Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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More Wrestling With Computers

My new work computer was installed today. Thank goodness I'm mostly between projects today, because it took me nearly all day today to get things the way I wanted them.

The new machine is a powerhouse, with a fast processor and loads of memory. I'm looking forward to running tests to compare how fast it runs some optimization models that took hours to run on the old machine.

The new system came with a large flat-panel display, replacing the smaller, heavier, lower-resolution monitor. That's nice; OTOH, the anti-glare screen is now too small and I'll have to get a new one.

The biggest reason this took so long to get set up was that I already had two computers, and part of this process was to decommission the older of the two and install the new one in its place. These two machines share a keyboard/mouse/monitor using a switchbox. I think that it probably would have gone more smoothly if I'd not also replaced the mouse and keyboard, but the new machine came with a new, fancy wireless mouse and keyboard.

The problem was that the computer wouldn't recognize the mouse via the switchbox, only when directly connected. I had to plug the mouse and keyboard into the new machine, boot the machine, install the driver disks for the new hardware (including the monitor), reboot, confirm that the computer recognized the equipment directly, then shut down the computer, put the cables back the other way (via the switchbox), and boot the computer again. After all that, the computer recognized the new equipment properly. Then I got to do it all again for the middle-aged computer, onto which I'd cascaded all of my old computer's files, e-mail configuration, web stuff, etc. Except I had to do it twice because it didn't work the first time. I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor of my cubicle moving cables around and waiting for computers to boot.

Thank goodness it eventually all did come together. I was a little worried for a while that it just wouldn't support a two-in-one configuration, which would have been annoying at best.

It's possible that I'll be able to acquire the old machine being decommissioned, as it's completely depreciated and was probably going to be scavenged for parts or possibly just sent off for scrap. It's a good thing I didn't send it away immediately, as late this afternoon, I discovered that there was one directory on it that I hadn't moved to the middle-aged machine, so I had to move cables around again so I could start it up one more time and salvage the missing files.

All of the hassles of doing this computer setup is one reason I put off getting new hardware until the need gets unbearable. With luck this new machine will keep me going for several years.

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