Flower card from Grannieit was my birthday last week!! and just in time for it.. the main computer decided to bite the dust (which is why i didn’t post anything around the time). The main computer is the one that carries the internet connection so even though mine was working, because i get my net connection (and indeed, all my data – including the login for my wordpress account) from the main computer, i wasn’t able to do a thing. Michiel thinks we had a power spike and that’s what caused the problem – blew the motherboard on the main computer and took the hard drive out on mine.

So we had no real choice except to go out and buy a new computer. My birthday money came temporarily in handy here, as we’d not have been able to afford it otherwise. I’ve been assured by Michiel that i will get it back in the long run, but we just about managed to cobble the money together. I’m going to get terribly geeky now, but we got:

  • one spanking new motherboard with onboard graphics card and sound – Gigabyte GA M61PM-S2 nForce 430 AMD Socket AM2 Motherboard
  • one speedy dual core processor and heat sink – AMD CPU AM2 Athlon 64 Dual Core 4000 Retail Box inc Fan Socket AM2 940 PIN (3yr Manufacturers Warranty)
  • not one but two memory sticks – OCZ 1GB Kit (2×512) Platinum Series DDR2 PC6400 800MHz Dual Channel Memory And Platinum Heatspreader
  • one DVD-RW drive – Liteon 20x DVDRW/RAM Beige
  • one 200GB Hard drive – 200GB Seagate Barracuda SATA2 8MB
  • two fans – 2x Ultra Quiet 120mm Case Fan
  • one new case – Arianet 402TK Midi Case Silver Black – a very handsome model, even if i do say so myself (and i do, cos soon it will be mine instead!)
  • one new power supply unit – Xilence 480W Gaming PSU

which all adds up to a machine that is twice as fast as the old one, the graphics is much better, it handles games better, and its just.. all round faster, smoother, cooler and better than the old one (oh and more silently, i’m told). Total cost? Just around £250. Thats just for the tower and stuff, of course, no need to buy keyboard, mice or monitors or any other peripheral devices. Its also been moved: the old tower was next to me, but Michiel decided to move the new tower so it was next to him on the floor, and that’s given me a little more desk space and that’s pretty good for me 🙂

[translation for the non-geeks: motherboard = factory floor. this one is big and has moving motherboard and bitswalkways and escalators and all kinds of equipment to help people and products move around quickly and efficiently. Thats the flat bit you can see in the background of the picture. Processor = the heart of the factory, the machine that determines what goes where and what gets made. you can’t see this in the photo, as its buried under the heat sink. Heat sink = processors get hot – heat sinks are the air con for the processors. Thats the large square thing in the middle (with a fan ontop). memory = the factory manager – he remembers the short term things that need remembering, and forgets it all overnight. They’re behind teh heat sink, in the long yellow slot.

new caseHard drive = accounts and administration, the filing cabinets and the prodigious memory of that accounts/admin clerk that every organisation has. DVD drive = the mailboy who reads all the mail coming in and makes sure it gets to the right person. fans = the parts that keep the whole thing cool. Power supply unit – the part that makes sure electricity gets to all the parts of the factory that need it. Just about all computers need parts like this, or variations on it.]

the intention is that in the long run (and more slowly), we’ll build another computer, using parts donated to us by friends and new parts where necessary, which i’ll have, as i don’t need the kind of gaming power that Michiel has. All my parts will go in the case we bought last week, and Michiel will buy the kind of case he wants (the kind that makes coffee if you think coffee at it – oh and cleans the kitchen sink when necessary as well).

It took a few days to get sorted out: one of the memory sticks we’d bought was a duff one, and it took a while for Michiel to sort out the exact problem. However he finally managed (with some help) to get everything back up to scratch last night and we’re now running properly again.

birthday cards 07I had some lovely cards for my birthday. My favorite was a beautiful watercolour from my Grandmother, which i may just frame and put on the wall somewhere, its so pretty (see the picture of the flowers at the top of this entry). Most of the presents were money, especially from family, which – for the most part – went towards the computer, although, as i’ve the purple cowsaid, Michiel is determined i’ll get that cash back. From Sez i got a cute lil purple cow figurine that i fell in love with, holding a sign that is so appropriately me (see pic) and a guillotine – no, not for Michiel’s head! – A small one for cutting paper for my cards. That will come in very handy because even if no one else can see the wonky lines where i’ve cut paper for cards, i can!! My Great Aunt also, as well as cash, sent a lovely jersey blanket in a very eyecatching geometric pattern – she said i could give it to Jess to lie throw for sofaon if we wanted but i think it looks far more handsome on the back of the sofa, the red fits in with other red accents in our living room and brings some warmth to the room, colourwise. (and yes, that’s Jess edging her way out of the camera. right after i took this, she went n grumpily lay on her bed on the floor instead. She really doesn’t like the flash.)

So now i just have to catch up with a week’s worth of emails, blog posts, replies, comments..!!! (what fun!)