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My replacement desktop computer arrived six days early. After a lot of thought about “pro” options (the crazy expensive iMac Pro, the dated but in some ways capable Mac Pro, the mysterious new Mac Pro to come) and hackintoshes, I replaced my 2007 era 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac along with an Nvidia GEForce 8800 GS with 512 MB of video memory with a new iMac. This one has a 4.2 GHz quad core i7 processor (with hyperthreading) and a Radeon Pro 580 with 8 GB of video memory.

This will be my all-purpose system, for use in writing my PhD thesis, editing my commercial photography, and even running Starcraft II and Kerbal Space Program on a system that won’t grind, puff, and crash after less than five minutes.

Moore’s Law had me hoping that an eleven year delay between computers would mean getting a 30 times performance improvement, but my research online suggests it may be more like 40% for a lot of purposes. When I have finished configuring the new system I will run some comparative benchmarks. I’ll admit that it’s pretty spiffy to launch Chrome with Quicksilver and have the window open *immediately*.

This is my fifth major computer system (not counting cell phones, Kindles, consoles, or Raspberry Pis). When I started at UBC I got a Windows PC called 3Jane which got left in Vancouver when I moved to England and may well still be sitting in a closet at my parents’. My Oxford-era computer was an iBook which I named Zaphod which was eventually sold after several repairs and upgrades to Tristan’s brother. I bought the old iMac (Seldon) with one of my first real paycheques as a government employee, and added a Macbook Pro (Holmes) when I started my PhD. Planning to stick to the fictional character naming scheme, aiming ideally for a female character, and considering all the secondary devices that already took “Motoko” and “Lyra”, I considered Olmy from the Eon universe, Lucifer from Paradise Lost, HAL, and Alia from the Dune universe before going with my older idea of “Galadriel”.

I hope it will function as well in 2029 as Seldon still does today: frustratingly slow for multitasking and incapable of gaming, but still an adequate system.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan June 10, 2018 at 12:40 am

Lady 3Jane Marie-France Tessier-Ashpool was a rich insane murderess with dubious taste in friends.

Zaphod Beeblebrox was a promiscuous politician willing to perform surgery on his own brain.

Hari Seldon endures as a periodic source of guidance in an alternative universe where long-term political prediction is possible.

Sherlock Holmes is essentially a pirate who meddles in police business.

What one-line description would people write for Galadriel, Lady of Lothlórien?

Milan June 21, 2018 at 4:49 pm

I called my iPhone SE “Tinkerbell” because it’s delicate, it follows you around, and it demands attention.

Ibod Catooga June 28, 2018 at 4:42 pm

“What one-line description would people write for Galadriel, Lady of Lothlórien?”

Dat she is hella hot for being like 10,000 years old! Damn she makes my staff rise like an enraged wizard for reals.

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