My computer is six years old. It's coolings fans are loud and squeeky. The operating system, Windows ME, has not been supported for years. I have not been able to run new software on it for well over a year. It is one big old noisy black and silver box. I call it the "Dell beast".
For most of the things I do on a computer, the Dell beast is alright. I can look at web pages, edit documents for work, blog, listen to mp3s, and even play games. Yet technology seems to be passing over my Dell beast. I couldn't install drivers for a wireless keyboard and mouse. I couldn't play my brother's old copy of "Pirates". I can't share files with my wife's fancy iMac. There is no syncing with my PDA. Most enraging, I can't boot up without seeing the blue screen of death.
Fed up, I decided to look into upgrading. Including upgrading the OS and the Ram in order to accommodate the OS, I estimate about $250 to upgrade. I figured that I could get a slightly newer computer for less. In fact, I could get a brand new computer for a little bit more. Hmmm, I though, what has happened to the PC in the last 6 years? Not much.
Six years ago most PCs were big beige self obsolescing boxes. Then some computer makers came out with black and silver boxes, like my Dell beast. Six years later, most PCs are still big self obsolescing boxes but they come in all sorts of colors. Dell's computers are now silver and black. Imagine if cars looked this.
Computers are more powerful than they were six years ago. But really, lets be honest, most of the computer power of the average PC is dedicated to playing games. At least it was until Microsoft came out with Windows Vista. Dell, for example, recommends a Windows Vista computer with a dual core CPU, 2 gigabyte's of Ram, and cutting edge video card that has 256 megabytes of its own Ram. All that adds up to a very expensive computer and way more than I need to play "Pirates". Yet, six years from now, I don't want to be stuck running Windows XP in a Windows Vista world. Is this what the world has come to? A super computer on every desk to see folders sideways?
Already bumming about the complicated nature of buying a new computer, my brother ecstatically informs me that he just custom built a super awesome computer form parts he ordered over the internet. Hooray for him. Actually, hooray for me. He's giving me his old Dell laptop. (Dell beast jr.?) It's only 3 years old which is a huge step forward for me. Most importantly, I can do all of those things I've wanted to with my old computer and word processing. Pretty suite.
So, boo to the computer industry, but huzaa to my brother. Now I just need to hold out until he buys another computer.