Thursday, April 17, 2008

Geek Pleasure

It's amazing how the small things can light up your life. I just upgraded my old Dell desktop to 4 GB of memory - all by myself! This may not sound like much, but as we used to say when nobody could get the video-feed projector to work, I'm a software type: I don't do hardware. What I do, however, is Read The Fine Manual. To give the Dell his due, Dell publishes excellent, detailed online manuals including step by step instructions on how to swap out your system memory and put in new stuff; and I printed them out and followed them, and LO! I have subsecond system response again! What a pleasure!

I suppose I could have stopped running Rosetta@home in the background. In fact, a couple of times lately, I did - I don't know what kind of proteins they're analyzing this week, but even as I type this, the 2 jobs Rosetta jobs running are taking up 650 MB of memory, all by themselves. On the 1 GB of memory I had before, this hardly left enough to bring up WinXP, much less actually DO anything. So whee! I have new memory, I have a newly fast box, and I didn't fry anything in the attempt!


  1. Anonymous11:23 AM

    Just did the same thing and all went well. The HP computer was gift from a loving but non-techie spouse who thinks lots of hard drive means a fast, capable computer. There is no way I was about to do anything other than exude gracious thanks and appreciation for a gift. So, I have quietly upgraded to 2 gigs of RAM. Much better!

    The HP web site gave clear instructions and information on purchasing and installing memory. The online company from whom I purchased the memory, gave further, clear general instructions.

    I was amazed at the dust inside the machine. Because it is a closed box, I didn't expect any at all. Turned the vacuum into a blower, and the inside of the tower is now pretty much dust free and well as a much faster little beast.

    Life is good, unless I get an insatiable appetite to fill the two remaining memory slots with more RAM. The bigger is better syndrome can strike hard.

  2. There's nothing wrong with lots of hard drive. But I agree that 2 GB of RAM is a minimum right now. If you really want to go to 4 GB, do it now while you can still get memory of the same clock speed. I had to remove my old memory chips because they were 400 MHz and the new memory was over 500 MHz, and you can't mix them. The computer automatically uses the slowest memory. If you decide in 6 months to go to 4 GB, and they've upgraded the available memory in clock speed, you'll have to replace what you just put in...

  3. Anonymous3:31 PM

    Ahh, in fact I did have remove/replace the original memory because you can't mix them and everything works with the lowest common dominator. The original memory was less than 1 gig, to give more detail would almost be embarrassing. I could have gotten double what I originally had, but it still would have been basically, not much. $100 for 2 gigs seems good. I may just visit that web site once again.