Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dull Computer Tasks

Well, I'm typing this from the floor of my study, where I've set up my shiny new computer. The old one isn't really powerful enough (memory or speed) to handle animation work for/with the school, and the boys needed a replacement for the ageing and temperamental laptop that they've been working from here at home. The connection was obvious: update time.

Of course, it's never so simple as that, is it?

I sent out a half-dozen requests for quotes, to a range of Launceston-based suppliers. Three of them actually replied. Of the three, two completely ignored every word I wrote about "please don't bother trying to sell me security-ware or antivirus wares. I will manage that for myself", and tacked prices for enormous, kludgy Suites for the Lazy Brain-Dead User onto the quote. (Yes, Norton. I'm looking at you.)

That left only one. They seemed good -- the quote was very reasonable, the machine fit the specs I requested, there was some useful advice and alternative suggestions attached. There was something that struck me as odd about the phone number, though. When I rang them, I figured out what it was: they're based in Hobart.


Still, they offered a three-year hardware warranty, and they do have a Launceston office to handle service issues. And they were truly helpful. So -- faced with such a mighty plethora of choices, I got up at 0630 this morning, and made the drive to Hobart. I was there for about fifteen minutes, picking up the system and handling the paperwork. And then I turned around and drove all the way back again.

Three hours either way. Eh. You get that. I liked the people I dealt with. I'm confident that if something goes astray, I'll get help out of 'em.

Of course, that doesn't alter the fact that migrating all of my working software and documents from one computer to another is a big, fat, hairy job. And on top of that, I've allowed myself to be persuaded to try Windows 7. (According to all sources, it's what Vista was supposed to be. Except functional.) But this system has a dual license. I can revert to XP if Win 7 sucks.

So far, so good. I've set up the browser. I've hooked up the network cable: no troubles getting online. I've ported my weird little email client through, and made it work. I've brought trusty old Yeah Write across, and installed Abiword. I've transferred tonnes of old documents and photos without a hitch.

I reckon I've got about two more days worth of this kind of work before I can hand the old machine over to the lads and plonk this one down on my desktop. Boring, boring, boring...