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Gordon Atkinson's picture

Jumping Ship

Last week I mentioned that I did not leave the world of PCs and Windows because I needed an easier interface. I’m a fairly serious computer user. I slogged my way through programs back in the early 90s, before Windows, when every program had a completely unique set of commands. F7 saved in Word Perfect. Why? Because that’s the way they designed it. Other programs had their own quirky commands. For me, Windows has always seemed incredibly easy and convenient, if only because of the universal command structure.

I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. Having lived through the Great Depression, my grandfather always thought an orange was a spanking good Christmas present.

You know what ultimately drove me away from Windows? I could never keep the blasted operating system clean. I would buy a new computer and delight at how Windows would jump onto the screen, wagging its tail like a puppy dog ready for a walk. “Where do you want to go today?” Six months later, booting was taking a little longer. After a year, I would pop into the kitchen for a snack while I waited for Windows to start. After 18 months I had a pattern pressed into my forehead from looking up to see if Windows had finally started and then lowering my face back down onto the keyboard.

A computer professional I know said, “You have to reinstall Windows every year or so if you want it to run well. I format the hard disk and start fresh. It takes me a day to reinstall software, update drivers, and all of that. But that’s just what you have to do.”

Yeah, well, I don’t have to do that anymore.

Gordon Atkinson's picture

MAC V PC - There and Back Again - Part 1

One man’s journey from the darkness, into the light, and then back to the darkness, which turned out to be not as dark as he remembered.

I wanted to buy a Macintosh back in 1991 when I sold a bunch of stuff and managed to scrape together $1200 for a computer. Sadly, that left me about $1200 short with nothing left to sell. So instead I bought a XT running DOS 3.1 with 256k of RAM, a 20 meg hard drive, floppy drives, and an amber monochrome monitor. I’ve been joined to my computer(s) at the hip ever since.

What tends to happen is you begin the journey with a Mac or a PC, and you stick with it. Mac people swear they would rather die than switch, and given how they line up like lemmings to buy whatever their Apple overlords tell them to buy, I tend to believe them. PC users, on the other hand, tend to be classic geeks and nerds, which is understandable because these are the sort of people who want to get into their computers - into both the hardware and the software. The Mac hardware and software are locked up tighter than an Amish maiden, while every PC I’ve ever owned had a case held together by its one remaining screw and 2 or 3 hard drives hanging out the side. The last PC I built had a spare CD drive in it, just so I could have somewhere to put my coffee cup.

jethro's picture

Motherboards - bah!

I have had all sorts of problems getting the 8GB of DDR3 RAM  to run in my new Striker II Extreme board. In fact getting the board o run at all has not been easy

ASUS_S2E It started with CPU INIT errors, and the progressed to BSOD once I got it to POST to BIOS (though couldn’t even get that to happen consistently) and then i started getting CODE INIT errors ( a code that doesn’t even exist in the manual). I gave up and took it back to the shop and they have replaced the board and are attempting to get a stably running system for me. Beyond this blokes skill level! When you read some of these forums below you will se why. So if you have come here looking for answers tot he Asus Striker 2 Extreme Motherboard CPU INIT or CODE INIT errors then read through all these forum links below.

Picture Credit AnandTech Review

jethro's picture

Help me name my new computer

So I need inspiration. I name all the Ps and servers in this place.

We have servers

  • MAGE - SBS2003
  • APPRENTICE - Server2003
  • WAITER - Server2008
  • WONDERLAND – Windows Home Server
  • PORTCULLIS – Linux Server


  • CHEETAH (my current machine)
  • DRAGON (died and gone to parts bin – to be replaced with MOONBEAM)

Media Center PC




The only unimaginative names are the 4 virtual machines we use for remote access and development.

So I need a new name for the PC that is to replace CHEETAH.

My thinking so far includes: