After nearly a year with my backlight on my keyboard broken (and the backlight on the strip), I went in today to Parts-People, who are All Dell, All the Time, and after talking to the guy at the front desk about the problem, I replaced keyboard and palmrest and my backlight works!
I have also discovered the following:
1.) My old keyboard sucked very much like whoa.
2.) My old touchpad sucked very much dear God like whoa.
3.) Seriously, I had no idea my keyboard was that bad.
4.) Every day is a good day when you get to disassemble your laptop.
My next item of business is to decide whether I should get Sherlock refurbished this year and wait another year for a new laptop, or buy a new laptop, since it's the two year mark in September and I replace every two years (believe it or not, this saves me money on repairs and upgrades). I've saved enough back to buy a new laptop this year, but okay, weird thing, I really don't want to.
This is a function of several things:
1.) I have a tablet that is functional enough that I can give my laptop breaks. This is actually a pretty big deal; the tablet is large enough to do my web surfing and story editing, and it can be used for work stuff, so I don't actually have to take my laptop to work and it gets all day to relax.
2.) This is my most modded laptop, and for that reason, it's like, my beloved. It contains my first in-depth changes to the guts; I removed the dvd player and added a chassis so I have two separate hard drives, it has an SSD for the primary drive, and also, the backlight now works.
3.) Honestly, this is probably the best laptop I've ever owned. At the time, I went overbudget to buy it--by a fairly large margin--to get the processor and RAM I wanted; with the SSD, I don't think I can buy anything that is going to be noticeably faster or better, and currently everyone in my family has a computer, which is one of the other reasons I upgrade regularly; when I get a new one, they get my cleaned out and well-cared for older one that I can adjust for them easily so they don't have computer stress.
4.) I am going to have serious moving expenses this year and laptop money could go to some very, very nice kitchenware and Ikea.
5.) My biggest problem is it overheats, which is a fairly irritating problem, but I can adjust for that because anything with two drives and this processor is going to have this issue and it's not like I want to break in a new one and figure out how to keep it cool.
6.) My second biggest problem is the power won't stay in the jack, but refurbishing will take care of that.
7.) Overall, I don't have any major problems and in the last two years there hasn't been a big enough leap in laptop technology that it's worth the effort to upgrade. Most of the minor problems of wear and tear can be easily remedied by a full refurbishment and cleaning by people with far better tools than I have.
Which comes out to before Sherlock, I usually bought refurbished that were already a year or two on the market before they came into my hands, which is fine, but meant I was way behind the curve. With Sherlock, since I bought him new and got every upgrade I could to current, I can wait another year or two before I have compatibility problems or serious hardware problems. Overall, Sherlock's been the least stressful of any computer purchase I've made, and I can't justify the expense when he's literally fantastic and I'm kind of still deeply in love with him.
In other news, svmadelyn finally broke beneath the strain of my whining and so I get to upgrade her desktop with a solid state drive in the primary spot next time I'm in Chicago. I can't emphasize enough if you have space for two drives, an SSD is like magic when it comes to access speed. Currently, it holds the OS and all programs and the cache and still only takes up less than 70GB of the 120 GB drive I installed, which argues I could have gotten a cheaper 90GB and been fine.
The only downside is you really need two drives because of the size; the 120GB on sale is about $109.00 if you know when to buy from newegg (and get a free jump drive!), but to get to 512 start value is $500 and up.
Honestly, I'm not convinced that having everything on a single SSD or multiple SSDs would be much faster than the split I'm using now. The SSD (name: OS) holds everything that requires processing power; my 500 GB regular hard drive is split between D (Castiel, 100GB) and E (Dean, 369GB) (please, you had to have seen that coming) and D holds docs, fic, ebooks, and my music, and E all my media, graphics, and programming (and backup) so I don't lose anything. SSDs also aren't easily recoverable (I know they can be, but not like a regular HD), so in case of dramatic failure, the only things I lose are my programs and my firefox settings, and most of that is easily backed up. The only big difference I can see is for either vidders or heavy graphics/photography users for accessing their projects from the slower drive using the program on the faster drive, but once accessed they move into RAM or cache anyway, so I'm honestly not sure if performance speed would increase dramatically enough for anyone to notice if the processor and RAM can keep up.
After five months, I can honestly say the only time I've had slowdown has been when I haven't paid attention to overheating issues, which would be less problematic on a desktop than a laptop.
Watson the Server
Using samba to create network drives means that I've been able to move pretty much all my media off my laptop and onto the server and can play from my desktop. The access time is limited by my LAN speed, which honestly is not all that limited until I hit bluray rips, which are a problem. I'm not actually sure if it's the drives or the processor or the LAN that causes streaming issues yet.
What I want to do is find a program that can automatically mirror or move my files when I'm ready to move them instead of how I do it now, which is open two windows (one for the samba shares on the server, one for my laptop folder) and move between or command line SSH move files, which is irritating and also, boring.
(Weirdly, using MSOffice and three macros, I can autosave to several locations at once, including to the server. I can also, even more weirdly, index all my files on the server fro Excel with macros. VB Macros. It's just weird.)
But mostly, I want to build a multi-server Cloud environment myself, because well, I can't work out a reason not to except I have nothing at all to do with it, one, and two--I mean, seriously, what would I do with it? I feel like one of those people that collect cats or something; when I die, I will be surrounded in servers and hardware, but on the upside, my body won't be partially eaten (unless technology advances in disturbing ways).
Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/934291.html. | You can reply here or there. | comments