I can’t remember exactly when I bought my first desktop computer, but I think it was around fifteen years ago.
Boy, how things have changed!
My first machine was a Tandon 386, with 1Mb of RAM and a massive 40Mb hard disk. It had the standard 5.25” floppy drive, but I spent a little extra and got a 3,25” floppy as well. I was forward thinking!
I have just taken delivery of a 2Tb external drive which is hooked up now to my laptop, along with a slightly unreliable 1Tb drive. I have just been doing the maths on how this humble little laptop compares to my first machine.
The memory has grown from 1Mb to 4Gb, which is 4,000 times more.
The storage has grown from 40Mb to 3.35Tb which is an increase factor of 83750!!
The laptop has a 2Gh dual core processor compared to my old 16Mh Tandon which is the poorest improvement – a mere 128 times faster.
I haven’t seen a floppy drive in years, nor have I seen a floppy disk. This yoke is DVDs (and CDs) only.
Of course the display and sound have improved beyond recognition too.
But by how much has the price increased in the fifteen years?
I actually paid about half the original cost on my current setup. Allowing for inflation, I have spent considerably less.
I wrote yesterday that I missed the Classic Menu in Windows 7.
Why the option was omitted is anyone’s guess, but the fact is that it’s gone. I did a search on the Internet and found a few solutions that were all going to cost me. Now, I’m not averse to paying for good software, but this didn’t warrant any expenditure.
I searched a bit further, and found an extremely simple solution that not only is free, but doesn’t require any additional software at all.
First of all, through Control Panel, –> Folder Options make sure that “Show hidden files, folders and drives” is selected.
Now, right-click on the toolbar and select Toolbars –> New toolbar… This will open up a folder selection window. Select ‘C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\windows\StartMenu\Programs\
The new item appears on the right-hand end of the Toolbar:
First and foremost, it should be pleasing to the eye. It should also reflect the general content of the site, so that a simple glance at the screen should give an idea of the type of site it is.
Customising a theme can be simple or difficult, depending on how far you want to go. My philosophy is to take a theme that is as close as possible to my final desire, and then to make the minimum of changes. Head Rambles, for example has been through a couple of modifications. It is now heavily customised to the point where the original theme is almost unrecognisable.
As I said before, I wasn’t too happy with the theme here. I felt it was time for a radical overhaul of the entire site, both in look and name.
Why chose “A Pipe and a Keyboard”? Mainly because it sums up my necessities for writing. It is a personal site, with quite a bit of technical stuff, so the pipe represents the personal, and the keyboard represents the technical.
I chose the design for its simplicity. I like the simple layout, which doesn’t detract from the content, and apart from a few minor tweaks to the font, the only big change I have made (so far) is to substitute the banner image. There are a few changes to be made yet, of a minor nature, such as additional navigation and tweaks like that. I’m not too sure about the image, as yet. I know the pipe looks a little unusual, but it is the pipe I generally smoke, so it deserves its place on the Internet.
I always felt I had a small problem with the theme for this site.
It was a lovely theme, but I always had a feeling that because it was so good, it somehow got in the way of the content. Was the site here because I liked the look of it, or because I had something to say?
I have decided to switch to a new theme. I’m not saying that this theme is any worse than the last one, but I feel it concentrates more on the content, rather than just shouting “look at me, amn’t I beautiful”.
I have a few tweaks to do to it yet. I have already darkened the text, and I want to increase the font size a little. I had an interesting time setting Windows Live Writer to reflect the new theme as it is a complex one. It is essentially two themes – the base theme is Desk Mess Mirrored, but there is a child theme installed on top of that – Desk Mess Multi, which provides one or two extra knobs. I had to revert to the base theme before I could get WLW to reflect the theme, and then set the site back to the child again.
So far, I like it, but then it has only been up for a couple of hours. Time will tell.