Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A rather boring post about my home computers

So I bought a new desktop PC off back in October.  It was a HP desktop suitable enough for my needs.  I didn't like that it came with Window 8 but also recognized that is the leading-edge OS in the Windows world and I might as well join the avant-garde party.  I could have got a Windows 7 if I had jumped on one quickly enough but by the time I ran it past my fellow geeks the option that gave me the best hardware for cheapest price was gone.  All in all, I'm quite happy with the $400 savings on this one then the custom one I might have built on the HP website.

Before this new PC arrived, I had three desktop PCs that I used for the following purposes. 

  • My main desktop, a dell PowerEdge 400SC class PC which I got for $20 at a yard sale in 2009.  I got it to replace the dinosaur Dell (named Orion) that I had been using since 1999.  I threw a copy of XP on it and added the data drive from Orion.   I really only used it for storing emails, some web surfing and blogging. 
  • PC that I built in 2007 that was supposed to be an Application Server but I changed jobs and it ended up really being just a glorified storage drive.  I had plans to use it as a NAS but never got around to it.  When Nightingale and I merged households, one of my many time wasting tasks was going through a box of 3.5 inch diskettes and seeing if there was anything of value worth saving.  A few got copied to this machines hard drive.  Alas, somewhere between all the moves, the HD got fried and it won't even spin so I've lost whatever was on it.  I do have redundant copies of most of it, but there's always a chance one file was missed over.  You know, the one with the next great American novel on it, about a vampire who loves a zombie and they go to wizard school or something like that.
  • A Windows Media Center PC that my in-laws gave us.  It took me a couple days to get all the
    malware, spyware and other junk off it and convert it into a clean poor man's Roku that we used at the condo so we could watch a few things online since we didn't have cable.

Anyway, when they were all working they were fine machines and I had geek-visions of re-purposing the machines as media storage, surveillance camera servers, firewall and whatnot.  Alas, it's too much work and we aren't there yet.  Hence the new PC -- this is probably the last traditional desktop I will ever buy because the leading-edge trend is to go tablet.  

So over the last month I've been slowly migrating the data from the old pcs to the new one.   I decided I'd get rid of the App Server and the SBS machines.  I'm keeping the Media Center one because it still a pretty good piece of hardware and it can support my XP apps that I don't want to upgrade.  I put the outlook archive on it.  The only potential issue is that the hard drive makes a lot of noise when it spins.  I don't know if this is because of its age or from all the moving I put the PC through in the last year (condo to new house, basement to attic, to first floor, now to office.)

The final two
On the new HP, I just have my current email on Outlook 2013 -- I was fortunate to be able to purchase Office 2013 for $10 as an additional benefit of my current employer and the fact that Micosoft is ready to move on to Office 365.

I figure another month or so and I will be confident that I can drop these machines -- stripped of their hard drives of course -- off at the recycle center.

I figure if I don't come across it in a month,  I won't likely need it at all.  Yes, I do have a a backup of the HD on an external Maxtor drive, but I'm not convinced everything got copied.  The problem is that I'm using a maxtor that is already very full with other backups so I cannot simply select the copy the entire drive option and for some reason I cannot select or even see certain folders.  I could trouble shoot it but I rally don't want to invest that much effort and energy.   

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