In which I become an IT bore

What the– Steve Martin has apparently made The Pink Panther 2. Sometimes the world is far a more surreal place than I generally allow myself to believe.

Anyway, the actual point of this post was not to watch Steve Martin’s career circling the drain but to drool shamelessly over my shiny new PC.

I bought a gorgeous LCD monitor last week, replacing my 19″ Samsung with a 22″ widescreen Samsung. It’s the same height, but wider. Soooo much wider. I have no actual need for a widescreen monitor, but it does help with spreadsheets and 16:9 video looks significantly bigger. But really: pure self-indulgence of the highest order. Mmmmm….

Then, while browsing the interwebs looking for upgrades to my creaky victorian motherboard, I belatedly realised that the best chip it could possibly take is now only available second-hand on Ebay. This started me thinking a) OMG I’ve been in a coma for ten years and no-one told me, b) I have lots of money saved up because I am crap at shopping, and c) these days you can buy a whole PC pretty cost-effectively compared to the good old days when computer fairs were the way to go and everyone still thought The X Files was a pretty neat idea. So I ordered a nice new PC off Dell, and it’s a pleasure to use. No more 10 minute startup times. No more waiting five minutes after my desktop appears before I’m actually able to do anything. No more HD movie trailers that look like slideshows. Yes, I’ve been catapulted into what SF authors call “teh present”.

For record, it cost a mere £384 (excluding the £220 monitor *cough*) which frankly is only about twice what my crappy upgrades would have cost. The specs are excellent, though not out of this world:

AMD® Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5000+ (2.6 GHz)
4GB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM
256MB ATI® Radeon™ HD 2600 XT graphics card
500GB (7200rpm) SATA Hard Drive
19-in-1 Media Card Reader
Windows Vista Home Premium
DVD+- RW / CD RW Drive
Integrated 7.1 Audio

I’m not entirely sold on the bloatware that is Windows Vista but having switched off most of the annoying visual effects I’ve more or less got to grips with it. Thanks to the miracle of home networking I’ve also transferred all my old documents, emails, pictures, settings, videos and mp3s. It’s all feeling comfortingly familiar, and yet still cool and new.

This has been pointless gadget porn. We now return you to your scheduled programming.

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