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Chronicle: Got new computers at the office.

Chacham (981) writes | more than 7 years ago

User Journal 12

So, at the office we all got new computers. It's not that our P4s couldn't do the job, it's that according to the finance department, out computers were worthless, and we had to get new ones. (And they say geeks defy reality!)

Can't buy the computers either, because they are worthless. Can't get them donated to school, because they are worthless. Of course, that makes my computers at home less than worthless, and the ones at the school archaic. The business world is insane.

So, at the office we all got new computers. It's not that our P4s couldn't do the job, it's that according to the finance department, out computers were worthless, and we had to get new ones. (And they say geeks defy reality!)

Can't buy the computers either, because they are worthless. Can't get them donated to school, because they are worthless. Of course, that makes my computers at home less than worthless, and the ones at the school archaic. The business world is insane.

So, they brought a new one to my desk, one of those fancy new Dell black things. They came to transfer data and "upgrade" (where needed) it from 2k to XP (which i don't want), so i took out the old hard drive (and bay) and put in an extra one we had lying around. Of course the Dell dude freaked out and told me he wasn't supposed to be working on 95 (tee hee)!

So, now it's me and mister new computer. I open her up to see what made her tick, and found SATA drives, and a sort of supported ATA interfeace. The bay didn't fit in well, and was a different color anyway. So far, so bad.

The keyboard had no rim, and the back did not have a PS/2 socket for my old KB. I bought a PS2->USB converter, and that failed. Now, the store (Micro Center) had two types of such converters, one for the mouse and one for the keyboard. I challenged the sales dude saying the spec was the same (and implying this was a ridiculous gimick) and he said he thought so too, but that's the way it is *and* the mouse one worked better anyway (for keyboards). I took it, and it failed. I feel like that Jamaican guy in Futurama (Lost city of Atlanta) when Bender finds his cigar burnt down the (underwater) seashell leaving just the metal frame. When Bender says something like "so *that's* where that was", he says somethign like "but that makes even _less_ sense."

But wait, there's more.

They gave me an LCD display (locked down to the desk with a good chain (but an easily breakable part of the monitor) with 10,000 combinations). It must be a 17" but demands a higher than 1024x768 screen (iirc 1280). With my eyesight, that's a bit too small. Oh? So change the resolution? You know how LCDs work. Crisp at one resolution, blurry at the others.

So, i put the box under my desk, the keyboard in an overhead, and the monitor next to the cube wall (it's still locked down), and grabbed an open computer, monitor, and keyboard in the area. Changed hard drives and all is back to normal.

Well, i did get an optical mouse out of the deal.

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12 comments

Oops (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15867785)

I had a comment here, than I hit cntrl-w and closed the tab, doh!

Umm, oh yah.

The reason your keyboard doesn't work is that those ps2->usb adapters ONLY work if the keyboard already supports USB. There are fancier onces, not just little dongles, that actualy convert the protocols over, but the standard cheapo ones don't do that, the keyboard has to already support USB.

The monitor is likely a Dell Ultrasharp, they are considered to be rather good. The resolution is a good thing, but a bit to low for my tastes, then again, I am near sighted. :) I like at least 1400x1050, and that is on my 12" screen! 14" needs at least 1400x1050, bleck. Anything less and Visual Studio's tool bars take up all the screen and there is no space for me to actually program in.

XP is actually halfway decent, as much as I hate to admit it. You have to spend a bit of time dumbing it down, but to be fair, Windows 2000 has always (ever since initial release) required a fair amount of time to get setup properly! I nearly had my fill of Windows 2000 on my old Athlon system. "First install the Motherboard AGP drivers so your video card doesn't perform at AGP 1x, then install the VIA drivers, then install the..." insanity. Fun at the time though. :-D Especially since I had a 1ghz CPU for only $70! Yah! Of course I could only run it at that speed in the spring winter and fall. ;)

If you properly knock XP around a bit though, it will behave. Enable status bars, enable hidden folders and full directory paths. I strongly dislike anything being hidden from me, especially if it is information I need to get my work done. "Oh, what folder is that file in?" "I don't know, XP hides it from me..."

Bleck.

I also have an old keyboard, heh. The new ones are the same rimless design, ick. A horrible attempt at "design". The new Dell keyboards here are Boeing do have a smart card reader, which allows for quick workstation login and automatic authentication on the company intranet.

Re:Oops (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#15868014)

What can i say? i actually do like you. Or i am like you. Or something. When i read your comments, i think "yes, exactly".

I had a comment here, than I hit cntrl-w and closed the tab, doh!

Been there, done that. Really hurts when i lose a half-hour's (or more) thinking and typing.

The reason your keyboard doesn't work is that those ps2->usb adapters ONLY work if the keyboard already supports USB.

