When all was said and done, the Geek Squad finally determined that my C: drive is failing. They cheerfully offered to have Best Buy sell me a new drive which they would overcharge me to install. I thanked them and told them I'd be by tonight (Thursday, 3/22) to pick up my CPU and restore disks (I had the presence of mind to actually make the Restore DVDs that Sony recommended I make when I first uncrated this monster).
So now I'm busily shopping the internet for the latest and greatest in mass storage (Serial-ATA). It appears that Western Digital makes a real honey of a 500Gbyte drive which, after rebates, would set me back about $145.00.
I should be flabbergasted at that figure. No, no, not the $$$ figure, the Gigatonnage figure. My first PC on Wall Street (an XT) had a 5mbyte drive. My next PC, an AT, had a whopping 20mbyte drive which promptly died after two weeks use. That's when I was introduced to the wonderful world of third party manufacturers.
And so it went. My first network had a couple of 80mbyte drives. Then a resounding 150mbytes followed by 300mybte (I thought I'd NEVER fill that baby up!)
All of those drives cost small fortunes when they were new. Now I can get a half a Terabyte for little more than chump-change. A half a terabyte. That's 90 DVD's, with room left over for most of my music collection.
With nearly every living room/den in America currently hosting some equally well-endowed behemoth, churning away at GigaHertz speeds, connected to the internet, and the world, via the cable or phone company at blazing BroadBand speeds, it's a wonder we haven't cured everything by now. It seems like everybody has a copy of everything ever said or done within arms length.
Do they still actually print The Encyclopaedia Brittanica? Why do they bother? Things change too fast to be put down in print anymore.
I was in on the ground-floor of this whole thing. Not the same ground-floor as the gang at Xerox in Palo Alto, back in the 60's (they invented "the mouse" and the "graphical user interface", i.e. Windows), but the ground floor that took the personal computer from the workbenches of the geeks and put them on the trading desks of Wall Street. I was part and parcel of the ground floor that made it "okay" for corporate America to spend big bucks on "video games" in order to give them a competitive edge over their rivals and boosted firms like Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and dozens of others into the rarified stratosphere of today's multi-billion dollar brokerage and banking houses.
I was in on that ground floor. At the beginning.
Yet, today, I open the lid on my PC and I'm pretty much clueless as to what's going on inside.
But I can still install a hard drive AND get it to boot up.
So take THAT, Geeks!