They don't build them like they used to

So my notebook computer died.  It was only 2.5 years old and it had almost never been used as a portable computer; it spent most of its time tethered to the A/C adapter and the mouse.

It was a not bad computer, feature-wise, but I did have to buy a notebook cooler because it would overheat when I played games.  The battery stopped working one day, but that wasn't a big deal because I never moved the notebook.  I only bought a notebook because I needed to be able to put it away back when I lived in a condo.

Anyway, when your computer dies it's hard to write infrequent blog posts and do all those other important things I like to do with my computer.  So I had to buy a new one.  Problem was, I didn't know what to buy since I normally research my computer purchases on my computer before I buy them.  I was in a situation I've never been in before: needing to buy a new computer and being without a current one.  Ever since my parents first bought the XT back in '87 there's been a PC in the house.  I started feeling twitchy after about 6 hours.  I had to do something, and fast.

The problem with replacing a notebook is that your choices are A) another notebook (yech) or B) a whole new PC.  I opted for a desktop PC because I like desktops better.  But that meant I had to buy EVERYTHING, since I didn't have an old Desktop that would contribute a few parts here and there.  Actually I had to make a second trip to the store, because I planned to re-use my old DVD burner from my barely-working HTPC, but it turns out that burner is IDE and "modern" motherboards don't have IDE anymore, not even one port.  I don't really miss it but it is annoying.

I ended up getting
  • Asus P6X58D-E motherboard
  • Intel i7 950
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • ATI Radeon HD 5850
  • CoolerMaster case
  • Samsung BX2335 23" HD LED display
  • Windows 7 64-bit
 The display is nice and the increased speed of this PC is nice too.  Widows 7 is an improvement over Vista and XP.  So overall I'm pleased.  One thing that struck me is how long it took to put all this together.  Some things have not changed since 1995 when I used to assemble PCs for a living, but one notable change is that almost everything is integrated on the motherboard now.  That saves some time.  Installing CPUs (the first time, anyway) is as easy as it's ever been; put it in the socket, close the lever, snap the fan down, done.  The video cards are huge these days, and there's lots of power connectors everywhere, but what seemed to take the longest for me was getting all the extra crap plugged into the motherboard.  Every fan, button, external SATA connecter, etc, needs to be plugged into the right spot.  My case has a bunch of external features on it (hard drive dock, USB, eSATA, audio, etc) and those all need to be hooked up.  Once it's done, though, it's a nice case with easy-to-access features.  If only the SATA dock was hot-pluggable (maybe it can be, but it didn't work for me).

The annoying thing is that I didn't want to buy a computer right now, I was hoping to keep the notebook a bit longer.  Maybe I erred when I named it "Ephemeron".  I won't repeat that mistake again.  The new PC's name is "Eternia".