I did not know that. And here i am, thinking it was the same as PS2=>Serial. Thanx for the info.

The monitor is likely a Dell Ultrasharp

Checking...

Says something like E17... too small to read. :)

The resolution is a good thing

Well, it does look nice. It's just too small for me to read anymore.

Anything less and Visual Studio's tool bars take up all the screen and there is no space for me to actually program in.

Heh.

Get rid of the stupid bars. That what i did. No bars show. Much better that way.

XP is actually halfway decent, as much as I hate to admit it. :) Heard that too much.

I despise the resource hogging. Also, i'm a fan of Win 98 and it's liteness.

You have to spend a bit of time dumbing it down, but to be fair, Windows 2000 has always (ever since initial release) required a fair amount of time to get setup properly!

Yeah, but 2K's dumbing down is alot easier, because i can tell what it adds. What it adds makes sense, i just don't like it. XP changes the way it all works, and adds stuff to make things be what they want it to be. It's hard to know what to turn off, so i never bothered learning.

I strongly dislike anything being hidden from me

I had some kid over as we learn C (slowly) or whatever together. He asked why i had hidden files on. I made the basic statement you just made. He seems to have found it somewhat odd, though he understood.

Funniest part was when he complained that his viruses (crude attempts at being annoying to his friends) won't work on me since they rely on hidden files.

"Exactly!" :)

Re:Oops (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15868668)


I despise the resource hogging. Also, i'm a fan of Win 98 and it's liteness.


I used to agree, but the UI improvements in 2K and XP are just too much to give up. After using 2K for awhile, going back to 98 makes me realize that, yes, indeed, Microsoft *does* spend a good deal of money on UI studies!


Get rid of the stupid bars. That what i did. No bars show. Much better that way.


I like being able to see information about my projects though, switch files easily and such. Though the entire "open in design view by default" action is inane, there must be a way to change it...


had some kid over as we learn C (slowly) or whatever together. He asked why i had hidden files on. I made the basic statement you just made. He seems to have found it somewhat odd, though he understood.

Funniest part was when he complained that his viruses (crude attempts at being annoying to his friends) won't work on me since they rely on hidden files.


Hey, I remember doing that! :)

It is hard to be annoying yet not destructive.

Re:Oops (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870004)

I used to agree, but the UI improvements in 2K and XP are just too much to give up. After using 2K for awhile, going back to 98 makes me realize that, yes, indeed, Microsoft *does* spend a good deal of money on UI studies!

Yeah, but it's a resource hog.

Under 98, i'll use the graphical find files section. In XP its painfully slow, so i just open a command window and do a (still quick) dir /s.

I associate XP with slowness and resource hogging. And no amount of eye candy will change that assesment.

I like being able to see information about my projects though

Like what?

switch files easily and such

CTRL-Tab works like a charm.

Though the entire "open in design view by default" action is inane, there must be a way to change it...

If you find it, tell me!!

It takes years to open in design view. And, i don't always remember to right-click and choose view code.

Re:Oops (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15870284)


Like what?


Quick listing of functions, which files the project has (not all may be open at any one time!), and so on.

That and I like having my work more or less centered on my screen. :)

Re:Oops (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#15871312)

quick listing of functions

I regionify *everything*!

which files the project has

Project Explorer. I have it along the right-side.

That and I like having my work more or less centered on my screen. :)

Oh you silly goose!

Re:Oops (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15871541)


That and I like having my work more or less centered on my screen. :)

Oh you silly goose!


Mostly helpful on 19 inch monitors. :) Of course, /. is not helping any here, heh. Centered comment box, no, wait, just ugly comment box, but what ever. Not left justified!

Re:Oops (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872436)

Admittedly, I'd still like a good LCD monitor, *provided*, i can find one with a default resolution i can still read at.

Re:Oops (1)

Zeriel (670422) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873031)

Usually what I do is bump the default font size up to Large Fonts or somewhere, and leave it at default resolution with ClearType enabled. Setting it up to about 120ish (IIRC) makes a 1280x1024 look approximately like 1024x768 for me, but that's why the font size is independent of the resolution right?

Like a previous poster, I use a 12" laptop that runs at 1400x1050--but it looks and feels like my old 13.5" laptop did at 1024x768 with the font size increased.

Re:Oops (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873092)

Thanx for the tip.

I ought to check it out more seriously one day.

Re:Oops (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873676)


Admittedly, I'd still like a good LCD monitor, *provided*, i can find one with a default resolution i can still read at.


Advantage of LCDs: After a few years, you can still read at all!

The eye strain difference is so gigantic, I can barely stand to use CRTs at all any more, and definitely not for extended periods of time like I used to!

Re:Oops (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874658)

Eh. I used my CRT for quite a few years [slashdot.org] and was able to read it (when the picture would show :) ).
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