Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Boring Computer Stuff / Ty Tabor of King's X
The computer we use at our home is a four year old Dell. It does it's job well, but it's a bit long in the tooth for handling the massive files generated when I scan 35mm slides. In other words, my computer does what I want it to, it's just old and slow by computer time.
The computer came with a 120GibaByte hard drive.
When I started scanning my slides in earnest over a year ago, I quickly started to fill that up.
I got another hard drive for Christmas 2006, a 160GigaByte internal one that I added into the computer. But it being an older computer, not top of the line, the two hard drives were on the same internal cable to the motherboard.
In other words, the computer had much more room for my slide scanning and digital photos, but it was now slower due to two hard drives trying to use the same "highway."
And recently, I saw that I had almost filled both the 120GB and 160GB hard drives with my stuff. And to add insult to injury, most of my photos were not backed up. Anywhere.
So I was just trucking along with my head in the sand, ignoring the fact that computers eventually break down, they are ultimately mechanical devices, and that I was way past the point of buying a ton of blank DVDs to back up roughly 270GB of photos. That would take about 70 DVDs holding 4GB each.
I started looking at external hard drives, expecting that a 500GB external hard drive would cost me about $100 per 100GigaByte.
I found an external, 500GB, USB 2.0, hard drive at Best Buy on sale for $150!
Yeah, I can hear the sharp intakes of breath, the hands placed over the mouths, OMG (Oh My Goodness) being wispered aloud. "A 500GB external hard drive for a mere $150? Why that's, that's, that's, HALF A TERRABYTE!"
I hear the scratching around as you pull a solar calculator out of the computer's desk drawer, or as you pull up the Windows XP calculizer. I hear the click of the buttons as you divide 150/500 and look up at the wall, stunned at the realization that your old internet pal John, of Least Significant Bits fame, just paid a mere $30 per 100GB for a brand new, 7200rpm, 16MB cache, USB 2.0, external hard drive.
I hear the wind wistle past your nose as you shake your head back and forth in absolute disbelief/wonder.
"Hey! Wait a minute. Who makes this hard drive? Probably some cheap piece of garbage, made by somebody I've never heard of and that will break down two days after the warranty expires and leaves you worse off than when you started. Ha! See!? It's NOT such a great deal after all!"
"Oh contrare," says I. "This, my too quick to disbelieve me friends, is a Western Digital MyBook hard drive. And if you have any computer knowledge at all, you know that Western Digital is a well-known and well-accepted brand of computer hard drive. And though it's impossible for you to know this, one of my friends that I went through Louisiana Tech's electical engineering program with went to work for Western Digital in the Dallas area after we graduated. I'm also helping a friend by buying a Western Digital hard drive. It's a Win-Win situation like that 7 Habits of Highly Successful People book writer likes to go on about."
It' OK. I'm not offended, I almost didn't believe it myself until I had that hard drive in my hot little hand and then hooked that baby up to my computer last night.
It's a real deal, I tell ya.
So, after reformatting it from FAT32 file scheme to NTFS, I was left with 465 glorious GigaBytes of free hard drive space. As I left for work this morning, my computer's new symbiote was busilly (is that a word? well, it is now) accepting the 270GB or so of digital images. So when I get home this evening, I'll have a back up to each and every digital photo, PLUS a couple hundred more GigaBytes for more!
My back hurts, but life is good!
And to place a cherry on top of this sweet deal, Best Buy had a copy of Ty Tabor's latest CD, Rock Garden.
"Who the heck is Ty Tabor, you ask?"
Ty Tabor is none other than one of the two guitarists whose work inspired me to pick up a guitar and begin to learn to play several years ago. Ty Tabor is the long-time guitarist for the rock group King's X, one of my top three all-time favorite bands.
Ty also puts out solo ablums, as do the other members of King's X, and the one I bought yesterday, Rock Garden is his third solo CD, and it is very, very good.
Lots and lots of tasty guitar playing and SOLOs thoughout.
Modern rock music guitarists don't play guitar leads any more. I don't know if they're all sucky players like me, or if they think themselves above playing guitar solos.
But I for one LOVE guitar solos, and think that almost every rock song could be bettered by a soulful guitar lead.
Again, through all the pain, life is good. A massive hard drive for my peace of mind and some unexpected new rock from one of my favorite musicians.
Yesterday wasn't a bad day at all.
(Note: Despite the photo of Ty on the front of the CD, he's right handed, it's a reversed photo. That drives me nuts when they do that. Unless of course he's even more talented than I thought and can play left handed too. Now that I think of it, the bassist and lead singer for King's X is left handed and Ty might be playing one of Doug's guitars in the photo. Hmmm. A mystery.)