A friend, whose company was upgrading its laptops, got me an old PII 300 model. In this gigahertz era, that’s awfully slow. The street value is probably a few hundred bucks, if that much.
Because it was from his business, I agreed to wipe the hard drive clean and then reinstalled Windows 98, its original operating system. After plugging in a wireless network card and adding the drivers, it was time to go to Microsoft’s site to get all the updates and security fixes.
Whose kidding whom? There’s no possible way dial-up users are keeping their software up-to-date. And, the vast majority of high speed at home users are there too.
I downloaded all the Microsoft stuff, Real player, OpenOffice, Spybot Search and Destroy, Dimension4 to keep the clock on time, favoritesync to keep my bookmarks aligned between computers, iespell and pokerstars.com’s client.
They’re all free… though pokerstars can cost you in the long run.
Then I went to the Navas Cable Modem/DSL Tuning Guide and got the registry hack to speed up my broadband access. Finally, I moved the virtual memory to a small disk partition and specified the exact size, which keeps it from fragmenting.
The computer is a champ. There’s little it’s doing that’s not fast enough. I suspect an upgrade from 64 to 128mb of memory will make a some difference, and I have ordered a stick for under $30.
I can’t begin to tell you how often a friend or co-worker will come to me (because I seem to be tech support for most of my friends – except those who are tech support to me) and ask for advice because their computer isn’t fast enough.
Usually, it is fast enough and they’re about to piss away money.
The CPU speed is certainly important, but nowhere as important as most people think. Most Pentium class PCs are totally usable, if you have enough memory (usually very cheap), the right video driver (crucial – and free) and get rid of spyware, malware and the other junk that’s leeching off your limited resources.
So, as I type this up on the ‘big machine’, I’m playing poker on the laptop. Life is good.