Thursday, August 18, 2011

Busy, busy, busy...

Life has been very busy lately.  Work, Church, kids all consuming every waking moment of my life.  The hardest part is the lack of sleep.  I've been averaging about 5 - 6 hours of sleep per night for the last six to nine months.  It is taking a toll on me.  And even though I'm tired, when I lay down, I can't sleep because my mind is going.  So, I stay with the poor sleeping routine.

Several weeks ago I was having a discussion with my two oldest kids about school and the home PC.  I have two kids that will need to be on the computer a lot during the year for an extended period of time.  At the time, we only had a single PC to split amongst all the kids.  So I decided to pick up a netbook computer at a certain large retailer for $250.  When I got there, I looked at some of the other machines that were in the $300 range.  Then I ran across something that made me wonder....  It was a fairly non-descript box, but it was a computer with specs better than the netbook for $278.....  It was $30 more than my original purchase price point...  I thought it over and decided to get it on the spot without doing any research.  I ended up with a low end Toshiba notebook with an AMD C-50 as the brains.  It only had 2GB of RAM, but much to my surprise, it had a 64-bit version of Windows 7 and could take 8GB of RAM.   So for an extra $60, I upgraded the RAM.  While it will not be any sort of speed demon, it will serve the purpose of writing papers and surfing the web just fine.  In fact, I'm writing this blog posting on it at this very moment.  And strangely enough, even though I'm a tech guy, this is my first laptop that I purchased with my own money.  I have a laptop from work, but I've never purchased one for myself or for the family.  I've been eyeballing a laptop for about a year, but I haven't really been impressed with the offerings out there.  So I waited.  In tech, waiting is good because it means new stuff will come out and prices will drop.  The C-50 really is good because it uses very little power (I think it is rated at like 9 watts) and is sufficiently powerful to do what I need to do.  And I get to do the geek thing and max out the RAM to a truly outrageous amount for such a low-end processor.  Life is a balance of trade-offs.  I feel like I got my money's worth out of this purchase.