If you follow me on twitter or Facebook, you know I’ve been struggling with a PC that has been on its last legs for quite a while. For the last year or so it’s acted sluggish, has been LOUD, and seemed starved for memory.

About a week ago it made the leap from being merely annoying to acting as though it were totally possessed. My desktop refused to appear, and I was running programs via Task Manager. I gave some thought to summoning a priest, but decided instead to utilize all my PC/IT technical skills:  a) loud swearing; b) a larger wine glass; and finally, c) begging and whimpering.

Surprisingly, none of this worked.

On Monday evening I called DELL (in spite of my concerns over their outsourced Customer Service) and ordered a new box with an Intel E7200 processor, 3GB RAM, and a 250GB hard drive. I also selected a “19 in 1” card reader. It’s a basic box but should be fine for what I do. It arrived on Saturday, and I’m in the midst of moving files from my external hard drive (yes, I did scan it for viruses and other bad stuff before proceeding) to the new box.

Thus far it’s great. It’s quiet and fast and can handle multiple programs with ease. Now when I’m listening to music or watching a video and launch PowerPoint or Word or some other program it doesn’t start hanging up and crashing – how unique!

Another quick note – I am back on the road this week, going to Lost Wages for a conference and a series of meetings with customers. There will be fewer posts this week, but certainly one each day. Look for a guest post by reader Michael W. on Thursday – a very interesting review of 2 Rick Steves bags.

That said, it’s been a while since I’ve done a links roundup.  In no particular order, several posts and articles I’ve recently found interesting:

I’ve recently written about strategies for surviving the recession including networking; Trent @ The Simple Dollar posted about the most effective ways to network just yesterday; read it here.

One of the RSS feeds I subscribe to is from the Miami Herald and it provides old Dave Barry columns – click here for his classic “So Dumb It’s Criminal.”

I’ve become a fan of the lavishly photo-illustrated recipes at The Pioneer Woman – here’s a great one for onion strings.

I’ve been rummaging around the house looking for my copy of The Elements of Style (without luck) only to discover an online version. If you write, you need to read it.  Do so here.

Have a great week!

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