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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Of Laptops And Lost Time . . .

If anyone says, "I'm buying a new laptop", feel sorry for them for they have just bitten off what may be more than they can handle.

As I have indicated before, my old Dell Inspiron 1501 has a failing inverter for the screen. When it fails, the screen still displays graphics but there is no backlight to see said display. A flashlight shining at a high angle to the screen will allow you to see enough to shut it down or reboot it. Happens every three or four hours.

Okay, so my Significant Other and I go to our local Staples© and I buy a Dell 17R, otherwise known as a N7110. It came with Windows 7 Home Premium, 8 Gb of ram, 750 Gb of hdd, a luscious 17.3" display and a Dual Layer DVD-burner.

The laptop came with a plethora of rated useful to totally useless utilities and Office 2010 Starter edition. This one is rated completely worthless by the Old Warhorse. It is a stripped down version (Word and Excel only with advertising in the right pane!), barely good enough to catalog your DVD collection and/or type up a few recipes.

Dell DataSafe Online - A free service (maybe) to back up your precious data "To the cloud". Yeah, put it out there to be hacked, lost, corrupted.

Dell DataSafe Local Backup - Only to the Hard Drive, unless you pay a premium. What a joke.

Wild Tangent Games - Play a few levels free, then pay through the nose. Uh-huh. but I digress . . .

So anyway, I began to put it together, adding a few programs at first, just to 'get by' for the moment. I am not a fan of sitting down in one session and 'stuff' the computer with programs. I believe that one should slowly add programs, just to be sure that one of them did not cause a problem for you, such as a driver conflict of some kind. I am also a firm believer in setting restore points before each "Windows Update", just in case one of them carries a corrupted file.

Getting along, I had the system running fairly well until an install of either Adobe PhotoShop or LightRoom 4 corrupted some driver. Now I was getting a 'grinding' sound, sort of like the amplifier was being driven to saturation. This happened during any kind of playback, including YouTube (or should I say FailTube?).

Much ripping and earing of hair later, it looked like I needed to start over. Yeah, the Old Warhorse went back to factory fresh via F8 at startup. Not fun. It took about 2 hours to complete this little foray only to find the DPC Latency totally unacceptable.

If you want to know about DPC Latency, go Here and read up on it.

If you want to check your own machine, Download the DPC Latency HERE  and just run it.

So back to my rant in progress. I've gotten it back to a usable state but I have noticed the Latency goes away when I turn off my WIFI radio. Hmm, no new driver, either. So I'll keep all of you up to date as I tear into this critter, attempting to make it a multipurpose rig.

Take care and wish me luck,

Kellan, the Old Warhorse

Posted by Kellan Meig'h at 12:36 PM
Categories: General Blogging, Ranting, Technology