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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.

{ 1 comment… read it 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?

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