February 5th, 2004

caillebotte_the orangerie


Since Intel released the first of its new line of 90 nanometer processors the other day, it looks as though prices will be dropping on their older chips. They are planning 15-30% discounts on their wholesale prices for older Pentium 4 products. I don't know if that's going to effect the prices of the slower chips or not, but it makes it likely that Sluggo's replacement will either be a little bit cheaper or have a somewhat faster CPU than I expected. This, of course, assuming that nothing arises to prevent me from getting Sluggo replaced. I'm hoping I can get it done before the weather heats up again and the slug goes back to his fifteen minutes on - two hours off schedule. It would be nice not to have to put up with that anymore. But even if the new computer is faster, I won't notice it most of the time since I'll still be on dial-up service, and naturally, I won't be getting any faster either. In fact, I'll probably be slowing down. I'm sure that Intel has nothing in store which would improve my brain speed. That's doomed to decline, whatever computer I use.

Naturally, I'd like to abandon the world of the PC and all of its problems and irritations, and just get a Mac, but that's likely to stay well beyond my price range. If I could combine the money I'm likely to spend on the replacement for Sluggo's replacement I'll undoubtedly need in three years or so, I'd have enough to buy a Mac which would probably outlast both of them together, but I am unable to reach into the future and drag back money I won't have until then -- and maybe won't ever have. Time is almost as annoying as a PC. In fact, I could easily be convinced that Bill Gates had a hand in the design of it.

I could always leap head first into the world of Linux, I suppose, but given my general technological doltishness, I suspect that such a daring move would not work out well. I am, however, considering a hard drive partition and dual boot system, so I can fool (and I use the word advisedly) around with something such as Red Hat or Mandrake (I'm sure Debian would be beyond me) while still using W*nd*ws as my default crutch. If I eventually learn to use Linux, that would at least eliminate half the disadvantage of the PC -- the enslavement to Mordor Microsoft. If I don't learn to use it, well, a PC is destined to turn into Sluggo II within three years, anyway, so what the hell.

Anyway, the day is rapidly approaching when Sluggo will become non compos mentis, so the timing of Intel's new product and the likely consequent reduction of prices is fortuitous. It is likely that by May there will be more warm days than cool days, and I'm not looking forward to dealing with a machine so prone to heat stroke as Sluggo in that weather. Thus I must soon bestir myself to begin the process of looking about for his successor. This itself is not a task I relish, but it is better than the alternative of suffering through another hot season with a machine whose goal is to make me as crazy as he is.

Look at that! I just wrote four paragraphs without any reference to the weather other than in the context of its effect on Sluggo! That might be a record for me! I must not let it go on longer! It was clear tonight, and the light of the nearly full moon was almost as cold as the air. Now that things have dried a bit, that air carries less scent. There is only a hint of leaf mold and a touch of pine to accent the freshness. Quiet has prevailed, though an occasional stiff breeze has risen to briefly stir the pines to a song like distant surf, or a waterfall. Only in the last few minutes have I heard the cars of morning commuters begin to hum down the highway. In the absence of rain, that must be my lullaby tonight.

I never did manage to identify the birds I saw yesterday evening, but I stuck a couple of links in repliess to comments on my post about them (which I am too lazy to fetch and re-post here. They're easy enough to find for anyone interested.) They are both to sites featuring .wav files of bird calls. The first features trumpeter swans, and the second is to a site that has links to several hundred different bird calls, including that of the Canada Goose (lumped in with the ducks) which is another likely candidate for my fowl visitors. Some day when I have the time, I intend to go there and listen to more bird calls. Maybe they have that variety of lark which comes here in spring. Spring. That's pretty soon. I'd better get some sleep, so I'll be ready for it.
caillebotte_the balcony


It was sometime in the last couple of days that the number of LJ accounts topped 2,106,240, at which point they had increased tenfold from the time I began my journal here, in late June of 2001. I was going to watch the statistics on the log-in page so I could mention it soon after it occurred, but I forgot to check them yesterday. Ah, well. It will soon be 21,062,400 anyway, and I'll be in the earliest one percent of LJ users.

I've fetched most of the recent Windows updates, and plan to get the others later tonight. Then I'll be able to catch up on reading, and I have some writing I want to get to as well. I begrudge every minute I have to spend dealing with computer maintenance, or on letting Sluggo cool off after intensive use. Things to do.