My tax refunds made it in today, and I picked up Alan Neurocam (his SL name) and paid a visit to the Micro Center in Columbus to see if it was possible to buy a power supply for my computer that will power the GeForce 9500 graphics car I bought last spring. I heard the homebuilding expert there suggest that it might be possible to move the entire guts of my Dell computer to either an ATX or a micro-ATX tower case, but first, I had to know whether my motherboard was either ATX or micro-ATX. So we drove back to my place to look at the innards of my computer. Alan didn’t like what he saw.
The Dell Optiplex GX280 that I have is built in a hopelessly low-powered, convoluted way that allows little to no expansion. It has a long power supply stretching down ¾ of the left side of the machine’s motherboard, incapable of producing more than 210 watts, and it has only two expansion ports located in a lift-out rack directly over it. The practical upshot: it was never meant for anything more ambitious than the office cubicle. If I am going to film machinima, it will have to be with a totally different computer.
I am bummed. Here I am with a flourishing SL comedy career, and the beginnings of an out-of-SL audience for it. I don’t think I’m going to get my act over to YouTube without help.
This sad discovery about the severe limitations of my Dell Optiplex has me thinking why God allowed me to first get it, get me into something too big for it, then make me unable to get anything better. I’ve always lagged behind most people in terms of equipment. I held on to my Compaq Presario 2100 well into the days when its Windows 95 operating system would no longer be supported, and likewise the Micron tower with the pirated XP OS that came after that. I bought this Dell Optiplex thinking that the Internet itself had stopped supporting the Micron’s inability to play the Flash animations on most web sites nowadays, only to get into Second Life, which put outlandish demands on the Dell. Did I buy the Dell already on its last legs?
Hmm, probably not. It’s got an XP OS, and I don’t see anything on the conventional World Wide Web yet that makes buying another machine mandatory.
I hang out in Second Life, but SL’s not where the really big action is. That honor belongs to Twitter and Facebook. I don’t subscribe to Twitter and Facebook myself (I want to avoid hanging out where the teenagers do), but fortunately, I don’t see these two sites forcing the household number-cruncher to evolve. I don’t feel any really big pressure to get with the program.
Frankly, I don’t like this trend. I’ll bet in another 10 to 15 years, I’ll be one of the last people in the world to use a physical QWERTY keyboard while everybody else has gone to a cheap Microsoft knock-off of Apple’s iPad. That’s how mired I am in the digital tar pit, watching yet another of my dinosaurs die.