do you remember what your first family computer was? i can mentally remember ours, but i don't remember the name of it. i think it was a neighbor's old macintosh that we bought off them. the monitor and "tower" were one piece, and it took huge floppy disks. i remember it not being able to do too much, but we thought it was awesome! eventually we got a gateway computer (it sooo came in the cow print boxes) and then at some point during my high school days, my parents bought a dell (yes, my mom and i made the ups guy say "dude, you're getting a dell"). i eventually bought my own dell in '07. when i bought my computer, i made sure i got a good one, and spent the extra money to make sure i'd have something that would last me awhile and be, in general, AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 and a half years later, my awesome computer is on the bottom of the mega awesome list. it still functions, it's clean (as in viruses... there is some dust of course), i have enough room to store a bunch of stuff, it has an "A" drive (who uses that anymore?!) but it's not worth anywhere near as much as i paid for it. but, that's how technology rolls. it moves at such a fast pace that soon after you buy something, a newer version will be there to take it's place in a matter of months (sometimes weeks it seems). so while your computer may work fine if technology never moved forward, the truth is, your old stuff just can't handle what the new stuff needs.
a real life example, shall we? remember that computer i said my parents bought back when i was in high school? that is still the computer they use every day. we named it dellbert back when they bought it... now keep in mind, i graduated in 2004.... and they bought it before my senior year.... it came with windows xp which was brand new at the time.... we still had dial up....so needless to say, it's pretty old (for a computer). my parents have been saying for years that it takes forever to boot up and is so slow to run anything. they thought maybe there was a virus on it, or just too much junk that didn't need to be there, so while dan and i were up over christmas last year, he took a look at it. now, just like humans, over time, computers slow down. that's their nature. sure, other things help that along, but computers do tend to naturally "break down". viruses can slow your computer down, so can lack of ram and enough space on your hard drive. after waiting 10 minutes for the computer to be happily logged into windows and ready to "work", dan poked around to see what he could find. the result? nothing. no viruses, not much junk. it's just old. the problem isn't the computer so much, it's just technology has moved so far and updated so much over the last few years that good old dellbert just can't keep up. if they weren't going to hook the computer up to the internet and just use it for word documents and publisher, the computer would probably be fine. they could get rid of the anti virus programs, internet explorer, games, flash players, cookies, history, java, etc.... and just use programs that originally came with the computer. but then how would they keep up with my blog?!? ;) in reality, it's just time to let dellbert go and move onto dellbert IV (my computer is aptly named dellbert jr, and my new laptop is dellbertIII).
think about how far technology has come. when computers were first invented, they took up an entire room! and they didn't have that much power. now we carry around little computers (in the form of our phones and ipods) that are like a thousand times more powerful, yet fit in our pockets! it's insane!!!! even our calculators are more advanced than the technology that got us to the moon!!!!! and on top of being more powerful, you can get more bang for your buck. a 1 gb flash drive (aka thumb drive) cost a lot a few years ago. i read somewhere that one guy paid $85 in 2004 for a 1 gb flash drive. today, you can get an 8gb for like 8.99. under $10!!!! craaazy! newegg sells up to a 128gb flash drive! a few of those and you have more storage than my laptop! see what i mean about more bang for your buck?!
so what's the point of this post you ask? well, to remind you that sometimes you need to upgrade your equipment or replace it altogether. there is no getting around it. as technology continues to advance, basic requirements advance too. in the case of my parents' computer, dan wasn't even able to download a program to be able to run a virus scan due to lack of space and ram. they wouldn't be able to put the windows 7 operating system on their computer, because even if they erased everything off their computer, the basic ram and hard drive wouldn't be able to run windows 7 alone, let alone with any other program loaded on there. even programs like microsoft office requires more room to run than the older versions.
something as simple as opening up a webpage will even slow an older computer down due to all the extra stuff that pops up. think of having a slow internet connection and trying to stream a video online, or open a page with a bunch of ads and pictures and a music player trying to load songs (i always remember myspace giving me trouble loading on a slower connection). a dial-up-like internet connection can't handle all that and it takes forever to load the smallest things. that is what your older computer goes through. so consider letting go and doing an upgrade. as i said in my last post, you can get new ram and memory put into an older computer to upgrade it, but sometimes it's just worth getting an all new setup with new versions of programs and newer operating systems that are better able to keep up with the ever changing advances. i did, and now i have a mega awesome computer again!!