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So... A few weeks back, Dell was having a one-day sale on a laptop… - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[May. 1st, 2007|10:40 am]

A few weeks back, Dell was having a one-day sale on a laptop that would be a good replacement for my desktop. An AMD Turion X2 TL-56 processor, clamped onto an Inspiron 1501 infrastructure. My desktop processor is an AMD 2000+ (running at 1800mhz), and the motherboard sound and IDE are both untrustworthy (but I think the IDE was just a bad hard drive), so I've been using a Creative PCI sound card and running a SATA150 card and hard drive. I could have gotten by with this system for a few more months, but for two problems.

First, it couldn't play an iTunes video. Second, it couldn't play Sacred Underworld zoomed out without a lot of video-stuttering. Sacred is three or four years old, now. It was time to replace the clunker with new stuff.

The laptop isn't ideal... the memory isn't dual-channel ("clamped onto an Inspiron 1501 infrastructure" is literal, here), but it's a huge step up from where I was (two processor cores, each one running as fast as my old processor)... and it turns out that, while the video card promises 256 meg of memory, it actually has 128 meg onboard, and 128 meg shared. This probably means the lack of dual channel memory is more serious than it had seemed.

At the same time, I'm past the point of wanting a speed demon for me to do my writing and connection to servers. There just aren't many things I do that require a lot of computing power. While I'm geek enough to hold my own among database pros, the things I love are things that don't require computing power. I want to learn to help people grow, heal, and be happy.

What's been strange is my trying to copy stuff over from my old desktop to the laptop.

I'm a packrat of data. "Oh no!" I think. "What if I end up failing to copy over that brilliant essay that could change the world if I could only get the right people to read it?" Well, I've finally accepted something.

There's nothing I've written that is all that brilliant... certainly nothing that I couldn't duplicate, given time and energy.

I finally made sure I have a copy of the novel I wrote some ten years ago (that will go forever unpublished, in large part due to my inability to write dialog that doesn't sound like me speaking through the character's mouths), and started to stop worrying about everything else. The novel... well, I could probably re-write it, but it's a lot of work to get that many thousands of words out.

Everything else - and I mean *everything* else - can end up in the bit bucket I suppose. I don't mean I'm throwing it all away, I just mean, eh, if it doesn't get copied over, it doesn't get copied over. Big deal.

I'm thinking I might start cleaning up my writing... putting it into categories, deleting the chaff, realizing I don't have much left to categorize, decide that maybe I'm being too hard on myself calling this particular set of essays chaff, realizing that, honestly, they're preachy and nowhere near as inspired as they might have felt once, etc..

But first, and foremost, I'm getting ready to retire my old desktop, to decide that, whatever else is on the drive, well, that's okay... if I lose it, I haven't lost anything irreplaceable.

In the meantime, I'm still making a backup or two, just in case :-).

[User Picture]From: essaying
2007-05-01 06:36 pm (UTC)
This is a totally irrelevant, although also consumer-oriented, question: What kind of food dehydrator do you use, and would you recommend it?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2007-05-01 07:09 pm (UTC)
I use this one (Amazon link); if I'd been rich, I'd have gone with a better model but the same (Nesco) brand. This one isn't that bad, and it came well reviewed, but I think if you take the next step up, you get temperature control (and a bit more power).
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[User Picture]From: kightp
2007-05-01 07:55 pm (UTC)
*nod* A lot of people would probably say "Oh, nooooo, don't ditch your old stuff, you never know when you might need it!" But a hard drive crash a few years back taught me that, like my physical possessions, all those words are a lot less valuable to me now than I always thought they'd be.

Oh, I freaked out at the time ... but since then, I've realized that I've never actually missed anything I lost for more than a few "gee, I know I've got that around here somewhere" seconds (and that usually for things I never really valued, like old minutes of a theater board meeting). The very few things I've written that I want to keep, I've got on paper: An impermanent archive, to be sure, but isn't everything?

I've come to think that what's really valuable aren't the words I've written, but the insights that led me to write them, and the processes I went through to get them down, on paper or screen. And that's stuff's all in my own internal storage, accessible at the flick of a synapse.
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