Friday, January 27, 2006

Show and Tell - My computer

Blackbird has requested a peek at our computer(s).

I've worked with computers for quite some time. I remember when a 286 was considered sweeeet, and fast! One of my first jobs was in a computer lab, pulling batch printouts and distributing them to their rightful owners. Operations. Woo hoo. It was so very high tech, at the time. I even remember programming on a mainframe using cards. We'd painstakingly type out our code on a little monitor/terminal and our program would spit out a deck of cards with one line of code per card (if I recall correctly). Then we'd stand in line to submit our job, our program, to the mainframe. In would go the stack of cards and we'd wait for our printout to see if our code worked. What a process. Some of us have no idea how good we have it today! Punch cards. Now that speaks to history. Technology has come a long way, baby.
I have a work computer that is configured appropriately with all the approved corporate stuff. It's a laptop, relatively new (upper left picture). I use a docking station and a 19 inch flat panel monitor, both at the office and in my home office (Santa suprised me BIG TIME with this monitor, this year, middle right). I need the big screen for the things I do. Those purple post-it flags? They're very important for my data analysis work. Low tech, but very useful. The yellow post-it has my phone numbers and office backup numbers. We just changed phone systems at work and got new numbers. Very inconvenient (remembering new numbers, but the new phones are quite nice).

My home computer is a home-built desktop variety. It had all the latest for its time, but is pretty much obsolete by now. I just installed a dvd-burner, and it has a 40GB hard drive, which is partitioned into two 20s, one of which is full. I'd like to remove the partition but don't want to lose any data, so am struggling with mustering up the courage. The 20 that is full is the main drive, and I don't even have enough room to defrag. Very frustrating. Things are getting slow, so I will soon be forced to do something about it.

I have a switch that allows me to toggle between my work computer and my home computer yet use the same keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Very cool. I just hit the Scroll Lock button twice and voila! Switcheroo.

Mr. Gadget gave me an optical wireless mouse and keyboard. They're nifty, actually, but I can't use the keyboard for security reasons. My work doesn't allow wireless keyboards, so I bought a wired keyboard for $5 at a local drugstore, to use while I am working from the home office. It's only a year old and the 'e' is nearly rubbed off, and the s, d, c, n, and o are close behind.

I run Windows XPpro on both machines, and I use the MS Office suite for many of the things that I do. I've also used ColdFusion quite a lot, but it's been recently updated to something called Studio 8, which has a bazillion capabilities that I have yet to learn.

All in all, there's nothing sexy about my computing setup. Maybe one of these days we'll do a wireless LAN in our home, and then I can blog from the comfort of my couch while trying to keep the baby from chewing on the screen. Then again, maybe not.

p.s. Mr. Gadget has a collection of computers. Very few of which are usable. We have a computer graveyard upstairs. And in the garage. I'm afraid to even attempt to count or photograph what we've got. He collects them from people who give them away, and once in a while he gets them to work again. We've given some to his family members. Who have promptly hosed them by not following instructions and installing things that shouldn't be installed. But I digress. Bottom line. Too much electronic junk is hanging around this house.


Blogger blackbird said...

I thank you for playing, but must tell you that I did not understand half of what you are a tech-girl, I am a shoe girl.
but, I do remember those punch cards - one came with my phone bill each month when I was in college!

10:58 AM, January 27, 2006  
Anonymous Angie said...

Except for our laptops and Elvis all of our machines are built at home. I got the girls machines last year on ebay for $25. We did a little internal upgrading and they have excellent machines. I love a homemade machine!

1:27 PM, January 27, 2006  
Blogger BabelBabe said...

i dig your photos - computer as art.

10:06 AM, January 28, 2006  

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