Don’t you feel like trying something new
Don’t you feel like breaking out
Or breaking us in two
You don’t do the things that I do
You want to do things I can’t do
Always something breaking us in two –Joe Jackson
After years of buying up companies, HP is splitting up. While that’s probably more prudent that exiting the desktop PC business, which is another idea they flirted with in the past, it’s anyone’s guess how this is going to work out.
But it’s what all the cool kids are doing, so it’s what the investors want, and that means HP is going to do it. Read more
Back in the spring I bought a used computer. My wife wanted one, and while I probably could have cobbled something together for her, I didn’t have any extra Windows 7 licenses. So I bought a home-built Pentium D-based machine with Windows 7 on it from an estate sale for $70. The Windows license is worth that, so it was like getting the hardware for free.
When I got the hardware home to really examine it, it turned out not to be quite as nice as I initially thought. It was a fairly early Socket 775 board, so it used DDR RAM and had an AGP slot, limiting its upgrade options. The system ran OK, but not great, and it was loud.
The hard drive was a 160 GB Western Digital IDE drive built in 2003. That’s an impressive run, but a drive that old isn’t a good choice for everyday use. It’s at the end of its life expectancy and it’s not going to be fast. This weekend I got around to replacing it with an SSD. Read more
Lifehacker posted a controversial computer manufacturer ranking this week. I’m not sure how you can rank anything with Apple, HP, and Dell in it and not be controversial–someone’s going to be offended that their favorite isn’t at the top and their least favorite isn’t dead last–and while I agree with it more than I disagree with it, there are at least three problems with it.
So, let’s go. Read more
Ars Technica has a story about SSD news coming out of CES.
Basically, they’re predicting that the big news this year will be consolidation and lower prices. That may be bad news for someone who writes about SSDs for a living (I don’t), but good news for consumers. Read more
It’s not often that you end up talking about computer hardware at church. It’s especially not often that you end up talking about a RAID failure at church. But one such conversation got me thinking again about ways to reduce RAID failure rate.
This past Sunday, I talked with the executive director, who told me five of the drives in the 8-drive RAID array failed all at once. “That’s not supposed to happen,” he said.
It isn’t. But I know why it did.
I gave my out-of-box impression of the Acer Aspire One 722 last week. It’s completely unacceptable out of the box, and adequate when you do some basic cleanup on it.
Now I’ve installed an Intel SSD in one and clean-installed Windows, and I’m much more impressed with it. Read more
Western Digital has been able to start resuming hard drive production in flood-ravaged Thailand earlier this week. It was a surprise for the industry, though a pleasant one.
Ending the shortage will take time of course, but this will answer some of the questions and end some of the speculation.
Dan Bowman sent over this ongoing series at Forbes. I’d seen the first couple of parts of it, but didn’t realize it was still ongoing. In light of new Amazon tablet rumors, it takes on new relevance.
It’s a thought-provoking look at the state of U.S. manufacturing today, and the state of management. I don’t know if the author thinks it’s too late to reverse this decline, but presumably no. Otherwise he wouldn’t be writing it, probably.
PC Magazine has reprised its sub-$200 PC. I think it’s a good guide, and a savvy shopper can potentially do a little bit better with some care and some luck. At that price, it’s running Linux, but it also serves as a good guide for upgraders looking to upgrade an existing PC inexpensively. If you have a case and hard drive you can reuse, you can either buy better parts, or just pocket the savings.
Here’s my take on their selections.
I spotted a bargain SSD: The Kingston SSDNow V+100 96 GB is available at Amazon for $130. (It’s available other places for about the same price, but with Amazon’s free shipping, it’s probably cheaper there.) It uses a Toshiba controller that (by some accounts) lacks NCQ, but other than that, it’s a modern controller, and it has a good track record, having been the controller Apple used in its Macbook Air.