|« Snow Cyrstal Exhibit||Retrospective Pictures of Trees »|
Well, you gotta appreciate the irony...
One day I’m waxing poetic about the crap cycle and ‘just give me some good used tires’ and a few days later I’m caught up in modern problems that just highlight how deeply my life depends on the very crap I denounce.
Must be Karma…
Anyhow, I’ve not been posting much lately. In part that is due to the bad weather and my limited time, and the resulting lack of new photos to put up. In part that’s also due to a computer crash and other problems that have had me in rebuilding mode, instead of creating mode.
Just for the record – my main computer crashed a week ago. I can’t blame the computer – I crashed it. Trying to tweak and prod the machine into ever more marginal improvements in performance, I pushed it too far and it locked up. No problem – all that was needed is a BIOS reset Done it many times before...
But this time I screwed up and left the power on when I reset – with the result that the system board bios was not re-set, but was wiped out. Which left me with a PC deader than a door nail.
For the last several years I’ve bought custom built machines from a local outfit, The World Of CDROM. Once I realized that my machine was toast, I yanked the hard drives out and rushed over there to see if they could repair it.
I pulled the hard drives because I have a backup computer here, and always figured that the worse case scenario was that I would pull the drives from one machine, drop them into the other, and get on with business. I learned that reality was a worser case scenario yet…
Anyhow – at the World of CDROM my dead PC was checked in for repair. You can’t complain about a two day turn around on PC repairs, but then, two days is a long time. I figured this was the time to upgrade – heck, I always chose my upgrades when panicked and dealing with catastrophe – so I started to look at the options for building a new PC.
As it turned out, I wound up leaving the shop with their demo ultimate-gamer machine, which is sitting here purring along under the desk. It’s an Athlon Dual-Core 64 bit system, running Windows X64. The basic system has a high sped Raptor 10,000 rpm drive, that seems to make a substantial improvement to performance. Since buying it I’ve added drives and RAM, and am extremely happy with Photoshop CS II performance.
A few years ago, after a really disastrous PC crash, one of the folks at the World of CDROM set me up with a Vantec swappable IDE drive system for backups. Since then I’ve been a disciplined backer-uper, and that paid off this time. One I had the new system up an drunnign the first program I installed was Norton’s Ghost, and the next thing I did was to restore all my email, documents, and image files. Within a few hours of frying my old system, I had a new system that had all my old data on it, up and running.
That’s not to say that everything went perfectly. The system as I purchased it had Windows x64 installed. I liked the idea of using a 64 bit OS on a 64 bit platform (and I still like it) but in reality the practical utility of that is nil. For one thing, all my old scanner and USB wireless network drivers don’t work, so I had to upgrade / replace my wireless network adapter. With regard to the scanners – I arranged to have my old machine repaired, and it now runs the scanners and other dedicated 32 bit windows hardware. But I also had to hunt down whatever 64 bit drivers I could find (thankfully Epons has 64 bit drivers for the Stylus 2200.)
One nice thing about dealing with a local store is that the techs there not only found an x64 compliant Wireless network adapter for the new system, but also installed it and updated drivers, all as part of the routine setup. that alone probably save me a day of frustration.
After a few days my old (once fried) system is back up an running, and so I now have it as the ultimate backup to the new system.
For now, however, I’m happy. The new dual-core Athlon system waltzes through the most demanding PhotoShop tasks. My old AthlonXP system is still up to PhotoShop work, but is now devoted more to office work, burning archive DVD’s, and the occasional session with CivIII. And lastly, the very old Athlon Slot-A machine is dedicated to just one thing – generating scan files from the Canoscan, which it can do relatively quickly given it has an SCSI connector for the scanner.
I went on the web an added up what the components I bought in the new system would cost, purchased from web vendors. I probably paid 10 to 15% more than I would have had I gone the bargain basement internet route, and that works out to a few hundred dollars. But I really don’t care – because for that extra money I bought into a relationship that has been in place for a long time (all three of the PC’s here in my office were bought from that same shop, going back over 6 or 7 years) and I also am buying the prerogative to take a 10 minute drive down the road with a dead PC in the back seat, and talk to someone who can make it work and get it back to me faster than it would take to get an RMA from an Internet vendor.
That’s worth something, as is the advice that set me up with the backup system that made this crash a minor problem vs a major disaster.
So this is a blog about photography – and how does computer problems relate to that?
Well, I toasted my PC on Thursday night, last week, and had to hang a show of Snow Crystals the next morning. The show when up without a problem, but I could not print out an artist statement or bio to include with it (those are up now.) And I’m also editing photos to be used as background images for a musical recital at Western Michigan University, and work on that project stopped for a few days till things were straightened out.
The more photography goes digital – either in terms of pure digital work or film scans – the more we depend on our computers. And ultimately, that can be a scary thought without rigorous backup, redundant hardware, and a local support system.