Complicated Computer Affairs

J. should be forging ahead non-stop with my mugging, but he’s been distracted by a couple of things. One of those things has to do with the computer.

Note: This entry is a little tedious and self-indulgent in the description of the oddities of J.’s computer systems. You have been warned.

As previously mentioned, the Gigabyte motherboard of my desktop was fried in an electrical surge brought about by my brother messing around with the power supply (not the P.S.U.). Having had the system undergo extensive testing, it was somewhat of a relief to learn that only the motherboard and one stick of 512MB ram had been affected.

Herein lies the dilemma. The graphics card (Nvidia 6800 GT with Arctic Cooling) is not PCI-Express, it’s AGP. The CPU is an AMD 939 3500+. The Sim Lim Square vendors no longer sell motherboards with AGP, having all converted to PCI-Express. So to replace the system, he’d have to replace the graphics card and the motherboard. Hey, why stop there? Why not replace the CPU too? J. was thinking it’s time for a switch to Intel.

It gets better.

In the interim, J. pulls out the experimental laptop, an old hp pavilion ze1110 just loaded with Ubuntu. Fortunately, he was able to connect the 17-inch LG monitor and USB mouse to work easily. The 160-GB backup hard disk didn’t hurt either when it came to backed up music and work. J. started considering what to do for a new laptop.

The brother’s Acer Travelmate Travelmate 8100 (Model: 8104WLMI) suffered an inability to power on and was sent to the Acer centre for repair. The decision was made for a repair (replacement of mainboard) which cost a whopping $800. Only thing is, the brother had to return to Canada before the computer was fixed… so he bought a new one. Guess who inherits the old one?

Today, J. went to collect the laptop. In terms of software and data, it is in an atrocious state. J. rarely sees a hard disk so fragmented. Furthermore, the hard disk was formated as FAT32… fairly decent… unless like the brother you choose to download large media files.

So what’s the plan now? J. was thinking to sell the graphics card second hand on eBay, except that the price of a spanking new AGP Nvidia 7600GS is $189, making the pricing on this 2-year-old Nvidia 6800 GT a bit unattractive. If anyone is interested, though it is still in good order.

Instead of investing in parts for a new desktop, J will stick to the two laptops, both of which need a bit of work:
1. hp pavilion ze1110, running Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) with no wireless router or battery. Requires direct connection to both the router and a power supply.
2. Acer Travelmate 8100, running Windows XP, but requiring maintenance and having difficulty connecting to the home router network.

J. loves using Ubuntu, so the old system is a… pleasure system, if you will.
J. uses a Pocket PC, and the sync-ing for Ubuntu’s not good at all, so he’s keeping Windows XP around. J. also uses a number of Skyscape programs, which are present in his downloads folder in Windows XP format.

P.S. To simplify matters, issues involving the router, printer and the kid’s computer are left out.

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