What to look for when upgrading your PC (-Part 2-)

...continued from yesterday...

Yesterday I covered a couple of the differences that have come on the PC market in the last couple of years.  Today I don't have quite as much time (since I still have to make my lunch for tomorrow and the cafeteria there is someplace I try to avoid), so I'm just going to touch on hard-drives for now.

What to look for when upgrading your PC (-Part 1-)

If you can read this website and send the occasional email, your PC is probably good enough for most people's needs these days.  Unless you're into some heavy duty gaming, doing lots of video editing or (maybe) contributing to scientific knowledge, anything that can run Windows XP is probably good enough for your needs.  Truth be told, the days are long gone where I might spend all night playing Warcraft (that would be the original Warcraft - circa 1994) instead of studying for my exam the next day.  (Or playing NWN when I have to work the next morning for that matter.)  These days my PC tends to be used more for recording Sesame Street and making sure I've got the entire 3rd season of MI-5 lined up in case I decided to get on the cross-trainer.  Hard-drive limitations aside, my old P4 system has generally been up to the task.  Lately though, the old beast has been suffering badly from four years worth of accumulated software / file redundancy / 24-7 runtimes.  (And tending towards the occasional fit of lock-ups, random reboots and other irritating quirks.)

So when "Hollywood" (my desktop PC) started acting up this weekend at about the same time my tax return arrived, I decided it was time to replace the old beast before it dies completely.  I've been eyeing up a new PC on NCIX for about the last two years...  Spec out a complete system, add it to the cart and look at the price tag for what I wanted...  Delete the cart and then start all over again when NCIX posted their next weekly sale.  Overall the bottom line price has stayed about the same over that time, but the contents of the cart have gotten progessively more impressive.  So if you're thinking about a new PC in the near future (or just contemplating some upgrades to an existing system), read on for some pointers on what's changed in the last couple of years and what you can expect in the next six months or so.  (Note that if you're a bona fide computer geek, you may as well stop reading 'cause this ain't anything new to you.)

Finally, before someone points out the obvious, I've completely ignored the offerings from Apple Computer.  No slight to Apple, they make some nice products.  I've just never owned a Mac, and likely never will.  However, there have been some interesting changes in the Mac-world lately, so if you're so-inclined, you might want to read up on Apple's latest offerings as well.

Aesop's (Corporate) Fables

I debated about whether this belonged under Life@Home or Life@Work, but in the end it probably doesn't matter...  If you work for a living, read on for some sage career advice.  (I take no credit whatsoever for these lessons, by the way...  I'm just shamelessly pasting from an email that ended up in my box.)

New Pics

In the strange event that anyone is actually still looking for new pictures, there's a few new ones in the gallery as of today.  Click the pic below and it will take you straight there.


Long Live Homer

And I don't mean The Iliad... Just when I thought they were running out of things to do for the Simpsons intro, along comes something entirely new. 17 seasons and still going strong.

Oscar and Arnold, Move Aside... Here Comes THE FAT CAT

And I thought Oscar and Arnold had the market cornered on obsese cats. Turns out that there's a cat in China that makes those two look like kittens. Check out the picture below:

Full story is here

Coming Soon To A Website Near You

If you're a member of the Knoll branch of our family, you might be interested in Mom's new web page: www.knollfamilyreunion.com. The site is still in the initial set up stage, but keep an eye out for news and links relative to the upcoming family reunion in 2007.

Superbowl XL

Missed the game? Who cares? Missed the commercials!? In that case, check out: SpikedHumor.com's collection of superbowl commercials. My personal favorite is one that didn't even make the cut...

Secure your email

Ever wonder whether the email you've received from someone is really from them? How about how many people can actually read your email as it travels across the internet? Want to do something about it? Check out: thawte.com's free email certificates. Unlike most companies, they offer a free signing certificate for personal use. The certificate gets plugged into your email reader and you can then use it to sign or encrypt your email.

Say Hello To Conner

Well the big event that we (as in the McMurray clan of theSmarts) have all been waiting for has finally arrived. Conner Bailey Smart was born at 08:40 on January 30! Move over, Katherine. You'll have to share your birthday!!! ;) Anyway, I gotta run. Only this one and one other in the gallery section for now, but you can be sure that there will be more shortly.

Updated 21:30: A couple more pictures in the gallery now, with Dad and Doug.

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