The Midnight Writer -- January 1998
by Mike Lloret
Happy New Year!
Here's hoping that the Year of the Tiger will bring you all health, wealth, excitement, and happiness. Looking at last January's column, I see that I very sensibly refrained from making any resolutions. Oddly enough, I have ended up doing some of the things that I had resolved to do in the previous year(s). Mostly because I had no other choice, of course.
Last year saw The Beast replaced with The Brute, which wouldn't have happened had the old PC not expired suddenly just before the deadline. It's a good thing it happened that way, because otherwise I would probably have been upgrading it piece by piece for a couple of more years, and all the little aggravations that would have caused would likely have resulted in my sudden death -- from apoplexy or something -- instead of The Beast's. I've certainly had a few problems with the new machine, but none of them has been bad enough to give me that urge to take the system and reduce it to a smoking heap of transistors, wires, and shards of metal. My peace of mind is greatly improved.
The final legacy from The Beast was the monitor.. .I figured that it would last a few years longer so I didn't buy a new one with The Brute. Evidently I figured wrong, since it started giving me trouble fairly soon after the changeover. Naturally, it really started becoming unusable just before a deadline. The new monitor works fine, and the old one has found a new home with Beauty II.. .for some reason it works fine as long as the tilting pedestal is removed and it is set directly on the desktop. Evidently the flexing of the case bottom when it's supported by the pedestal pushes some connection out of alignment. Go figure.
It has now been almost two weeks since I put the case cover back on The Brute, and nothing has gone wrong yet. This is really unusual, but I'm sure that it's only a matter of time before my new system starts providing more material for this column.
I notice that it was this time last year that I upgraded printers from my old Epson Action-Laser 1500 to the Hewlett Packard LaserJet 5L I'm using now. At the time, I was happy to be moving from 300 dpi to near-1200 dpi. I've already started looking into another upgrade, as techno-lust once again threatens to overcome me. Lexmark's newest color inkjet printer looks very nice, indeed. As soon as I find the time, I'm going to try out one of Stuart's complex covers on a demo machine in some shop, and if the memory will hack it, I'll probably buy one.
Speaking of memory, this time last year I was saying "... I went berserk a while ago and installed 80MB of RAM in The Beast...". One can grow accustomed to anything, I guess: it didn't seem extreme at all when I put 128MB in The Brute. I've grown accustomed to the new system's speed very quickly, too. Speed's easy to get used to. At work I'm using a Pentium 75MHz Dell notebook and my old US Robotics 28.8 Sportster modem, and the setup seems painfully slow compared with The Brute and the 56K Sportster at home. I'm likely to be moving in March or April, and I'll probably get an ISDN connection then, which will no doubt make my current setup seem snail-like. We'll see what the new year brings.
Meanwhile, I hope the new year brings you plenty of whatever it is that you want. I also hope that it brings the AJ plenty of submissions of all kinds. That's up to you, though.
Have a very good year!
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