The last hour and a half has been spent trying to use my computer. I now remember why I leave it on for weeks at a time, despite the fact that I hate wasting energy. My wireless connection had been established for 22 days before I turned my computer off this morning.

And there is no good reason for turning the thing off, it isn't like a few hours will make a difference if I leave it on for nearly a month before then. I just gave it a chance to sleep. And in this cold house (62F) the old hard drive grew chilly. The metal components cooled and the metal casing and parts contracted. This hard drive has lived through at least three power sources, three processors, and three motherboards. The DVD drive hasn't worked for over a year so I couldn't repair or reformat the operating system without a major hardware upgrade. And with a system this old, what is the point? I couldn't get an XP disk anymore, anyway.

I have already purchased a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate (well before its release date and for practically nothing) thanks to IU and my student status. I got a 64 bit version, but I am still waiting for the prices of quad-core processors to drop a little. I do have limited funds, however there is no sense in buying a lower frequency processor...I want the most out of the cores.

So how long can this last? The first several times that I tried to boot up the computer today, it started checking the hardware and then stalled. I let it still try to load, because even if the hard drive isn't booting, at least things are spinning and the metal components are heating up and expanding. It is frightening how long it takes for the hard drive to warm up before it is able to boot windows xp. NOW I REMEMBER.

This time I am not shutting down unless it freezes, and then I will be sure to restart before the hardware cools. Even when this beast is on, it takes 15 minutes to load windows and once loaded I am lucky to run more than one program at once. Google chrome usually does pretty well once it is established, but occasionally it will have a brain-fart. Any heavy image or video editing is out of the question, and even viewing videos can be troublesome at times.

I could use my laptop, but I tripped on its cord last spring and knocked it on the floor, busting one of the hinges. With continued gimpy use, the hinge eventually broke completely off, with help from gravity again. It still works, but the screen is quite annoying. I could use the laptop and plug my monitor into it, only I removed the extra gig of ram from the laptop in order to boost the performance of its twin brother, the stand-in internet "television" for a house without cable tv. So even if I did fire up my laptop, its performance would be no better than this beast I currently use. But like I said, once it is running, it keeps running...

I just hope it will hold out until I can afford a decent quad-core processor. Everything else is pretty cheap now, unless I go for a nice video card. I hope to do some video editing with my new camera if I ever get a break, but I know that won't happen for months. So whats the rush? I don't need to distract myself with the trials of building a new system right now anyway. I just hope this guy stays on for a year or so.

In other news, grad school sucks. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.