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Saturday, May 22, 2010

William's computer

I spent most of today replacing the video card on William's computer. It is about 6 or 7 years old so it wouldn't run current games including the copy of "Spore" I bought for him yesterday. When I opened up his computer I discovered that the video card was nonexistent. Instead the moniter connected more or less to the motherboard. I took the entire thing to the computer shop where A&B Sound used to be. They advised me about the sort of cards that would fit. They don't put price tags on anything but instead keep the prices at their lowest possible rate based on daily computer updates. They suggested the $54 GeForce 6200 video card. There is a faster one for about $110 but I figured his processor couldn't really keep up with it anyways. I also got some dvd cases that hold 5 discs for only a buck each. Some pleasing impulse shopping. I'd have bought him a new monitor too but they are very short staffed, busy due to this being a rainy day, and, due to the nature of pricing, you cannot simply pick up bigger items. The guy at the counter said that the LG monitors had speakers and cost $180-200 for the 22"screen. Much better than the $300 or so that Best Buy wanted. I'll probably go back but will need to consider desk space. I want to claim William's old monitor as my second one (I have a duel monitor card that is underutilized). Anyway, the card was the right one and I thought I installed it easily but when I booted up, there was no image. I switched back to the first card and it didn't work anymore. I had to open the machine back up and remove the card and then boot up again. Then I installed the now-non-existent hardware, turn it off, put the card back in, boot again, and eventually it saw and used the new card. I then ran into another error which referred to the directx software. This took me even longer to solve but eventually I found the new version of directx, installed it, and got his game working. In total, nine hours.

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