vicarbrench: (Angst)
[personal profile] vicarbrench
I got my desktop computer in 2004, early in college, and it has served me well for over 7 years. I kept it running well, almost perfectly virus-free, occasionally upgrading it with a DVD burner, more RAM, new video card, extra HD, and more hefty power supply. Back in December the HD with the operating system stopped booting up. It was finals week, so I didn't have time to figure out why. Fortunately I had another computer (identical model) which I'd snagged from the trash piles at work, so I was able to replace the HD with another one and run the machine off of that. But even still, some of the weird quirks that my computer had developed remained: occasional crashing of normal programs and windows processes, occasional spontaneous reboot, stuff like that. Replacing the HD with the OS made it clear that these problems weren't to do with my installation of Windows XP, it was more likely the motherboard getting old. Running a P4 processor with 1.5GB of RAM is a bit deficient for this day and age, anyway.

My parents, meanwhile, are consolidating their collection of old computers, and among them is a 3-year-old tablet with a broken screen, thus only working with a monitor plugged in. It came with Windows Vista, but my dad has since re-loaded Windows 7 onto it, so it's not a piece of junk. Since they don't need it anymore, and it's faster and newer than my old desktop, they pawned it off to me and I've been checking it out, and have decided to replace my desktop with this newer tablet-that-only-works-as-a-desktop machine.

I've gotten used to using Windows 7 at work on campus, so that learning cure has already been dealt with. I must admit even after a year to get used to it, I still don't actually care for the aesthetics of Windows 7; it may be better in terms of efficiency, I don't know, but I honestly just don't like the whole band look across the top windows, replacing the classic file menus. I've had plenty of time to get used to it, so I know it's really just my old-school taste speaking here.

Nevertheless, I've found it's remarkably distressing changing my computer. It would seem that my computer is like a home of sorts - the place from which I interact with the virtual world (internet), and do all sorts of work from schoolwork to sermon prep. It's silly in a way, because computers are tools, and they're generally all the same, allowing for customizations. But somehow, one's personal computer, especially after several years of ownership, seems to become more. Like a home or almost like a pet, it's a part of one's life, a stable object of work & entertainment, over which one has remarkable control to customize according to taste.

After work today I begin the ever-so-fun task of copying my files over from external drives to the new computer. It's going to be like moving from one apartment to another - the furniture will be the same, and it's a good opportunity for me to rearrange it if I wish, to make more optimal use of the new living space (aka file folder structure of Win7). It'll be my new home in the computing world. Yes it'll be faster and will run programs better, especially Lord of the Rings Online which I couldn't even install on the old computer, but the biggest point is that it'll be different.

And for a remarkably sentimental person such as myself, different is not an attractive prospect.

But that is what this life is all about. You grow up, life becomes irrevocably different. You get married, life becomes irrevocably different. You have a child, life becomes irrevocably different. Granted, the 'death' of a computer is not remotely as significant, but it's one change among many that I've had to go through in the past year, and it's strangely stressful.

Date: 22 Jun 2011 20:47 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adufiniel.livejournal.com
I feel the same about computers. Especially with the amount of time we spend with them, losing them is horrific. I replaced my college laptop with a graduation present laptop last May, and I still get pangs of guilt when I go home and see my old one just sitting on a table. I hope he's enjoying retirement, anyway.

In regards to Windows 7, I think you can change the aesthetics to resemble the classics OS. One of my favorite parts of 7 is how customizable it is. I hope it grows on you, and that your computer's passing will not weigh on you too much :).

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