Computer age

How do you measure a computer’s life?  Is it in “dog years”, where each one is really seven?  Is it even a measurable item or does it change for every new chip or circuitry breakthrough?

It’s frustrating, for sure.

In my continuing quest to polish off my trailer, my biggest snag has been the voiceover element.  I finally gave up on the microphone I had and went out and bought a classy, sharp USB microphone.  My theory was that my computer (a sprightly 4 years old) may still be running well, but some of its external connectors were starting to fritz (for example, the Ethernet connection failed months ago, so I run the computer over wireless).

The quality of the recorded sound was markedly better; superb, actually.  Thus, I felt confident in completing the trailer to get it out on the internet (and get back to focusing on Book 2).  Except, PowerPoint didn’t recognize the mike.  Not at all.

Troubleshooting at Microsoft or Logitech’s site proved fruitless.  It occurred to me that my “old” computer and “old” software on the “old” operating system just might not be smart enough to understand the “newfangled” USB microphone.  Wonderful.

I had to pop out to pick up an external storage device, realizing I had not backed up my computer since…well…ever.  Originally, I was just going to go and get some data DVDs and burn just the critical files when I realized the external drives were so affordable it made more sense to do that (proving that my computer is not the only thing in this house using an old operating system).

While I was strolling around the unmarked aisles attempting to locate the storage section, I started reviewing the computers on sale and the features offered.  It’s a sobering thing to see how little the computers cost now for so much more power.  Are these the only things in life that actually get cheaper every year?  I wish cars worked that way!

In the past, I had always custom built a computer online (usually Dell) so I could have amped up chips, ram and graphics (though, without much gaming or video files, I rarely needed the power).  I took down a couple names and numbers and looked them up when I returned home.

I didn’t start the day thinking about buying a new computer, but by the end of the day, I was pretty convinced about it.  With the “deals” that were out there, I would end up with the new operating system and new software and 3 times the RAM and gosh knows how many generations newer chip and blu-ray and HD and wireless and…and…and.

And for less than half the cost of my computer from four years ago.  Go figure.  The only thing that goes down like that these days is the stock market.

Now, I can’t really use the book trailer as the reason for getting a new computer.  An excuse, sure, but not the reason.  No, I’ve been itching ever since that Ethernet connection went kablooey and I stopped playing those old operating system games.  I have to believe the new OS has worked a good deal of the bugs out by now.  I’m not a fan of bleeding edge technology.  I think it’s cool and all, but I prefer to keep my machines (computers and cars) “out of the shop”.

Still, I’m reasonably convinced I’ll have the trailer done before the end of the month, using the new OS and software.  Perhaps there will be other tricks that become available that I can add as well.

Of course, I’ll no doubt have buyer’s remorse in a few months when the “next gen” comes out for the holiday season.  Such is the lifespan on the “newest” when it comes to computers.

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