Saturday, March 19, 2016

I Have a New Electron-Driven Algorithmic Computing Box

An A-10A of pre-glass cockpit design. (Source)
As many of you may remember, my elderly computer began exhibiting odd behavior. The same application starting multiple times but never finishing. The task manager would show multiple copies running in memory, slowly gobbling up memory until late comers to the "let's eat all the Sarge's machine's memory" party would find that the cupboard was bare.

I spent the week blogging on my wee Surface 2 tablet, using (gasp) Internet Explorer as my browser. The little gal did really well, though the small screen was exasperating at times, I got used to it. So used to it that today, on an expedition into the wilds of Home Depot, I said to The Missus Herself, "Honey, let's take your car!" She agreed but did think it somewhat odd.

Why is this a big deal you ask? Well, she drives a Toyota Corolla, I drive a Honda Element. Her car is much smaller than mine. I was now so used to doing things "small" I extended that to driving around.

But on the way home from Home Depot (where we purchased gardening supplies, if you must know) I announced that we needed to make a stop as I wished to "look at computers."

Surprisingly she didn't veto that plan. (Though I did get a lecture as to "what are you going to do with all those old computers in your closet?") I was a bit surprised at her acquiescence, caught me off guard it did.

We went into the electronics emporium, where I beheld row upon row of (shudder) laptops. I have to tell you, I'm not a laptop guy. I would be tempted to cart the thing around, looking for Wi-Fi hotspots and the like. Nope, I'm a desktop guy, I want to be able to take the case off and look inside. Kind of like popping the hood on a car. Can't do that with a laptop. (Well, you can but it isn't recommended by the manufacturer.)

Now over to the side I noticed that they did have desktop computers. First thing I noticed is that they were smaller than they used to be. Hhmm. Technological advances I guess. But they were all sleek and rather shiny. (In a Firefly kind of way.) I was intrigued, attracted to them I was. As The Missus Herself hadn't ordered me back to the car yet, I approached those machines. Wondering, which could be mine?

I saw Ienovos and Dells but not my brand of choice (Asus). 'Twas then that a salesperson approached.

"Can I help you?"

"Why yes my good man, yes you can. I am seeking a computing device of awesome power, speedy graphics, and easy on the wallet. Would you have such a machine?"

"What do you want to use it for?"

"Ah, what don't I want to use it for? I do gaming, writing, corresponding, Netflix-perusing, Facebooking, blogging, plotting, scheming..."

"Oh wait, I see what I want!"

And guess what dear reader, the lovely wee machine was ON SALE!!!! And was just what I wanted except, except, it didn't have Windows 10.

"No problem Sir. As soon as you log in, it will ask you if you wish to upgrade to Windows 10. And, did I mention, it's on sale."

"Take my money good Sir! Please."

He did. We went home, did some gardening stuff and then I set up the new computer. It really is shiny. But I will say, the upgrade to Windows 10 took some time. About five hours if you must know.

Was it worth the wait? Yes, yes it was.

This is the very first post on my brand new Electron-Driven Algorithmic Computing Box. It will take time to get used to (though the controls are far simpler than in that photo of the old A-10A) but we're learning. Just think, you were there for that momentous event.

Sort of. No, not really. Trust me though, it was fun. I am in such a good mood, I bring you some "Brrrt." Watch the video, you'll understand.



  1. I confess that all those knobs, levers, dials, buttons and other widgets both fascinate and intimidate me. Seems almost impossible that one can learn by heart the function of each, when and how they should / should not be used.

    Glad to hear that the new computer is working out well for you. Plus, it was On Sale!

    1. I too have a fascination with buttons, dials, gauges, and levers.

      On Sale is good...

  2. Replies
    1. I am, though I'm finding the new keyboard to be a bit vexing.

  3. Don't forget the Powershell script. Windows 10 updates tend to set privacy settings to what Microsoft wants, not what OldAFSarge wants.

    1. Oh yes, glad you reminded me of that. As a geezer, I tend to forget things!

      And the link at the original post points back at the blog. The tail end bit is FISD%5Cpapercut.

    2. Hmmm...Well, I screwed that one up. Here's another try.

    3. Ah now there's a good link. (Used github on a project last year. Small world.)

  4. Hi Sarge, I'm still working up the nerve to download Win 10! Thought I'd post up and wish you `bon chance` with the new gizmo (plus I needed to take a break from watching a documentary on Mr Trump and his current campaign trail).

    As you know, I do not jibe, snipe or in any way insult my Uncle Sam's commander because 1. I'm just a pesky Redcoat and so it's not my place as I don't vote so I don't count; 2. I'm just a pesky Redcoat who really likes and respects his Uncle Sam; 3. I'm just a pesky Redcoat and in my `previous life` in a disciplined service, I lived by an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen, not to politicians, which engendered in me respect for my allies and friends that transcended politics. But Sarge, I have to tell you, from my outsiders perspective, things are starting to look sadly lacking in I.Q.
    Your friend, as always, Hogday.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Hogday, always a pleasure.

