I'm half the geek I used to be

No posts at all last week. None yesterday. What’s going on?Well, it’s not just my normal laziness or lack of important things to say.

Our home PC (where I write most of my posts) died two weeks ago, and I finally accepted the fact that I am no longer a hardware geek. That’s right, instead of ordering new parts and settling down for a long weekend of hardware testing, I ordered a new PC from Compaq. In the end, I’m just not willing to dedicate so much of my personal time to troubleshooting…I just want to have a working computer. over the last three years, I’ve bought two motherboards, an AMD 1900 CPU, a two new hard drives, a soundcard, a video card and even a new case. Despite all of that investment, I never went more than a week or two with some kind of computer problems. So from now on, I’m just buying off the shelf. -2 geek points.

I’m also going back to the Intel camp, after a few years in AMD land. The AMD price/performance difference really swayed me in the beginning, but the compatibility problems I’ve faced with the bleeping VIA chipset more than outweighed any cost savings. I don’t know for a fact that the AMD is to blame for the soundcard and video card problems, but I think it’s the most likely suspect. The problems abaited somewhat when I flashed the BIOS and upgraded the VIA four in one drivers…for a week or so at least. -1 Geek point.

I probably shouldn’t have ordered a Compaq as I’ve already experienced their great customer service. I accidentally ordered WinXP Home Edition on the new PC, but I figured I could just wipe it and replace it with my old licensed copy of XP Pro. No dice…wiping the OS kills the warranty. So, I figured I could just update my order so that the machine would come with XP Pro installed. No dice, you can’t change the order after it’s made. Annoying! I can understand that they can’t allow tons of last minute changes, but considering the fact that the order I placed on 3/3 wasn’t shipped until yesterday, you would have thought it possible to make an exception. The guy in customer service actually recommended that I refuse delivery, and then place a new order. Ugh! I’ve already been without a computer for almost two weeks, I can’t wait for a new order to get filled. So, I’m going to have to buy a new copy of XP pro and have an authorized service center install it. Yet more cash down the drain. Everyone told me, “buy a dell, buy a dell”, but I just hate those annoying Dell commercials.

What about all of the old hardware? Well, I’m not totally assimilated into the mainstream. I’m going to save up some money and I’ll try to rebuild it as a Linux box in the summer.