Believe it or not, despite being a computer programmer, I hadn’t bought myself a new computer since November 2001. It’s been obvious for the past several months that my old computer was on its last legs, so I broke down yesterday and got a new one.
However, the most exciting thing about my very expensive shopping trip yesterday is the monitor I also bought. It’s a 19-inch flat panel LCD display, but it has a feature that lets you rotate it 90 degrees and use it in portrait mode. It’s very cool for a computer programmer, since it lets you see many lines of code at once. It’s also nice for working with documents.
The computer itself is not terribly exciting. It has an Athlon 64 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 200 GB hard drive, with all the usual bells and whistles that come with a new name-brand computer. The CD/DVD burner has the LightScribe system, which I had never heard of, but it apparently lets you etch a label directly onto specially treated media by turning the disk over and using the laser already in the unit. I haven’t bought any of the fancy new media yet, so I can’t report how it works. It seems like a cool idea, though. I also bought a new set of speakers, just a simple three-speaker system. The keyboard that came with the computer is a piece of junk, so I brought my old ergonomic keyboard out of retirement, and I’m relearning how to use it.
I know what you’re all thinking: If I were a real geek, I’d have built my own computer from parts. You’re right: I’m a poser. Later in the week, I plan to repave my old computer with a recent version of Linux, so that I’ll maintain some small amount of street cred.