Oh Desktop PC, how I’ve missed you!

Tonight the wife is out with her friends so its just me and the baby home alone. I had some things to do online tonight and I already put my baby to sleep for the evening so instead of using my MacBook Pro, I’m using my 5 year old HP Desktop PC that I haven’t used in a really long time for a prolonged period of time since I have been booted from my office since I’m not home often and my wife works from home. I gotta say that I really missed this. As much as I love using my MacBook Pro and my iPads, there still is something that I love about using my desktop PC. I think its the awesome Bose sound system that my wife bought me many years ago and the 23″ screen that I’m using right now to write this blog post. Compared to my MacBook Pro, my PC is looking a little sluggish but I also think its because there is just so much crap on this computer that needs to be cleaned out and I just haven’t had the time to do it.

There isn’t much that I can do on my PC that I can’t do on my MacBook Pro but one of the things that I can’t currently do is play my music really loud of my Bose speakers which is still pretty awesome after all this time. I’m currently playing some music on Winamp (good lord that takes me back) since I actually still prefer it compared to iTunes. Since the entire family is pretty invested in Apple gear these days (never thought I’d ever say that) it makes sense for me to use a MacBook Pro at the moment. I just need way more storage (something along the lines of 2TB would do nicely) than I currently do on my MacBook. I can use external hard drives and everything but that almost takes most of the portability out of having a laptop.

I don’t think I could ever get away from not having a desktop PC but I certainly am trying. I think the biggest thing about owning a desktop these days is the larger screen and using my Bose. I think I can get rid of everything else thats attached to it or find some other use. As an example, I have a secondary DVD writer, printer, and external drive that I still have to hook up to the desktop. I think I could get away with hooking everything up to a my wireless network at some point but that would require investing more money into my technology setup which I’m not prepared to do yet. The tech I use is still kind of old but I don’t believe in upgrading my tech anymore unless something is truly not working anymore. Thats a big switch from just a couple years ago when I needed the latest and greatest gadget on the block. My entire setup except for my router and my monitor (both of which needed replacing) is over 5 years old now and the fact that they’re all still working quite well is pretty amazing.

There aren’t a lot of opportunities for me to use my desktop PC but its nights like this that let me enjoy the power I used to have when I ruled my office and the equipment in it.

The Death of my Desktop PC (almost)

My five year old HP Pavilion Desktop is slowly but surely starting to die. I received a call from my wife today and she said that my computer was asking to go back to one of my system restore points. I can’t even remember the last time I used a system restore point so I’m a little afraid to do it but I most likely will do it just to see what happens. In addition to that issue I think that the video card is starting to fail me. I think two weeks ago we were using the desktop and all of a sudden the video blacked out on the screen. I did numerous reboots but it wouldn’t work. Luckily I know how to take my computers apart so I ripped the video card out, got rid of 3 years worth of dust and put it back in and it seems to be working ok but I know it’s only a matter of time before it totally fails me. I think just 2 years ago I replaced one of the hard drives too since I know the total storage is now order 1 terabyte.

If my desktop dies, I’ll have a choice to make. I either replace it or I don’t because I have a MacBook Pro that I bought last year. I like having my desktop because I hook up the Bose sound system my wife gave to me and the 23″ screen is nice as well. On the other hand I don’t really use the desktop anymore so if I got rid of it, it would be the first time since I was 16 that I didn’t own a Windows based computer that wasn’t owned by work. I still run Windows on my work computers but at home I would be reduced to my MacBook and my iPads which isn’t really a bad thing. What I might do is finally get a NAS so I could unload all the music and video that is sitting on my MacBooks hard drive.

One option that might remain open is waiting for Windows 8 and getting one of those new Surface computers that Microsoft unveiled this year. My desktop would have to last that long and die at the right time but I’m generally not wanting for more computer power. I’m also doing a lot less on my computers and I can do most of what I want on my iPad now. I guess we’ll see what happens. If anything I’ll salvage the hard drives and recycle the tower but keep my Bose and my monitor so I can use it for my next computer or some other device that can use the parts.

Do I still need a computer?

I’ve been asking myself if I still need a computer after getting an iPad over a year ago. I spend quite a bit of time doing things on my iPad and now my iPad 2, but I don’t think that my computer is going away anytime soon because the are so many other things that I can still do on the computer that I can’t do on my iPad. I’m hoping that will change over time, it would be great to only have to use something like my iPad for work instead of lugging around my laptop everywhere.

Here are my major tasks that I use a computer for that I cant use my iPad for currently.

1. File management is major for me. I have tons of files everywhere on my desktop. I keep them all organized and everything on my desktop but I need a lot of storage to ensure all of my data is safe. I store common things like movies, pictures, and music but then I have more sensitive stuff like financial data and a backup for all of my emails on Outlook. I also need the ability to find files and just select the files and have an app open rather than opening an app then trying to use the file.

2. Office Applications are definitely needed for me. I have the ability to create basic things like word, excel, and PowerPoint but I need the more advanced features like creating pivot tables or creating Visio diagrams. Actually Visio would be one of the most important apps that I utilize with my job. If I had that, it would go a long way in moving from a laptop to my tablet

3. Storage is very important. Right now I’m limited to the amount of storage that the tablet has. There are some new storage devices that can work over wifi which is helpful so I can grab files that don’t reside on the iPad but this is new technology so I’m not too sure about using it. Cloud Computing is getting a lot of attention lately but it’s not as secure as I would like and I want offline access to my stuff like I do now. I also know that I’m going to need a lot more data space in the future once my baby is born to hold all the pictures and videos that I’m going to take.

I guess I’ve answered my question, I will definitely need a computer for the foreseeable future unless something really cool comes out that will untether me from the desktop. Now the question is, do you go Mac or PC? I’m personally a PC guy but that’s because that’s what I grew up on and what I use for work. I’m using a lot of iOS devices though so I’m starting to give Macs another look although my problem with Mac is still the unavailability of some of the software that I use on a PC. I like the integration between the Apple products but it might be a long time before I can justify the purchase of major technology for the home beyond getting new iPhones. For now I’m going to struggle on with my Windows 7 desktop and enjoy my 23″ monitor with Bose sound. I give it another 10 years before I might be able to remove the desktop from my home but by that time I might just have a home server to take it’s place.