      I concur with your assessment of my countrymen's lack of discernment and rational thought.

      So far Windows 10 is behaving itself, I rather prefer it over Windows 8, which I have on my tablet.

      Being a bit of a Luddite, I still miss MS-DOS. But those days are long gone...

    2. It seems ever so . . . here, in these United States. But we toddle on. I recall that back during the Reagan years, his intellect being the butt of every comedian's jokes. We survived. Lincoln was detested by almost half the country. Archie Bunker could not stand FDR . . . or anything associated with him. And so it goes.

    3. True. We somehow muddle through.

    4. New Computer! YAY! I am becoming alarmed at this country's brains. How can anyone in their right mind consider either the Hildabeast or Trump? From what I see on my Facebook timeline, there ARE a lot of middle aged women that are going to vote for Shrillary, just because she is a woman. Even though she will use the office for personal profit, and acquisition of power for herself. As for Trump, he inherited 200 million dollars from his Dad, and has run it down to 150 million. Trump Shuttle; Trump Airline; Trump Steaks; Trump Vodka; Trump University; Trump. The Board Game, believe it or not, all failed; he bought the Plaza Hotel for $450 Million, and late sold it back to the bank for $375 million. Yet he thinks he is the greatest businessman of all time. We are in so much trouble.

    5. It's a popularity contest. Real talent need not apply.

      Or so it seems.

  5. Congrats on the new shiny! We recently acquired an all-in-one machine (on sale at Costco), and are quite pleased. May yours provide a suitable number of years of smooth & problem-free computing operations. :)

  6. Hi Sarge - I got my new convertible last week - I don't do games on my computers so I'm good to go with $250 Lenovo Yoga 11e - the point of my story is that it runs Win 10 just fine - no glitches - and it works as a tablet or laptop = pretty nice to be able to use the trackpad or the touch screen!

    I can work, blog, or listen to music or watch movies - or, using an HDMI cable cable, put them on the big screen - all for $250. Gaming is out though - it only has a 128gb SSD but I bought a 256gb SDXC card and all of my music and video is on there and have about 70gb left over - plus 85 open on the native SSD. . .

    1. The gaming thing is critical for me.

      If I couldn't play my wargames I'd go stark raving mad!

  7. I knew it!!! You just gave yourself away, you got some Redneck in you. If you
    are fascinated by shiny objects and Beer, you fulfill two of the most important
    qualifications for being a Redneck! Now, if we can just get you hooked on
    fishing, you will be fully assimilated!!! And congrats on your new computing
    apparatus. New toys are always fun. (by the way, Win 8 was a kludge. Win 8.1
    was far better and Win 10 works pretty well. But every time I build myself a
    new system, I install Win 7)

    1. Well I used to go fishing with my Dad.

      I don't mind sitting by a pond with a fishing pole and a beer. As long as I'm not expected to catch anything. :)

      I have 8.1 on my tablet, I don't mind it all. 10 is okay so far. I don't care for 7, it's what we have at work so that probably spoils my liking for 7. (All the security stuff we run really bogs it down.)

  8. Congrats on the new 'box'! :-)

  9. Congratulations on the new computer. Please be aware that windows 10 collects your computing habits and uploads the data to the mother ship. I personally am sticking with 8.1.

    1. I've heard that. Something to be wary of methinks.

  10. Sorry dude. All I saw with this old thing was a blur. You're going to have to work at it. Patience, a little romance, dinner, a drink at your place........:)

    I downloaded a book for old dudes with Windows 10. I'm sending it to the man I love. I figure by this point, my dad has been forcibly forced into Windows 10 despite his best efforts to stay at 7. My daughter has a touch screen laptop we just bought this summer with 7.1 but the evil one has spoiled it and next time she sees her computer again it it will probably be cursed and the windows screen functionality will be gone. She'll be left gnashing her teeth with Dos 3.1. :)

    1. I know Cap'n, I know. But things were starting to be left undone and I had to strike while the iron was hot. (On sale and all.)

      Professionally I needed to upgrade as well. Our customer at work is making noises about upgrading to Windows 10 and I wanted to be at least a bit savvy on the snares and pitfalls of doing so.

      The old girl is in the hangar now, the maintenance wienies (that would be me) have some ideas to getting her back in harness. We shall see...

  11. My desktop is an Intel NUC, running Windows 7.
    Since most of my use is limited mostly to interweb stuff it suits my needs.
    The best part is it's smaller than a breadbox... er, laptop

    1. I had never heard of those. Looked it up, pretty neat.


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