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Computer, computers everywhere …

I have not bought a new computer since 1994. That was a Intel 486-66 machine and it cost me the best part of £1,200!

Since then, having carried out many office clearances, I have always managed to keep myself relatively up-to-date by building PCs from the junk collected from others.

So, presently, I am running a home-built Tyan with an Intel Pentium-D 2.8GHz with 3 x 250GB SATA hard disks (OK, so I am greedy). I always have a second machine on the network so that if the Tyan crashes or is busy, I can continue to work.

The other day, a client asked if I could replace a hard disk that was threatening failure. This caused me to rummage through my “stock” to find one. At the same time, I had a look for a working PC that could be used by a pensioner who wanted to “have a go” on the Internet.

The result of my search revealed two partial computers, a home build and a faulty shop bought machine, both with 2GHz processors. Both machines accept SATA hard disks and both would be better than my No. 2 PC, if only I could get them to work.

So, that’s what I am doing – trying to get them to work, finding various drivers for sound and video cards, etc. – it is not as easy as it used to be. Whereas I used to visit various sites and get the required software, now they all insist that I download DriverDetective, which tells me which drivers I need, and then try to charge me to download them. And paying for things is not in my psyche, as you may have gathered by now.

But, it will be worth it. I will have two PCs, both with at least 2 x 250GB drives in each, both capable of being RAIDed, so I am looking forward to never losing data again.

So, back to my pensioners. They seem to have been forgotten in the melée. I think I have unearthed a working 1GHz PC with W2K – that would do for one, but I am not having a lot of luck finding a replacement hard disk.

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