When Technology Goes Right

PC Inside Out

I’m a PC

One of the most daunting things about technology is when you have to start really understanding it. Products from that uber cool bastion of sleek design, Apple, are created so that they just work intuitively like the click wheel on iPods (or may be unlike this mickey-take from the Onion).  They are not made for those kind of people who like to take things apart to see how they work or customise them for their own ends. When you buy a Mac, and I’m guessing here, part of the safe and secure feeling that you get  from your purchase is from knowing you’ll never have to break  into it or need to alter it in some ungodly way to make it go how you want it to go. Therefore, you don’t really need to know how its insides work, or which sprogets on the motherboard plug in where, and you never upgrade… you just get what you’re given. (I stand to be corrected if you know better).

PC’s on the other hand have a tendancy to need maintenance and a little care and attention. I have recently become interested in this sleeves-rolled-up approach to computing where you pull the cover off the system and start to upgrade the internals.  I spent an evening last week (with much assistance from someone much more savvy in this arena) to install myself a new hard drive, reinstall Windows Vista while at the same time creating a partition so that I could dual-boot into Ubuntu 8.10 as an alternative. Twelve months ago I wouldn’t even have been able to write that sentance.  Whether I shall manage to free myself from the shackles of Micro$oft, and move 100% to open source, I do not know, but the challenge sounds like it will be fun.  However, other than dabbling in Linux, there is another object to this exercise.

From my perspective, I would like to begin to merge my computer/internet activities with the television ones for which this blog was created. Dabbling in iPlayer or occasionally playing a DVD on my computer is the extent, so far, to which I have watched TV on my ‘puter. However, linking my system to a TV service (via some Freesat adaptor, perhaps?), using some flavour of “media center” application, then linking that system to my TV screen seems, from what I have read, like an achievable ambition at the moment but I don’t know where to start with the tinkering. Sometimes, I yearn for a time with a TV that only had one cable for power and one cable for a TV signal and four channels to choose from. Although, these yearnings don’t last long though when I wonder how I ever got along without a PVR.

On the other hand, The Other Viewer is also making some computer upgrade decisions and it sounds like she will be following the way of the Mac for heavy duty photography work and professional standard printing.  Therefore, in the space of a week or so chez Fazzinchi will become a three-operating system household with Mac OSX, Windows Vista and Ubuntu all running along in something approaching harmony. Who knows whether it work.

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