What Technology Do You Own To Access The Internet?

Today’s post is something a little different. Who am I kidding; all my posts are a little something different. 🙂

In this case I’m asking a question, which you’ve already seen above. I ask it because I’m not the guy who’s on the cutting edge of technology anymore. As time goes on and priorities shift, there’s just too much stuff that costs too much for me to keep up with.

Hipster
Creative Commons License Joel Bedford via Compfight

I wasn’t always like this; then again, I didn’t have to be. I used to know all the computer brands, how much RAM they had, the technical specs of monitors and all the accessories; I was the guy to come to.

Where am I now? I still know enough about regular computers to be dangerous, and I can compare specs on laptops. And that’s where most of what I know ends. And yet, there’s so many more things people have and can do in accessing the internet.

I have a smartphone, a HTC Thunderbolt that’s already out of style. It’s big and wonderful and yet they don’t even make batteries for them anymore; it’s just over 18 months old. Two months ago, when I went looking for a battery, I was told they stopped making them 6 months ago, which means I have to order them online; what the hey? Is technology supposed to pass us by that fast?

Last year I bought my wife a Nook Color, and luckily they still sell that, along with the Kindle Fire But there’s so many other things that are on the market that I know nothing about. I have seen an iPad, but only twice ever; what’s that about? Last night a friend of mine showed me, online, her new tablet, the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. I didn’t even know who made these things besides Apple, Panasonic and Samsung; isn’t that a shame?

I know I’m only touching the surface, so I thought for once I’d ask you what you have, why you like it (or them), and whether you got what you wanted or what something else. I’m feeling like an old guy here; sigh…
 

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Is Your Tech Failing You?

I have an Epson Photo R200 printer. I like this printer a lot, so much so that I bought my wife one, and I even recommended it to my mother and a friend of mine, both of whom bought the same thing.

I do have a problem with it, though. It doesn’t like to print envelopes. Actually, the printing part is fine; it’s the feeding the envelopes through the printer part that it won’t do. I have to literally push the envelope into the feeder and hope that it takes it to get envelopes printed. If I’m only doing one envelope at a time it’s not such a big deal. But when I’m doing some of my marketing and I’m pushing through between 20 and 40 envelopes, it’s very irritating.

As I started to think back on it, I realized that every printer I’ve ever owned has been an Epson, and I’ve always had the same problems. That’s over 20 years of envelope problems, yet I keep buying the same thing. I know I’m the loyal type, but I’m thinking that’s a bit ridiculous in retrospect.

Then I started thinking about other tech things as it relates to my computing, or in some way interacts with my computer, and things I’ve tolerated over the years. For instance, I’ve had a Palm of some type since 2002. For the most part they’ve all worked pretty well. But every one of them invariably had an issue. And, oddly enough, I realized that at some point I sent each of them back to the company because something had failed; how weird is that? I love the fact that I can carry all my addresses and passwords and music and calendar and the like with me easily enough; but have I really gotten my money’s worth and had my time be really efficient in the long run with some of the technical issues I’ve had to deal with?

And then there’s my computer itself. Some of you remember my tale about getting my old computer fixed by the computer guy and the subsequent story the next day. The computer I had before that one was a terror as well. As a matter of fact, for all the complaints I’ve had about Vista, the truth is that this is still the best running computer I’ve had since the very first computer I ever had, my double floppy special back in 1987 that I never wanted, and look at all the trouble it’s led to in my life. 🙂 And I have had a few problems with this computer that I’m not sure are Vista related that makes me wonder what it is with tech companies to begin with.

I mean, is it that they’re all following what we know as the Microsoft Principle, which means put it out there even if it’s not perfect and we’ll try to make it better as it goes along? Yeah, I know, nothing’s perfect, but is there anything that any of us have bought that we can truthfully say we’ve never had even one little glitch with it?

I’ve had to replace my scanner four times. I’ve had to replace the battery pack to my laptop twice, and the hard drive once. My GPS unit just won’t update itself online through this computer, even though it’s supposed to, which means that was a waste of $65 to update the maps. I tried to update the software for the transfer of files between my cell and the computer and ended up losing access to my computer for a few hours until I figured out how to get back into it and do a system restore; thank goodness I could do that. I had to buy a USB headset because my previous headset and my microphone suddenly wouldn’t work. One of my external hard drives has bit the dust, and it was considered a highly ranked enclosure when I bought it. I can’t count how many hard drives I’ve lost over the years. And I’ve had to replace two monitors in my lifetime.

