Well two days ago it arrived: the new PC! A black encased i7 3.2 quad core c/o PC Specialist based in Holmfirth.
I've read some of his most popular SF books and the past few days I've been reminded of his monthly contributions to Byte magazine. I'm on about Jerry Pournelle and his Chaos Manor essays, in which new PC kit and gadgets obviously featured.
For months I've been visiting several supplier's website and configuring 'my new PC' and yes I've done it on the Apple site specifying the most expensive piece of kit available. Taking the plunge with PC Specialist I've been impressed (thus far) with their pre-sales, pre-delivery and delivery service. There was confirmation with regular updates by e-mail and texts as my PC came into being. I opted for Mon-Fri delivery between 0700-1000. My bit-of-a-beast arrived at 0800 (with the toast and coffee).
Clinically, you always worry for the worst, but there was no DOA here.
It booted up nicely and the noise: so quiet! I made sure the case is acoustically damped. I'd already sourced a screen, keyboard and mouse, so there was a brief scare when Windows 7 prompted finger action and of course what to do? In Windows 7, Microsoft have an operating system that is suddenly (fingers x'd) very forgiving. Despite the tag on the USB connector saying 'install the software first' or words to that effect I removed the tag and connected the MS Natural Ergonomic KB 4000. A random drum of fingers heard cries of delight and account creation. It's proved a real breeze as the (latest!) drivers have been downloaded automatically. I noticed the power cord - PC attachment can be sensitive to fairly slight knocks, if you are not careful, but that's nothing new.
There are tools to check your site on several browsers and mobile format, but I've just Opera and Safari to add. Check this site's logo on a suitably equipped browser (I used Google's Chrome).*
E-mail and ftp have proved problematic so far. I've been tied to Demon's Turnpike which is basic (and anonymous), but does the job. Now with W7 64-bit I'm not prepared to mess about with virtual machines and other fixes. So I am now trying other email clients. FireFTP is in-situ awaiting my attention. There will be quite a few conferences out of date on the links pages, but we'll get there.
One of my favourite books is CETI edited by Carl Sagan. ...
My dual core Macbook Pro has been processing two units at a time from Rosetta and SETI@home. Suddenly there's nine ticking away. In fact I am having to check to figure out just what is doing what in the innards that includes twin graphics cards with CUDA processors. At some point I really must throw a game into the mix. The noise from the fans has increased, but is still 'quiet' compared to the Evesham box.
WAMP is up and running (or at least appears to be) and Drupal 6 and 7 are in place. I'm going to see if I can export - import stuff in Drupal 6. Drupal and updating remains a demon here. (If you are looking for admin training try Menus and Blocks).
Before I close I have to say a belated thanks to Evesham Computers - sadly no longer trading. That PC from November 2002 is still going, the motherboard clock needs a new battery, the 100GB hard disc a wipe and refresh.
I hope this latest machine fulfills its great promise. So thanks also to the team at PC Specialist specifically:
Tested By : Zbear Ramzan
QC'd By : Craig Whiteley
Packed By : Adnaan Marban
I'll report again on developments. I was able to select the hard disc partitions soon after placing my order. I nearly missed that, but so glad I didn't. I will allocate specific space for images, photos, music, Drupal and Ruby. First though I'll check on installing Linux too.
Maybe as per Mr Pournelle I should give this new machine a name? Well why not? I'm not going to eat it (I hope). Much still to do!
* An item mentioned in this month's .net magazine.