geek life, this and that

Confessions of a PC owner

I’m sitting here waiting for some stuff to finish uninstalling from my computer (spring cleaning happens EVERYWHERE in this house), so I thought I’d make some observations about my almost six-year-old computer.

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I’m not what you might call computer savvy. I’m very social-network-savvy (at least, I think I am), but when it comes to the nuts and bolts (and bytes and bits) of the computer itself, I have to call in an expert every time. That being said, I can do the basic things that help keep my computer functioning, and I can tell when I need help.

So here’s my confession:
I really like my nearly-six-year-old PC.
It was cheap (we’re talking a $450 desktop, including the monitor and keyboard) and considered an “off brand” (it’s an Acer) and we got it because both of our laptops just quit working and we needed something with which to access internet. No smart phones back in 2007 for us.
I’ve never installed anything more than basic software on it. No fancy photo editing, no video editing, just some office programs and an anti-virus.
Now that I have an iPad, I’ve also uninstalled ALL of the games from it. It’s bare bones, is my point.

But all of that aside, it’s been a great little computer. What keeps it working now is an external harddrive that’s always turned on (and all of our files access from that). The biggest problem I’ve had is that software has just gotten too big for it. Heck, my antivirus takes up more space than any other file, but I wouldn’t run this thing without it. And that is frustrating.

You see, I’ve taken very good care of this computer. As good of care as someone with my basic skills can manage, and I think that having a relatively well running computer of this age is pretty good. Especially when I go look at computers now and can’t believe the cost of them. I thought technology was supposed to get cheaper with age? Apparently not.

Cheap laptops are still available, but I’m afraid they will have the same problems right off the bat as this desktop: namely that software (and websites and photos that I upload) will simply overwhelm them. But we’ve been computer shopping just in case, getting ready for this one to finally kick the bucket. I don’t want to replace it, really, but I was thinking a new computer might be a necessity whether I want it or not.

That being said, I’m sitting here cleaning up the computer and have found a LOT of hidden programs (like a Tour Application from 2007– who needs THAT?) and in the process of deleting all of this stuff (why didn’t I do this ages ago??) I’ve cleaned up a lot of space.

We’re talking a LOT of program space.

Suddenly this little, old computer is finding that it can run again, and run at very reasonable speeds with the lovely fiber-optic internet we’ve got.

And let me tell you, this PC owner is breathing a huge sigh of relief right now.

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