home anyway. I would like to be able to watch tv shows online and DVDs without the annoying stops but it isn't a need, just a want. And it would be fun to be able to take it with me when I travel. I had planned to get a laptop after the mortgage was paid off, this is just a little earlier than I expected. I'll think about it some more...and if I stop posting you'll know I thought about it a little too long!

KoBold said...

Dying cooler fan bearings make noise too. Fans are relatively easy (and inexpensive) to replace.
On the other hand, the components of 3-4 year old computers are prone to give up sooner or later. And replacements are difficult to find: the older the computer, the more difficult.
Gotta find the point when buying a new one costs less than kepping the old one fixed up.
Dropbox (www.getdropbox.com) has a nice online backup service.

Daizy said...

Kobold, I'm pretty sure it's the hard drive because the light flashes with the noise. The computer is very old. I got it in 2006 but the guy who gave it to me had it for 3 years or so. I do plan to get an new one, I was hoping to squeeze another year and a half out of it though. I really only use it for the internet right now.