Another computer entry

The hard disk of my main computer is in bad shape. I am running Spinrite 6 on it each night now, but modern disks are huge compared to what this tool was made for. And this huge disk has lots of bad spots. Spinrite has recovered some lost sectors and rewritten a number of weak ones. But frankly, at this speed it could be weeks or even months of nightly disk recovery before it is back in perfect surface health.

According to my earlier notes, the TERRA is from November 2007, meaning it is over 3 years old. It is not a record exactly, but usually I bought a new one every other year or so. This may be the first time I actually wear out a computer, rather than it breaking down suddenly or (usually) being stowed away while still usable but slow. The computer from 2004 is still workable, but so slow that you can go make some food while it starts a program.

It is not like I could not buy a new computer, I guess.  The price for a similar machine is not too bad by zeroth world standards. But that’s the thing… it is a similar machine. There are small improvements: I can get it with built-in SSD as main disk and the 1TB disk as second disk, which would give a significantly faster machine in some ways. Much faster start, and a small improvement whenever a program calls the operating system and uses a part that is not in memory. Faster swapping, but I already have that now with the add-in SSD. Also, there is USB 3.0, which would allow me to add super fast external hard disks. Because I need those… not really.

That’s it, there is no “killer application”, nothing that would change my life, so to speak. I’m not eager to shell out $1200 (plus the taxi to get it home from the post office…) for a machine that is marginally faster. So I will probably keep this one until either it breaks down or I do. But for now, I’m running Spinrite each night. Over the next few weeks I hope this will restore the hard disk to working order, in which case it will only hang once a day or so from the widescreen driver…


If you have an Android phone, you may want to get JuiceDefender, a program that extends battery life by turning off various features that are not in use at any given time. For instance, there is no point in having Internet access running all the time while the phone is in your pocket. It can go online a few seconds every five minutes, for instance, to check for mail, Twitter or Facebook updates. You can set how often, and various other things, but I haven’t. I use the free version with standard settings, and it seems to roughly triple battery life for me, possibly a bit more. I used to have to recharge it for a while in the middle of the day, now it is not even half empty at bedtime. Which, incidentally, is now.

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