Sunday, November 12, 2006

Researching Peeve

OK, pet peeve time, I have just a couple today, but they are related.

I have been doing a lot of research recently into the acquisition of a new PC. As a matter of fact I am investigating the possibility of building one for myself. I’ve done it before, and it’s a lot of fun.

The PC I’m running now is old, I mean antediluvian-old, it dates all the way back to 1999. I have upgraded many things over the years, not the least of which is the memory and VGA card. I would upgrade the memory again, but the main board is locked at 512MB of RAM and won’t go any higher.

So we come across my first peeve. The retail version of this board is supposed to take 1000MB of RAM whereas the version that I have in my commercially manufactured machine is limited to 512MB, which means that XP is painful at best and tends to swap continuously. (I may explain some of this jargon in a later series of blogs.)

I consulted with my best mate from Montreal on a PC for his home, and the one thing that stuck with me about that machine was, again, the RAM limitation. By the way, his machine is also from the same manufacturer. Rock solid as they are, one has to be careful about future proofing. Mind you his PC will be perfectly adequate for Vista when it comes out in January, with double the room for RAM to spare. So he’ll be good to go for at least 3 or 4 years, likely many more.

I am disappointed that the manufacturer is up to old bullshit tricks. That is with limiting a key component, whereas the same, commercially available, motherboard is not so limited. I understand the business case for it, but it still remains a peeve.

My second peeve for today is with documentation available on the web for the above research. I read articles, reviews, machinery shootouts and general information on the boards and equipments. It’s all good. Sometimes I will explore a tangent, for instance power-supplies, and will investigate uses, features, functions, differences, design and sometimes history.

And so the peeve is exposed: I ran across this wonderful article on a special and great piece of kit. I look all over for it, and the manufacturer has disappeared!

What the f---? Simple really, the article I was reading was not dated, so there was no way for me to tell that the kit was actually some 6 years old and the manufacturer was bought out like 4 years ago!

The web is a wonderful place for research, but this annoys the hell out of me that text can just exist out there with no context of date or time. Heck, even free newsgroups and mailing lists have date stamps! But honest to goodness e-zine (web-based magazine) articles are more often than not, undated!

I must get back to my research now. I just found a reference to this wonderful new thing, it’s called lunix and it’s for… a commodore 64.

Oops. Never mind.


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