The following is a Plus Edition article, written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.This weekend I faced a quandary that I suspect many others face. I purchased my laptop computer several years ago, and it was a state-of-the-art system at that time. However, “state-of-the-art” is a moving target. By today's standards, the laptop is a bit slow and has limited hard disk drive space. I began to think about replacing it.
The 80-gigabyte hard drive in this laptop spins at 4,200 rpm (revolutions per minute). That is no longer state-of-the-art. By 2010 standards, that's a slow disk drive with limited capacity. A few weeks ago, I was editing video of my daughter's wedding when I filled up the hard drive. Oooops! The system crashed when it could no longer find space on the hard drive for writing. Luckily, I still had the orignal, unedited video available in the camera, so I didn't lose anything other than a couple of hours of labor. Still, I need a bigger hard drive if I am going to edit videos. A faster hard drive would be nice, as well.
Finally, the one gigabyte of memory that was in the system is adequate for running one or two programs at a time, as long as they are not super memory-hungry programs. However, the video editor I use does qualify as “super memory-hungry.” It grabs the entire gigabyte of memory and would like more. It seems to run properly but is a bit slow. It slows even more as I load more and more video into the editor. Editing a one-hour video brings the system to a crawl. Don't even think of running a second program in one gigabyte of memory when the video editing program is in use!
I decided that I needed a computer with a bigger hard drive and more memory. There was but one problem: my checkbook didn't agree.
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