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Old Jun 2, 2008, 11:48 PM   #1
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A few weeks ago I made the mistake of making a comment to my wife about how pleased I was with the performance of my ancient computer....that I finally had a computer that would do just what I wanted it to do, even if a little slowly. I compounded the error by praising the old machine for its dependability.....

By now you're thinking..."Uh Oh" And you're right. About a week ago, I got a BOD with an unusual message. The computer reset, but I wasn't comfortable, so as a precaution, I moved all my photo files to external hard drives this weekend, along with most of my important documents.

Although the computer was heavily protected with a UPS, yesterday's power outage seemed to be the nudge that pushed it over the cliff. The motherboard died this morning, just as I was getting ready to edit the best sequence I had ever taken of a great blue heron.

Fourteen hours later, I've just finished re-installing most of my software on a brand new machine with an AMD Phenom quad-core processor and a high-end Nvidia graphics processor. Bottom line....I got lucky....very little lost and none of my photos. I'm generally not good about backing up, but for once, I did something right. Now, I can finally get to work on the heron pics.

Paul
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 5:46 AM   #2
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Good message here Paul! First, glad you were able to recover all of the photos. About once a month I sync my photo files from my C drive to an external hard drive. In addition, once a year, I archive that year's pictures to a DVD. Digital is great, but one has to realize the vulnerability of bits and bytes!

Jay
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 8:13 AM   #3
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That was a great catch, Paul. Your response was right on, too!

I have been very lucky I've never had a hardware issue with any computer I have ever owned. I know it is just dumb luck, too.

So, what I've done lately is bought a 800gb Buffalo Drivestation Duo. They were on closeout right from Buffalo for $169.00. It comes with software that lets you use the drives in a RAID array or as 2 400gbindividual drives. It also automatically backs up as I work without slowing anything down. I hope I never have to use it but it's there if I do!

Dennis
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 8:44 AM   #4
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Good point about having photos stored somewhere other than your hard drive. My computer had numerous repairs - been attacked by a virus, replaced the hard drive, had the motherboard replaced, all while it was under a 3 year extended warranty that I bought for it (it's a laptop). Best thing I ever did, but I now have an external hard drive where I store my pictures, and they are backed up on DVD (the K20 has large files). It's not a perfect system but then I'm the only one that would be sad if I lost anything (not a pro).

Does the new computer run Vista? What do you think of it? I'm eventually going to have to replace my old laptop (which, while more or less re-built a year ago, is still a 4 year old computer). My hubby wants an I-Mac and its certainly tempting to switch, but still haven't made up my mind.
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 10:39 AM   #5
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mtngal wrote:
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Does the new computer run Vista?
I wouldn't bother - I installed it - didn't particularly like the interface - wouldn't support half the applications that I run - even the Soundblaster audio card which is pretty 'bog standard'.

Blew it away & reverted back to XP SP2.
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 5:27 PM   #6
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I agree with Intrepid. Iordered a Dell Vostro last month (to replace my 8-year old system) and I bought the Dellbecause I could get XP Pro. My son has Vista on a Dell laptop, and I'm not impressed with it.
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 8:19 PM   #7
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mtngal wrote:
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Does the new computer run Vista? What do you think of it?
I'm not sure yet. There have definitely been some configuration and driver problems, most notable being with Paint Shop Pro, but after downloading several patches and service packs, I have just about everything up and running again except one of my printers, and I'm beginning to think that I'm dealing with a problem with the printer itself, rather than a driver.

I was reluctant to get Vista, but the only machines on which I could find XP were lower-end when it comes to graphics performance, and I just don't see the situation improving with XP since Microsoft has announced that it will no longer develop supporting fixes, etc. for it.

BTW....there have been discussions in this forum about the fact that some manufacturers are including card readers on their machines that do no support SDHC cards. That's what I was really expecting, but was pleasantly surprised to see that HP's card reader does allow me to plug my SDHC cards directly into the machine.

As for the heron pics I was going to edit when this all started, I found myself greatly disappointed when I finally got to work with them. Bright sun on the face of the heron blew out the highlights on too many of the shots. These were about the best of the lot.

The first is as the bird leaped for a fish



He comes out of the water with the fish firmly in his beak



Finally, he tires of my company and leaves



Paul
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 9:16 PM   #8
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Good call on the quad core. AMD's offerings don't have the same grunt as Intel's but they're realistically within 5-10%, and at a much lower price, and with low thermal dissipation

I would stay away from Vista. My laptop (no slouch, dual core and 2 GB ram) came with it and I couldn't use it. XP install went in and it's just so much faster.

Got lucky on that backup.
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 10:00 PM   #9
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mtngal wrote:
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Does the new computer run Vista? What do you think of it? I'm eventually going to have to replace my old laptop (which, while more or less re-built a year ago, is still a 4 year old computer). My hubby wants an I-Mac and its certainly tempting to switch, but still haven't made up my mind.
Harriet, IMO your husband has the right idea. I would stay away from Vista. There has been so much unhappiness with it that Microsoft has moved up the launch of Windows 7 to next year - If they discontinue Vista itwill have the shortest run of any Microsoft operating system. I saw a demonstration of it on TV -- if you have seen CNN's election analyst John King move things around with his hands on the map on his display board, you have seen what Windows 7 will look likein operation. I imagine itcould obsolete every piece of hardware and software now running Windows. Way to go, Bill Gates! I am so sick of Windows' vulnerabilities that we are planning to buy Macs very soon, which will run XP (or any other OS with Parallels or Fusion software) in emulation when needed - and keepour old softwarefor a while to ease the transition. Get the 24" iMac with 4GB of memory so Windows can run fast in emulation, or you will have to run it in Boot Camp which will not allow you to switch back to theMac without rebooting. Be aware that the 24" is a widescreen measurement so the screen height is equal to a 19" regular monitor. To get a larger monitor you will need a Mac Pro, which is much more expensive even with the same hardware configuration.
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Old Jun 3, 2008, 10:53 PM   #10
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I'll probably go ahead and buy my most commonly used software if I upgrade. I use CS2 and the ACR that it supports doesn't recognize the K20. It's not a big deal because I have Lightroom (which comes in both Mac and Windows version, so I wouldn't have to buy it again), but I've started thinking about getting CS3 anyway. Microsoft Office isn't too outrageous because I'd get the academic version (same with CS3). My printer needs replacing anyway. Would my current Linksys router work with Mac, or would I need to replace it, too? I'd end up getting the Mac laptop for myself with a big monitor. Out of curiosity, can you set up dual monitors with the iMac? Not that I'm planning on it, but I've gotten rather spoiled with dual 30" Dell monitors at work...
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