The computer on which I'm writing this is still the dual-core Athlon I wrote about in early 2006. Since then, it's had some new RAM, a new video card and about as many hard drives as I could stuff into it, but the faithful old mildly-overclocked Athlon 64 X2 3800+ has kept on chugging along.
I've been planning to upgrade for ages, but my income's taken a serious dip lately. Most of my money comes from ads of one kind or another - annoying ones from Burst Media, less annoying ones from Google, and my various you-can-buy-this-from affiliate links to Aus PC Market - and the global economic slump has hit all of these sources pretty hard. I'm currently making maybe 60% of my income a year ago, and less than half of what I made a couple of years before that.
So I've been putting off upgrading, and putting it off some more, and continuing to put it off, on account of how computer gear gets cheaper and faster pretty much by the week. But lately, my income has been dropping faster than component prices. 50%-tax-deduction-bonus or no 50%-tax-deduction-bonus, I just can't swing a new computer, and see no real prospect of being able to in the near future.
The sensible course of action for me now is, of course, to stop complaining and just keep my old PC. Maybe, to minimise the chance of catastrophic failure, I should buy a new boot drive and clone the old one onto it; I've already done that once, and I've similarly upgraded a couple of data drives. (If your computer is more than a few years old, I strongly recommend you upgrade the boot drive, too. Every hard drive will die one day; people often add more drives to their PC, but they seldom upgrade the boot device, because it's a hassle. But a dead boot drive can be really, really annoying. Waiting six hours for a clone operation is greatly preferable.)
I'm in no danger of actually running out of money, you understand. The cats, and staggering numbers of freeloading cockatoos, are going to keep getting fed. And my life remains ludicrously luxurious compared with that of most of the world's population.
I also keep perversely doing unprofitable things, like picking fights with scam artists and expanding my reprinted magazine columns (like the one I just put up, or this vastly expanded one from last year).
But many of you seem to quite like that stuff. And I haven't had a donation drive since September 2008. And back in 2002, you
suckers faithful readers together donated up the not-insubstantial purchase price of...
...a 16th-scale Tamiya Pershing tank kit.
So what the hell.
Anybody want to pitch in a few bucks to buy me a shiny new computer? If you do, my PayPal donation page is right here. Or you can just click this button:
You can send me an Amazon gift certificate too if you like, but all I can do with that is buy books and DVDs, since Amazon ship nothing else outside the USA. Oh, and if you're in Australia and would like to bank-transfer some money to me, e-mail me and if you sound trustworthy I'll give you my bank details. Since those bank details are sufficient to make fake cheques, though, I'm not putting them on public display.
NOTE: I'm not the only person tightening his or her belt at the moment, and I'm far from the most deserving recipient of your charity. If you're tossing up whether to send $5 to Amnesty International, Oxfam, the ASPCA/RSPCA or me, for pity's sake support human rights, poor people, or furry animals, not some dude who just wants a new computer to go with his vast monitor.
But if, on the other hand, you should decide to forego a nice breakfast at a cafe for toast at home, and then send the money you save to me, I'd be very grateful.
I would also be perfectly happy to accept a portion of the government stimulus money you would otherwise just blow on a plasma TV, or indeed a cut of the cheque that arrived addressed to your dead great-aunt.
In the improbable-but-delightful-to-contemplate event that you all give me more money than is necessary to buy a new PC, I hereby pledge to spend it on a better theremin than the baby one I got cheap without instructions on eBay, and then record an actual tune played on said theremin, no matter how much harm this does to my relationship with my Significant Other and/or pets.