Writer’s Workshop: Long, Long, Long…

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

I’ve been getting the notion that maybe it’s time to deal with my desktop computer, a 2012 Mac Mini. Minis are nice, because they’re small (8″x8″x2″) and do as much work as a much larger (and much more expensive) computer. It has 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive installed, which was fine eight years ago. Unfortunately, the operating system has been upgraded several times since then, and with each new release of the operating system, the memory requirements have increased. It still runs, just a lot slower than it did when it was brand new, and as such some jobs that should finish in a matter of hours now finish in a matter of days. I attempted to do a full backup of the hard drive last night. I started it at 9:30 and, thirteen hours later, the job was less than 20% complete.

Unacceptable, I don’t care who you are.

I got a bee in my bonnet about it, and while it would be possible to ditch this machine and go with my laptop, I have so much stuff on this one that I need to be able to get at, and the hard drive in the laptop is half the size of this one. So that’s not an option. Buying a new Mini is not an option, either. So, I’m left with a third option: upgrading this one.

In the good old days, when I had the use of both hands, I would buy the new parts and whatever tools I needed, do the upgrade, and all would be well. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. However, I found a service online to which I can send my computer and who will do it for only slightly more than it would cost to do myself. What’s more, I can pay for most of it using cash-back money on one of my credit cards.

I’ll probably send it out next week. Keep your fingers crossed…

24 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Long, Long, Long…

  1. You are overdue for an upgrade! I’m glad they make it fairly easy these days. But I know what you mean, I really eek out every last bit of life from my computers too.


    1. This one has lasted about seven years and I really didn’t want to buy a new one, and this seemed like a safe bet. I’ll pack it up and ship it out today and get it back next week.


  2. Oh my goodness, fingers crossed for you! Any time I reach the limit on my computer I get all angsty about the transition process. Here’s hoping your transfer goes smoothly and you love the new speed you gain.


    1. I think this will allow me to delay having to buy a new computer. If I can get by with spending almost $400 now (thanks to cash-back cards only about $80) rather than spending $1500 or more, I’ll do that.


  3. Sounds like a worthwhile plan. I had a 2010 Windows desktop I only replaced at the beginning of these year. It’s a big decision changing tech. Good thing you know the stuff inside out.


  4. Wow…that was an incredibly long backup runtime, I can well understand your frustration.

    Mac/Windows, they all have their drawbacks, probably Windows more than anything. I recall what a nightmare Vista was back in the day, actually ME was another. Even the latest WIN10 still has issues. Trust me on that…The Husband has it on his laptop and I’m constantly running to get him through one roadblock or another.

    Good luck, John…keep us posted on how the upgrade goes. I’ll be keeping good thoughts for you.

    Stay safe!


  5. I just recently updated my Mac to the new Catalina operating system and experienced an initial frustrating decrease in speed and serious lag. I went through and deleted all the old 32 bit apps that no longer work on the 64 bit system and got a new external hard drive for backups. It is working much better now. Good luck with yours!


    1. I weeded out all the 32-bit apps hen I upgraded to Catalina, and the speed picked up a little. I’ve been working with only 4 GB of memory, so I figure bringing that up to 16 GB and going with a solid state drive that’s twice as big ought to make a difference. Anything would be better than what I’m dealing with now…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love my computer–and I hate it. I’m waiting for mine to die, but somehow it keeps reviving itself to live for a while longer. Hope you get your issues resolved satisfactorily.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


    1. Mary asked me “wouldn’t you rather get a new computer?” I had thought about it, but to get the memory and solid-state drive would be close to $2000. I think I can get the same kind of performance improvement by upgrading what I have, which will cost less than $400. Of course, I might do that and not be happy with the result, but as I see it I’m mostly spending “cash-back” money, so the outlay is less than $100.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am. I had a Windows machine that was on its last legs and needed replacing, and all the new computers were shipping with Windows Vista, which everyone at work was complaining about, so I went with a Mac and it’s made all the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s so hard isn’t it? We rely on these machines so much, but at any moment they might fail on us. Do you have anyone local who could do the work? In my small town we have two computer repair/builders who work from home. Good luck


    1. Unfortunately, no, or at least I haven’t heard of any. These people are up in Illinois, and they seem to know what they’re doing. If both my hands worked, I’d probably just order the parts and do it myself, but that ship sailed in 2007…

      Liked by 1 person

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