Opinion » Cybernaut


System upgrade



My current home computer is a piece of sh*t. It’s slow, it’s loud, it’s slow, it crashes, it flickers, it stalls, it’s slow and it’s slow. It’s tucked under my desk right now, buzzing and making an ozone smell, and I’m honestly afraid it’s irradiating my testicles.

I started out with an old, old box – circa 1994 – and tried to upgrade it here and there, but I soon discovered that it just doesn’t work that way.

I upgraded to a larger hard drive, but it turned out that my version of Windows 95 wouldn’t recognize anything bigger than two Gigs. I upgraded to Windows 98, and suddenly I had problems getting on the Internet. A bottom of the line sound card I purchased to listen to MP3’s either doesn’t work with Windows 98 or my motherboard, and I didn’t have $50 an hour to pay a computer expert to tell me I would need another upgrade.

Now I know I should have bought a new system, a fast one where every component works with every other component, with pre-loaded software and a fan doesn’t sound like it’s a powered by a two-stroke engine.

Money, as always, is a problem. What with this eating compulsion I have, the cost of living, and my CD-a-paycheque fix, there’s very little of the kitty left over at the end of the month to plunk down on a machine.

Luckily, most places will allow you to make monthly payments, which raises the cost but lessens the sting.

I haven’t committed to anything yet, but I am officially shopping.


You might have heard their jingle on the radio, and probably had a little trouble getting it out of your head – it’s almost as insidious as that Intel sound bite.

They have a few storefronts, but do most of their business online, building computers from scratch or putting together complete systems from brand name components and giving you a deal.

For $1,049, I can get a PC with an Intel Pentium III processor at 933 MHz, 256 MB SDRAM, a 40 GB hard drive, a 8x4x32 CD-Rewriter, Integrated 3D AGP Video, KLH speakers and subwoofer, Corel WordPerfect Office 2000, a 56k v.90 modem, Windows Millennium Edition, AND a 17 inch monitor. That’s a lot of computer, and it includes a two-year warranty.

And this is one of their mid range systems.

For $1,359, I can get the same basic system with a 1400 MHz processor, 512 MB of SDRAM, an nVidieia GeForce 32MB DDR Video card, a SoundBlaster Live Value sound card, and Hollywood surround sound speakers. I’d have to buy the operating system software separately, but this is more like it.