I’m getting older now, feeling like I couldn’t have more than 5, or maybe at a stretch ten, years left of my life; and “old age” has given me quite a few “symptoms” to handle. None of which are helped much by my use of a computer. As a matter of fact, computers with all their passwords and arrays of settings haven’t done one positive thing for my memory, for instance, or my ability to “think” or “compute”. I’m constantly forgetting things now, and seem to have a strange bias in “computing” wherein when given a choice between 2 things – usually Vitamin pills or Clothes – I decide which one is best for me, and then the strange thing is that I always actually buy the other thing – the one I had decided wasn’t good enough for me. I don’t do it deliberately either. It’s a type of mistake I am now making all the time, even when I cook myself a meal. You know? Choose some ingredients, or at least decide what to use and what not to use, and then go ahead and use the stuff you decided not to use. It’s weird, and suggests I have an early stage of some well know illness people often get in old age. Or they can just get it at any age!
A little bit of it is caused by my constant disappointment with computer type of stuff I’ve bought to “improve” the functionality of my home made PC. I’m not alone in that either. PCs are all so unsatisfactory, except maybe your $2700 Lap Tops, that almost everyone buys something to try to “make it run better.” Things like Memory, or Faster Graphics card, or a CPU cooler, or a faster CPU, or maybe some plug-in type of Card for extra USB-3, or extra SATA, or maybe just to support a boot SSD. I know I’ve tried all of these plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cards + dongles, and almost all have either not worked from the start, or those that did work, stopped working after a short time. The latter category includes the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi stuff. The Wi-Fi worked as a PCI card for about 2 months and then some changes were made to the computer and it stopped working, and nothing could make it work properly again. The Bluetooth did the exact same thing. Used it with a music streaming device for 1 month, then something changed and it no longer would work and nothing I did changed it back to functionality.
Probably the worse thing was a Liquid Cooler for the CPU, one of those wider versions with two fans on the radiator. Supposedly they’re better than standard single fan radiator type CPU coolers, but after using one for 2 years, and then making the “upgrade” to a 2 fan job, what I found was that the new cooler, the larger radiator etc., was very noisy, and really couldn’t cool as fast as the single fan radiator model I’d been using all along. As a matter of fact, the new cooler couldn’t even cool the CPU as well as the old cooler. And I had to complain about it to the manufacturer, who’s Holiday policy is to go away and shut down the office until January 12, starting December 24! Obviously not a large firm! They did reply, though, with the usual: saying I had to be sure everything was plugged in correctly, and if it still didn’t cool adequately etc., they might give me a “ticket” so I can send it back either for a replacement or at the far end of improbability, a refund. With a refund I could go for a brand name liquid cooler with 2 fans, for around $150. But all this is going to take quite a long time, I know from experience, when I bought a new Hard Disk for inside the PC, only to have it fail within a month. Needing replacement.
The store took almost 70 days to give me a replacement and then it was only a REFURBISHED hard drive by the same manufacturer, Seagate. In the meantime I had to buy another hard drive to do what I wanted to initially.
Some marketing strategy eh?
With a little research, I’ve found that PC makers target young people, and the younger the better, as they tend to spend money on useless distractions and things. By younger I mean, kids less than 15. The 15 to 18 year olds are another demographic altogether, and they spend money too, but for things like “music” and stuff to make their computer good enough to play Hi-End games, often On-line. With gaming, they can spend $1000 or $2000 just to get the graphics right. A new Graphics Card + Monitor to handle the whole effect. Lots of very fast memory, and of course a liquid cooler for the CPU.
As for “music” and even “films” these days, you find the quality is really poor. They sell music that’s been “compressed” to make it easier and cheaper to download, and with that, the music loses a lot of definition and ends up sounding too much bass, not enough treble and the vocals if they exist, get drowned in the overall mix. You’ll really notice it if you compare the sounds from a CD and an Internet download of the same songs. Can you believe that? They sell individual songs for download, and apparently this has been very successful making huge profits. Even more than with CDs and records, because once set-up there are no physical costs. Just transfer costs etc..
Film isn’t so bad though. It gets compressed and loses some sharpness and clarity, but just because of its nature, remains quite watchable. I’ve paid for a couple movie downloads and the actual original movies were terrible and their quality was poor, which meant the download was terrible too. But the compression used didn’t really effect the film much at all. I think I had to pay a $60 joining “fee” and then it was $5 per movie, but the choice was severely limited, with no real Hollywood type films – mostly strange European films with psychological themes. This company probably made more money from the joining “fee” than they did from downloads. It was typical of the “new” type of person using the Internet for what amounts to a scam. With PCI cards and dongles its almost the same, but quality can be OK in rare instances.