A New Computer

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Our current desktop computer runs Windows 2000 and consists of several components between 3 and 6 years old (not counting the hard drives, which are regularly upgraded to meet ever-growing space demands). It has problems. There are some wacky incompatibilities I'm aware of and others I'm not. So, I finally decided to retire that machine to other duties (a Linux for-play box? MythTV has intrigued me) and build a new system.

So, our new desktop system consists of:

  • Antec Sonata case (it looks very cool and is so quiet!)
  • Pentium 4 running at 2.6 GHz on an 800 MHz FSB
  • Abit IS7 motherboard
  • 1 GB of Corsair ValueSelect RAM
  • VisionTek Xtasy Radeon 9600 XT video card with 128 MB of video RAM
  • Mitsumi combo drive: 7-in-1 USB 2.0 card reader and floppy drive (a pretty slick device)
  • Hitachi DeskStar 7K250 80 GB, 7200 rpm, 8 MB cache, SATA-connected hard drive (the "c:\" drive, holding Windows XP Home and all the other programs we use)

In addition I'm adding some of the relatively new hardware in the current machine: a Christmas-gift DVD+/-R/W drive, a Western Digital 200 GB, 7200 rpm, 8 MB cache "Special Edition" hard drive for the data drive, and a Maxtor 160 GB, 7200 rpm, 8 MB cache DiamondMax+9 hard drive for the backup drive. I'll also use our Viewsonic A90F+ 19" monitor and the Kensington Expert Mouse with this new system.

I decided that while I was spending money I'd spend a little more and get a Microsoft Natural Multimedia Keyboard (which is more similar to what I use at work) and a new set of speakers: Creative's I-Trigue L3500. I've been using the same crappy $25 computer speakers for about 9 years so I figured it was time for something nicer.

This new machine also provides powered FireWire ports; the old machine has unpowered FireWire ports. With the old machine I had to swap the iPod dock between the AC adaptor (for recharging) and the computer (for syncing). Powered ports will let me leave the dock attached to the computer where it can both charge and sync.

I'm still doing setup kinds of things like copying files, installing programs and sharing printers across our network, but it all seems to be working well. Much faster, too!

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