There was a death in the family over the weekend.
Actually there were two but it took a while to discover the other one.
Back in the Bad Old Days when I was taking redundancy I managed to screw the company for a reasonable settlement. There were minor things like a lump sum, a pay cheque until I officially retired, full pension that I wouldn't have otherwise been entitled to and a fully paid couple of diploma courses, but the big one was that I would be allowed take home my desk top computer!
Needless to say in the days before I left it went through some massive upgrades and if I remember correctly, it ended up with a full 512K memory and a massive, enormous, gigantic 100Gb hard disk. It even had a CD drive and a DVD drive as well as its floppy disk yoke.
However, I intended on doing some pretty intensive stuff so after a year or so I bought a bespoke one where I specified the contents. It was a big fucker – one of those tower yokes – and had an incredible 1Gb memory and two 250Gb disks [half a fucking terrabyte!!!]. It also had a great sound system.
Over the years, that tower box did some pretty powerful stuff but after a while it started to show its age. First the sound card blew. I replaced it but that blew too. The speakers were recycled and are now part of the television [I like to feel the bass notes]. The remainder of it continued its soundless work though and while I had taken to using laptops, it remained on duty for doing long term stuff like downloads.
On Friday it died.
I got various messages like not finding the system, or not even finding the disk [it varied] but it was obvious that the heart wasn't working, the blood had stopped flowing, the brain was dead. It was time to go to the great Computer Farm in the Sky.
While I was removing the carcass I realised I hadn't switched on my old ex-work one in quite a while. It had become so much of the background that I had stopped noticing it. I switched it on. It started loading Windows 2000. I was impressed!
But that's as far as it got. It just sat there loading Windows 2000 and nothing else. It never finished. I decided that was dead too, and had probably been dead for many years. Luckily it didn't smell.
So that left me with a problem. I need something that does background work. I need something that will kick off a programme in the dead of night to do some large downloads of website backups. I could do them during the day but that would tie up the broadband and then Herself would complain that she can't listen to her radio.
I dug up an old laptop. Actually it's a relatively new one at only about four or five years old, but the keyboard doesn't work because of fault on the motherboard. But if I am using it remotely then a dud keyboard doesn't really matter that much, does it?
I tested it last night.
Not actually true. I set it running and went to bed leaving it to test itself. Got up the next morning and it had worked perfectly at some time in the early hours.
I never need go near it again, as everything can be controlled from my laptop, including switching it off.
It does need my personal attention to switch it on though.
A bit like Herself.