Forced Upgrade

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Forced Upgrade

Postby Siegfried » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:30 am

I was busy checking my EMail yesterday morning when suddenly the world went dark. At first I thought Ragnarök had struck at last, but no, my computer had died. For about 2.5 years I've been using a Lenovo 3000 J110 7393 (Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8 GHz 2 GB RAM) and I've been rather happy with it. Early analysis indicated that the motherboard was dead so I needed to rush out and buy a new one. (I have many computers but most are allocated, old or unsuitable things like my Acer Aspire One netbook.)

While this is a substantial annoyance and will push back schedules overall it's a good thing. I've been wanting to buy a new machine for a while but I've been holding off as I was so satisfied with the Lenovo. Unlike many I've been running Vista and liking it so upgrading to Windows 7 hasn't been reason enough. I ended up with an Acer Aspire X1800 mostly as I've been very happy with my Acer Aspire One netbook and so far the impressions are good.

One thing about the X1800 in particular really impressed me was the dual screen support. I've been running dual screens for over 5 years now so after the initial setup plugging in the second was a priority. Going by past experience this was a slight concern to me. My X1800 has a Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB of RAM, a NVIDIA GeForce 7100 and the nForce 630i chipset. The video card has a HDMI and DVI port... and that's what concerned me. I didn't have time to buy a HDMI->DVI adaptor and normally when a machine has a graphic card the on board video is not usable... and thus the VGA port may not work. But to my surprise it was possible to enable it via the BIOS and use both "cards" at once. Next week I'll probably buy an adapter, but it's nice to know I can do it. I've never actually encountered this so I'll have to see if it's a common feature now.

In any case, now the programming and testing will be done on Windows 7, not Vista... and this machine is running in 64 bit mode so we'll be able to consider 64 bit versions as well. Already a minor glitch has been noted with GigAlarm which should be easy to resolve now. First impressions of Windows 7 are mostly positive, but it's still early days. As I had already heard, the default UAC setting was mostly useless so I set that to maximum.

(Hopefully I can fix the Lenovo; most of my computers last 5+ years... :cry: There were a few warning signs though; the sound was losing a channel from time to time, my display drivers kept crashing over the previous few days and it needed a second push to resume the night before. )
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Siegfried
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