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Friday June 11, 2010 5:55 pm

Friday Fun: 10 tell-tale signs you need to upgrade your computer

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Features, PC / Laptop

Computer Upgrade

In this age of technology it seems that no sooner have you taken your brand spanking new machine out of its packaging than it is already defunct and obsolete thanks to a newer, sleeker, sexier model. However, there are some exceptionally old machines still out there and some exceptionally stubborn users who still think that Windows 95 is the height of technological evolution.

So, this one is for the obstinate hoarder of old technologies. If you find yourself nodding along knowingly to any of the below, it’s time to treat yourself to a new machine.

You’re Still Waiting for It to Boot Up

sow computer boot up

?Does this process sound familiar? You switch on your computer to boot up, go away to make a cup of coffee, come back to your desk, skim through the morning paper, put on the kettle for a second beverage, and only then settle down to the starting screen of your machine. If you can achieve all of this while your computer is starting up, it’s time to get a new one.

Your Computer Sounds like a Vacuum

old vacuum cleaner

Fans and cooling systems in modern machines are mercifully quiet. So if, as you turn on your computer, you are treated to the deafening howl of the whirring fans which could be likened to a Dyson hooked up to a megaphone, then it’s time to change machine.

Your Computer Has a Disk Drive

diskette drive

Flash drives are among the most effective portable data storage system on the market right now. For larger storage needs then RAID data recovery may have to be an option, but floppy disks are now an obsolete technology. If your machine has a disk drive, it’s probably part of a forgotten generation of machines.

There are No USB Ports
Everything is USB-oriented these days. There was a time when your keyboard, mouse and external hard drive all had separate plugs – now everything has gravitated towards the USB port. If your machine is lacking USB slots, it’s too old.

You Have a Dot Matrix Printer

Dot matrix printer

Ah, the dot matrix – a classic of its time. Ribbon printers are now (thankfully) consigned to the annals of history though.

The Internet is Still on Dial-Up
If you still need to dial into the Internet, thus rendering your phone permanently engaged, and creating a cacophonous sound that sounds like R2D2 was having an android hernia, then you need to upgrade to broadband. Seriously, do it for your eardrums if nothing else.

The Monitor is a CRT

crt monitor

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do humans it seems. Desks remain the same size, yet despite the invention of the space efficient flatscreen monitor – which replaced the cumbersome CRT – the desk is still cluttered and overloaded. If your monitor has a rear end larger than Jennifer Lopez, it’s time to upgrade to a new slimline model.

Your Contacts Are Saved In an Access Database

MS Access

Remember the days before social networking, Gmail and Outlook organised all of your contacts for you? If you don’t, and you still have all of your contacts saved to a Microsoft Access database, then you are living in the technological past.

You’re Still Using DOS

MS-DOS box

The black screen of DOS was an infuriating system for the uninitiated. Having to memorise the commands to make DOS function was a test, a test which prompted furious and colourful cursing for those who could not remember if it was /C: or /D: that they needed to access SimCity. If you are still struggling with DOS now, then get Microsoft’s new package (or Google’s Chrome which comes out in the autumn), which does all that stuff for you.

A Tape Deck is Required to Load Anything
OK, this one is only for exceptionally old users. The tape deck, God bless it, was a phenomenal piece of kit in its day, but thank the heavens technology has moved on from the Commodore 64. Still fiddling with this archaic technology? Then there really is very little hope for you.

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