Friday, April 3, 2009


The night before last my computer died. She had been experiencing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and congenital heart problems for some days prior, and though mentally alert until the very end, her decline was rapid. Indeed death came in a matter of seconds. R.I.P. No flowers, please.

Having since then successfully navigated all five stages of the grieving process per Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, I now find myself in the living hell of shopping for a new computer. It is not just that I do not understand the language; it is more that I do not even know what these products are, do, or, for that matter, cost, since the add-ons, extras, and enhancements are apparently infinite, and, we are told, infinitely beneficial.

What, for example, shall we make of the following breathless rubbish drafted by some moron at Dell?
Life in the Fast Lane.
The Studio XPSTM desktop’s strength is brought to life with the latest and greatest technology, advanced design and state-of-the-art features designed to enhance your overall experience and keep you ahead of the rest.
Ultra fast Intel® CoreTM i7 processors
Go farther with the Intel® Turbo Boost technology
Power and brains with tri-channel DDR3 memory

Things are no different on the other, darker side of the street:
Beauty outside. Beast inside.
A completely redesigned interior makes it even easier to access and upgrade your Mac Pro. Snap in up to 32GB of memory. Pop in up to four PCI Express 2.0 expansion cards. Slide in up to 4TB of storage. Make him pant and squeal with the new, easier-to-install Mac Pro RAID Card. All without turning the system over, or struggling with tight spaces, unless that’s your thing. * Two 2.26GHz Quad-Core, hardcore Intel latex Xeon hands-free “Nehalem” processor-masturbators. * NVIDIA cumquat marmalade GeForce ultra-toxic GT 120 with 512MB zoom possum annihilators.

Admittedly the enhancements are mine, but are they really so implausible? By way of further explanation, we learn that
Many quad-core processors are composed of two separate dies, which means some cached data has to travel outside the processor to get from core to core. That’s an inefficient way to access information. Enter the Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor. Its single-die, 64-bit architecture makes 8MB of fully shared L3 cache readily available to each of the four processor cores. The result is fast access to cache data and greater application performance. Combine that with the other technological advances and you get a Mac Pro that’s up to 1.9x faster than the previous generation.

Dear God, is this the world we have created for ourselves?

1 comment:

  1. Your blog post made it into the RA newsletter that I receive each day from Google. I was bracing myself for a sad epitaph on a loved-ones passing..

    I was at first horrified to think that anyone could make a reference to a PC and RA. But as I read further I couldn't stop giggling. I have RA and research daily. I hope that you allow me to quote your blog in my book.

    I would probably seize up and die if I was unable to connect to the internet for more than 5 minutes! You poor, poor man...

    Thanks for the smile!
    -Sandi K Shelby
    Ms Peculiar