Thursday, March 01, 2007


This computer of mine is so slow! A WindowsXP from Hewlitt-Packard, it's a fine machine, but - Egad! - it's so slow to load pages on the browser, open programs, you name it! So, a week ago, with a few extra shekels I've saved up, I surfed around for some memory chips to install.

I found Memory Ten. Now Memory Ten has a neat application you can use to figure out what RAM memory your computer is already running, how many slots you have free for more chips, and then lists the chips it sells that can fit those slots, the size of RAM for each, and the price!


I had 256RAM running and a single empty slot. What the heck, right? So I ordered a chip (256RAM to match and double the RAM) and even a flash memory card for my MP3 player (which I got from to play books). The damage amounted to a total of $46.96, well within my budget. All that was left was to get it - FedEx - and install. So I waited. And, yes, I worried! I've installed memory chips before. In an old Packard-Bell Windows 95 machine, and in my old HP Windows 98 machine. Not easy as eating ice cream, mind you, but it doesn't take a computer tech to do. But this is a newer machine - for me! It's actually a 2003 model! - and one I've rarely opened. Would I screw the whole machine up? Would I install the chip wrong? Would I chance having a big bowl of chili for lunch? You know. The normal worries.

Well the chip arrived yesterday, and I settled down this morning to install it.

My hands are too wide to fit comfortably in the opened computer; my fingers are not long and slender enough to fiddle about easily in the computer's innards. I had to disconnect both floppy disk drives in there, as the ribbon connectors were just clogging everything up. I unplugged the LS120 disk drive's power cable, too.

*At that point, benning, you are in too deep to just give up!*

The chip fits into a long slot on the motherboard, with two plastic clips to lock it into place. Hard to see down in there, but I kept comparing the old chip's position to make sure I wasn't trying to mush the new chip in backwards. Then I tried to get my fingers all the way into the tiny space to reach the locking clips.

I growled and whined a bit through all this, mind you.

Just when I was afraid I had bought a useless piece of plastic, I remembered the old computers! You don't have to touch those locking clips! I pushed the chip gently down into the slot, kept the pressure firmly on the edge, and the clips flipped up, locking the chip down.

Hooray! I did it! I am one Effing computer Genius! Heheheee!

But now the moment of truth. Will the computer boot up, and load? Might not! Might just whirr and sputter, then die.

Nope! It loaded fine! The chip was installed right, the computer loaded a tad faster, and all's right with the world.

What's the point? I hate fiddling with a computer's innards. I've done it frequently enough to know I can kill a computer, and to know I can install some extras. If I'm careful. If I had said to myself, "Why bother? It's too much trouble. Too many things can go wrong! Buy a book, instead!" then I would not have installed the extra memory for my computer and would still be bitching about how slow it is.

You can't let little fears, or great ones, stop you. When something needs doing, do it. So what if it fails? You will learn something. And do better the next time.

Note: What slows my computer down most, and this has been true of every one of them, is the vast number of programs I have installed on them. I'd bet it's the same with you, too. *shrug*

Whattya gonna do, eh?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Brooke has a disturbing, and very sad, but eye-opening post, "Women's Rights Under Sharia: To Die." By all means, let us understand these Islamofascists. Then let us eradicate every last one of them! Go read her post!


WomanHonorThyself said...

Hey Benning..ty for your visit to my humble abode!...I'm jealous..I'm still a computer dummy!;)

benning said...


If you need to do it, you will! ;)

I always enjoy my visits to your abode, Angel!

a.k.a. Blandly Urbane said...

Not a fun operation to contemplate. Unfortunately not a day that allowed much time for visiting my favorite sites either. I visited earlier when your "Erse" (hope that's correct) post was the latest, but never got a chance to begin reading it. Finally closed the tab after a couple of hours.

As you implied, adding RAM etc., is not too tough, but 'will I be sorry I tried,' is always the kicker.

Embarassing as it is, I had my RAM installed in my laptop by someone else as I'm more comfortable with a desktop box, I didn't want to mess with it. Didn't I feel like an idiot when I saw all he had to do was remove a panel on the bottom, remove the old and insert the new....$30 later. I figured what the heck as it was too late to turn around and couldn't change what I had done, but WOW - come on - I wish I had looked into it myself.

As for all the applications you have; if your machine boots up slow check and see what is in the "start up." You may find there is a lot of garbage loading that doesn't need to be, unless or until you want to use it.

Thanks for the link to the "load test site," I didn't do too bad. Might be a good link to put on my site, at least for my use.

Well, here's to hoping I have time tomorrow to enjoy these latest posts of yours and to make my usual (try to be) rounds.

19 votes so far? Nice.

benning said...

$30 for a course in chip installation. Not bad! Now you know you can do it yourself. I would never open a laptop to tinker. I don't understand them at all. So I don't blame you for having someone else do it.

I've gone through the bit where I look at all the things that load, but I still have no idea which are safe to shut down and which aren't. And there's a lot running, that's for sure!

19 votes is wonderful! :D

Brooke said...

I get the hubby to do all my cpu upgrades and most repairs... His labor costs are better than the repair shop! :P

BTW, thanks for the mention, Benning!

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

You're braver than me. The only time I opened a computer some static electricity jumped from me and fried it.

Gayle said...

You can uncheck all the programs you loaded yourself from your start page. That will speed up your loading capabilities a lot. Things like Compaq Connections; Adobe Reader Spe... Slip Stream, SpySubract, Google Updater, Weather, don't need to be checked. They just run in the background and slow down your pc.

To get to your start page, go to "search" and type in "msconfig" then click on "Startup" in the window that comes up. Hope this helps, and congratulations on loading your own memory card. The first time I did that I felt the same way you did, but my hands are small so at least I didn't have that working against me. :)

Always On Watch Two said...

I've never had the nerve to start tinkering with my computer's innards. But if I had to, I guess I would.

Lately, my laptop has been starting up oh-so-slowly. I'll look into Gayle's info to see what I can "fix."

Brooke said...

Don't forget to set your cache low and empty it every so often!

benning said...

Yeah, the Temporary Internet Files need to be emptied often. Clean that sucker!