I’m posting this one from my linux box, and I should be asleep now….
I should say that I’m posting this from my shiny new (sorta) linux box. It now has a new (sorta) motherboard with a speedy little 400 mhz AMD K-6 III chip as opposed to the old 266 mhz Pentium II it was laboring under, and which is now headed toward replacing my router at some point when I run out of tweaks.
The 400 mhz AMD used to be my main computer until it was replaced by the Dell 2.4 ghz P-IV. Then it became an office “work” station, but unfortunately, it was running Win98, so not a whole lot of work ever got accomplished between crashes and LAN disconnects.
At least that’s my excuse. The Dell is full of important business files and I can’t really tweak the sonofabitch. So….I got this $350 tax refund….no, not George Bush’s, but the kind of refund you get when your business has a losing year, and 2002 was pretty much a bummer. I won’t get into 2003 at this point, but let’s just say there’s a certain drift you can catch….
Back to the $350 tax refund. It was sitting there with nothing to do, and the Win 98 “work” station was constantly crashing, so we had all the excuses we needed to do some serious tweaking. Pretty serious motherboards and processers are fairly cheap these days. To make a long story a little shorter, I was looking at parts from Newegg, and Mwave and eventually settled for a barebones deal from Mwave. Almost the same price, but they mount the motherboard in a cheap case and test it. I might be a tweaking fool, but I also have enough sense to know what the fool part of the equation means when it comes to spending one’s precious tax refund. So anyway, the barebones case/motherboard/processer/RAM got shipped in no time and I was in business. I chose a $69 Asus mb with the cheaper VIA chipset and an AMD Barton core 2500+ cpu ($90). The case was about $40 and $80 for 500 megs of DDR 2700 RAM. To round it off, they also sent me an $80 OEM version of Windows XP Home. Anyway, after ripping the hard drives, video card, etc. out of the forlorn old AMD 400 and slapping it all into the new machine, I installed XP Home from a clean install and prepared to boot up my new hotrod.
But noooooo. All we seem to be getting is freeze ups after the cute little XP logo comes up. We can get into Safe Mode, but that’s about it. (One should realize that about this time our basic tweak addict is in seventh heaven). Or was. Three days later and massive BIOS configuring with countless sleepless nights, newsgroup posts, and enough coffee and beer to kill a horse, we rebooted to find ourselves, once again, in Safe Mode.
For a Tweak-addict, defeat is extremely hard to admit. Although, a 12-step program for tweakers, assuming one exists, would probably say that indeed, defeat is what we had been attempting to accomplish all along.
AAArrrrgggghhhh!!!!!!!!!! I dragged the disaster to a local shop and paid $85 for them to tell me the RAM that Mwave “tested” and sold me was crappy. A new stick of RAM and the bastard booted right up. Of course, they refunded the defective RAM, but I was still left around $80 over the tax refund. A damned killjoy couldn’t have done a better job.
But tweak addicts always have something positive to look forward to, even if it’s basically no different from the sizzling sound the dope makes heating up in a junkie’s spoon. Amazingly, this 1.8 ghz AMD 2500 is running faster than the 2.4 ghz Dell. And I’ll bet I can get it going even faster…..