So, being the nice son-in-law that I be, I ran out to Best Buy, bought a ridiculously overpriced stick of 1GB memory, and popped it in. The difference is truly startling. TBTTF won't win any contests, ever, but it will boot and run and she (and I) can even do things online without going crazy during the wait. The nice thing is, if we hadn't done this, she probably would have thought she had to buy a whole new machine to get faster apps. Now TBTTF is indeed all you need if you want to do browsing, word processing, and email. I feel so useful.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
A bit of bread, a cup of wine, a stick of memory .... and thou
No, the post does not involve bread, wine, or thou. You probably guessed that. I'm staying at my mother-in-laws house this week, which is not bad (I have a cool mother-in-law) and as a result am using her computer. Ah, I do miss LB2TR! All the more because this box, which we shall call The Box That Time Forgot (TBTTF) is an 8 year old work horse with, no kidding 512MB memory. Note to non-computer folks: Windows XP requires I believe 256 MB memory and that is if you want it to do no more than turn on (very, very slowly). If you want to, say, run a program you need at least 512MB. She has that. But when I say "at least" I do mean at least. It took no kidding 7 minutes to boot the machine up, and it would take a minute or sometimes several to load any program. It is oft said, quite truly, that if all you want to do is browse the web, email, and edit documents you don't need a high end machine. It is oft said by me. But you do need a machine with enough memory to recall your name in the morning. This particular case was even better because the mobo has an integrated graphics chip which uses system memory for graphics, meaning that her available memory was about 342MB. As I understand it, when Windows hits this situation, all it can do is start writing a bunch of stuff to the hard disk ("virtual memory") that it has to keep track of so it has room to think with its actual "physical" memory. Problem being that virtual memory is slow, especially on what I assume must be an IDE 5200 RPM hard drive. Hence the glacial speed of, oh, everything she was running. (even Facebook was painfully, dreadfully slow).