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My 53 Rocket 88

My car was Lt. Green.

My office computer is acting like an old car. Maybe a 1950’s Chevy. My mother had one of those. Not sure of the year. The differential gear broke and the rear axle shaft and wheel departed the car while driving around a corner.

I have owned many old cars myself. I had a 1953 Olds, Rocket 88 in 1965. That 12 year old car ran most of the time but was always breaking down and needing repair parts. Sometimes something major. Sometimes something that is just annoying, like a burned-out headlight. (Always replace in pairs.) You can drive in the day but must get home before dark. You fix it and live with its quirks. I put new brakes and new front-end parts on it before my dad would let me drive it. A lot of engine work too.

My Main PC is acting like my 53 Olds. Little, and sometimes not so little things keep going bad. I liked to drive Olds and it was fun because it was the only wheels I had. But the computer can be a PITA. You know what that is.

My cars are a lot better. This time the pain is my 12 year old computer, and one of its terabyte hard drives. It kind of works for a while, then it just kind of doesn’t. Sometimes it just disappears from the system all together. It’s attention span seems to lapse. It will be chugging away loading a file, then just wander off into La-La land somewhere. “Hey!, Where did you go?!”  Well, it WAS hit by lightning once… awhile back.

I have been able to save all the files on the drive. It would accept a “short” format, which really isn’t a format at all. When I do a long format (where it actually checks and verifies sectors) it pulls its, “forget what I am doing” trick. A long format on a terabyte drives takes a long time but not 20 hours.

There is supposed to be a 64 MB buffer on this drive. I suspect it, or it’s built in microprocessor has become a bit flakey. Kind of like having Alzheimer’s disease.

I just tried to do another short format and it has forgotten how to do that. It appears to be trying another long format.

It’s time to put this hard drive out of its misery, or take it out of mine. I have ordered a replacement. Only $50.00. In computer cost, that’s like the nickel and dimes an old car cost to keep running.

I have researched what it cost to replace the whole machine. Ouch. It has a quad core 3.9 GHz processor, 8 gigs of RAM, 3.5 Terabytes of hard drive storage, high quality Video card, 600-Watt power supply and a lot of high end software applications installed. Starting over is a killer thought. It’s like pricing new cars today.

It is nearly state-of-the-art as far as features except for a solid-state drive. It’s not a gaming machine but does function as a decent work station for CAD drawing and all kinds of graphic programs (Adobe).

I won’t settle for less than a equally fast quad processor and probably 16 GB of RAM. A decent video system that can drive a 4K UHD monitor is a must.

I think I will just continue keeping old Betsy running. She’s kind of like my old 53 Rocket 88. An old beast you just love to keep running. When she gives up for good, then I’ll find a replacement.

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