I've just upgraded my computer to Windows 7 Pro after a long stubborn stint with XP. In the process, I gave it a new solid snake drive... I mean, solid state drive, to cleanly install it on, a new video card because the old one was having issues with The Secret World... 's installer. (Specifically, it would freeze for a second, then blank all output to the monitor... except that the non-video processing still took place, and I would hear the sound over my headphones when the patch or verification was finished. Curiously, I was able to restore video by blindly hitting the key combos to bring up the task manager and hibernate--during which the video briefly comes back to say it's hibernating!--and then hit the power button again. I then had to start the main game quickly lest the installer freeze the display again!)... and a new DVD-ROM drive to install Windows 7 with. Because we didn't have a single working DVD-ROM drive in the house that wasn't permanently fastened to a game console!!
Philosophically, this is truly a "Ship of Theseus" computer. The motherboard, case, half the RAM, power source, CPU, wireless card, and a 3.5" floppy drive I haven't used in years, are all from the computer I had yesterday. I have two non-solid-state hard drives, one of which is the system drive from my old Windows XP installation, and the other the oldest hard drive from my Windows 2000 installation... but that's not quite true, because that hard drive failed, and the files on it are actually recovered from the failing drive. (I was able to get 99.999% of them, because the number of files that failed to transfer could be counted on one hand.) The information is the same, but the physical medium is different. Then, too, some of those files date back to an earlier Win 98 machine. The very eldest of files (and I'm not even sure which ones those are) come from the very first computer I owned by myself, a Compaq... whose hard drive failed and most of the files had to be restored from CD-R backups.
It is possible that this machine contains files whose information was first generated around thirteen years ago, when I got the computer from Costco as a graduation present. I can still hear Mom's suggestion: "Oh, you don't need a 750MHz processor, this 550MHz one should be fine and it's a hundred dollars less!" It was in the course of upgrading and rebuilding my machine over and over again that I learned from friends how to do so--though since I do not keep up on the latest hardware, I still ask for help most of the time when figuring out what parts to buy.
It may or may not be laughable to claim that this is in any way "the same" computer as the one I had 13 years ago. But it has retained a continuous identity of "My computer", at least. :3 And when I next upgrade it, I imagine I'll once again keep this new video card, the RAM sticks, and the DVD drive at the very least--and, of course, the drives, the information legacy.
5 years, 6 months ago
06 May 2013 04:55 CEST