Am I expecting too much in my tech, or do many of you feel the same way? And, not that I’m going to change all that immediately, but is there a printer out there that’s not a HP (let’s not even go into why I’m not buying a HP) that will easily load envelopes so I can remove that bit of minor stress from my life in the future, that also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?

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My New Computer

There are some things you allow others to buy you, then there are those things you just have to do for yourself. This is one of those things I had to do for myself; I finally bought a new computer.

For the back story, my previous computer has been nothing but problems from the day I bought it. That sucker just kept shutting down at the most inopportune times (as if there’s an opportune time for your computer to throw up the BSOD), and there was nothing I could do about it. I took it back to Comp USA, where I bought it, seven times. I’d had it put together there, and I’m not sure but that was probably the biggest mistake of my life. I easily spent over $3,500 on that bad boy, first picking out all the components, then in repair costs and replacement parts costs (even though I purchased a service agreement), and nothing.

Then this summer, I took it to the computer repair guy up the street, and had a couple of encounters with him that ended up with my computer still not working, but now it was shutting down more often, and at more inopportune times. Frankly, with everything I did over a four year period, if I was dealing with real world issues I’d have won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Gateway FX Computer

Well, there’s nothing that a good consulting assignment won’t take care of, and in this case, it’s taken care of my being able to buy a new computer; whew! So, what did I get? I got the Gateway FX Desktop with Intel® Core™ i7-920 Processor, 3 GB DDR3 RAM, 750 GB SATA hard drive, 2.66 GHz processor, 512K ATI RADEON HD 4850 video card, 10 USB ports, one Firewire, dual-layered DVD player/ recorder,… and a host of other stuff that I’m not quite sure what it does, but I’ll learn it. This thing is fast, and it’s stable; man, I’ve wanted that for a very long time. It’s also expandable for two more hard drives and up to 16 GB DDR3 RAM; like I need more storage and more speed and power. Well, in this case, one never knows with me, right? Still, I’m stuck with Vista, but I have to say that, thus far, it’s working well, though there are some minor irritations I’m having, such as it’s working hard to keep me out of files that I’ve always been able to get into and modify on my own. That, and this weird thing of having two Program Files folders, one for 32-bit stuff, the other for 64-bit stuff; weird.

Now, me being me, I had to talk myself out of getting the computer that was one step up, and I’m glad I did. It came with a 2.93 GHz i7-940 processor and 6 GB DDR RAM and 2 GB video memory along with the terabyte hard drive, but when it comes to RAM, it was only expandable to 12 GB RAM. Of course, it was also set up for wireless LAN, and that would have been nice, but since my hub is less than a foot away from the back of my computer, it’s no big deal.

I had to talk myself out of that for two reasons. One is because I also bought the 22″ HDMI Gateway widescreen monitor that’s taken my breath away thus far (once again, having to talk myself out of spending another $150 for 2 inches; that just didn’t seem to computer). Two is because, since I was throwing my money around, I also bought a 42″ Sharp HDTV for the bedroom to replace the best sounding TV I ever had because the remote control wouldn’t work anymore, and it wasn’t the control, it was the sensor in the TV. Have you tried to find an inexpensive TV repairman in today’s world?

Yeah, I was throwing my money around yesterday, treating myself to a late Christmas present. But don’t think I spent it all on me. I took care of my wife before Christmas, the TV is actually more for her than for me, since I spend almost all of my time at the computer, and I’m still going to be giving her more stuff over the next few days to help her take care of some things she’s wanted to do for a long while. I’m a good husband, but she’s a good wife, and knew I needed a new computer. I gave her my old monitor, and man, there’s no real comparison between a flat screen 19″ and one with a big tube in it, is there?

Asus laptop

Of course, the next big electronics purchase for me will need to be a laptop at some point. My poor laptop is moving close to 5 years old now, and I noticed it was struggling last week as I was running it as the main computer. I hope it can last at least another couple of months, as I have some other things to take care of, and then we’ll see what I go with. Right now, I’m leaning towards the Asus Laptop with Intel® Centrino® 2 Processor Technology, red and black colored (I love colors), Intel® Centrino Core™2 Duo Mobile 2.66 GHz, 320 GB hard drive with 4GB DDR3 RAM, and a 17 inch screen. Right now I have a 15.4″ screen, but if you know me you know I never go lateral or smaller, hence the larger screen. Of course, something else might tickle my fancy, as I haven’t ruled out the Alienware n9750 17″ laptop or their new M17 17″, with the 500 GB hard drive, and I’m still kicking myself for not buying, when it was available, the Superman Area 51 laptop; that was really cool!

No matter. With the new speed and no more worries about shutting down, there will be more blogging articles on all my blogs, and everyone will want to buy new computers eventually. Happy holidays!


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