My newest and last computer

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John1940 Senior Member • Posts: 2,689
My newest and last computer

I finally got my very last computer two weeks ago at age 77. I always remember the words of Alexander Pope, Poet Lauriat of England, some 250 years ago:

“Be not the first by whom the new is tried

Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.”

I think I broke both rules. I bought a Dell XPS tower and kept my trusty 17” laptop too. I did almost everything backwards until fellow poster Brian taught me about the eSATA interface on my laptop.

I had bought a tiny 4 terabyte (TB) external disk drive but soon found out that USB2 is far too slow to do major backups. So, I bought an external drive that came with 3 TB of disk and eSATA and USB3. Using eSATA helped a lot on my laptop but then I ran into other limitations on it.

Then I found a Dell flyer with some nice sales prices in my outside mail box. One was for a Dell XPS tower desktop PC. Not only that but Dell had made an error in using USD prices with our 73 cent Canadian dollar in my favor. They honored the flyer price and my order, and then quickly offered a different package to most others. Dell was slow to deliver but that was free too.

I also had ordered the three 2016 Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) since I don’t use the others often.

I opened the box and was impressed with the packaging. There was the tower, keyboard and mouse plus a few cables. There were no instructions at all. But I didn’t feel I needed them anyway.

My wife and I had upgraded my laptop and her slightly larger Dell tower from Win 7 to Win 10 more than a year ago so I was familiar with Win 10. But the Win 10 with my new tower has quite a few differences. So do some things in the 2016 Office, such as the editor in Word. I like the editor in Word 2010 more so far..

Microsoft has gone away from My Computer, to Computer, to This PC and make many things harder to do than the carry-over from Win 7 to Win 10.

I like the new Dell XPS tower PC. It has 16 GB of RAM and a 2 TB internal drive. And a significant  number of USB3 ports in the back and four in front. It also has one front slot for an SD card.

And the tiny 4 TB external drive is about 10 times faster than it was with USB2. I use it with my new PC. I did a huge backup this morning and it took 2 hours. With USB2 it would have taken 20.

I rearranged my office so that I use two desks front to front six feet apart. I just roll my computer chair to get to the other computer.

It's handy to use two computers. I often need to find information and now both computers have terabytes of the same information. I keep the most important information locked in a safe. I use several 500 MB USB drives for those. Such drives are also good for remote sites.

With the new PC there is not much point in using eSATA to maybe gain another speed factor of two. But it's easy to do if needed.

The new PC is even a decent gaming computer but I don’t play any traditional computer games. I like different games such as doing CO2 emissions calculations in electrical grids around the world. The most complex games of that ilk for me were for multi-media wide area communications networks.

I may revisit those at some point. Electrical grids are simpler but more important. Wide area networks use packet switching so one needs to become expert in data structures and algorithms. That is what computer programs are.

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