It's a pity that what I remember of my high school French is insufficient for me to say "The more things change, the worse they become". The last time I used the Behemoth, it was regularly freezing only when I tried to use browsers or email apps; now it's hanging up eight times out of ten while Windows loads.
As usual, there don't appear to be any conflicts, and Norton Systemworks maintains that everything is fine. Since I bring my work notebook PC home with me, I can do pretty much what I need to do — like getting the newsletter out — but it's inconvenient (not to mention galling) having a system that's unreliable for mysterious reasons. This time, I'm beginning to lean toward the overheating theory, merely because it's a lot hotter this time than it was last week, and the situation seems to worsen as the heat climbs. Purely circumstantial evidence, however, I know.
If I get done with the AJ early enough this weekend, I may try to fiddle with fans and see if things change any, and if that doesn't seem to work, I'll see about reformatting my hard drive and starting all over...simple reinstallations of Windows don't seem to be doing the trick, and nothing else that I haven't tried yet springs to mind.
One thing that the most recent spate of troubles has caused is a lot of contemplation about how I'm going to replace the current system. I've been following the discussion and the articles about "rolling your own" versus buying a machine of the shelf, and I'm still undecided.
My previous systems have been ready-made ones, but I eventually upgraded components of all of them, sometimes causing myself new and exciting problems. Top of the line systems are considerably cheaper now, so even if I opted for the latest and greatest options, it wouldn't be nearly as much of a bite as it was in the past, and I would thus have less incentive to upgrade piecemeal.
On the other hand, there's something to be said for putting your system together yourself...I can imagine the learning experience and the experience gained being worth the extra risks and potential financial losses that go along with not having the warranty protection of an off-the-shelf system.
What I hear about near future Windows changes in the wind don't impress me favorably, though. I don't mind shelling out the money for a new OS, but if it's only going to be possible to reinstall it X times, judging from Microsoft's performance so far, I may want to forego Windows and go with something else. But I shudder to think of the compatibility issues with Microsoft programs that I'll still need to use...not to mention the time and effort (and, no doubt, frustration) involved in learning how to install and run something like Linux..
Fooling around with computers isn't really a hobby for me. It's true that I've done a lot of upgrading over the years, but that wasn't for the joy of doing it, it was in hopes of performance improvements, or to enable newer programs to run. And my successes, as I've said, have been...ah...limited.
So I still find myself in a quandary. Right now, if I weren't living so far from Tokyo, I'd probably be advertising in the newsgroups for someone far more competent than I, to come over and try to get my current system working properly, and I'd pay for it happily. I may yet do just that, once I've exhausted my (few) remaining options.
Still, I might get lucky on my own. Stay tuned.
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