Two years ago, having run out of names of Goon Show characters, I named my new desktop computer Canopus, after one of the Imperial Airways flying boats which used to visit Durban in the 1930s and 1940s.
The machine is a Fujitsu Siemens 2,8Ghz Pentium 4 with 256Kb of RAM, a 40Mb hard drive, and all the required plugs and ports in the back. It is very well made and visitors to my office often remarked on how quiet it is.
Shortly after buying the computer, I bought another memory chip from a local supplier to upgrade it to 512Mb, which was more than enough at the time. I regularly had a number of programs open at the same time and manipulated image files of between 50Mb and 100Mb, with no problems at all.
The machine has lately begun to slow down a bit because some programs I’ve installed lately use a bit of the available RAM. I decided that it would be nice to add some more memory and didn’t anticipate a problem in getting it.
Which just goes to show how just how wrong you can be, because, after phoning my usual sources, I discovered that PC333 DDR RAM is no longer available locally. To make matters worse, it emerged that I could not just put in a new motherboard with slots to accommodate currently available RAM chips.
It seems as though the plug on the processor has been changed and that, if I went the new motherboard-route, I would have to buy a new processor as well. I then went to Plan B and phoned Fujitsu Siemens to see whether they could help.
I already have two 256Kb chips and they said they could supply me with two 512Mb ones to replace them with. This was great news but it turned out that they wanted more than R1000 for each chip which, I thought, was pretty steep considering that some suppliers PCs are advertising whole new PCs for around R2700.
I then found out that Kingston still make RAM of the correct type for my machine and I managed to track down their SA agent. The said they could supply me through one of their dealers but that the price, surprise, surprise, would be R2200 for a 1Gb RAM chip.
I am angry because my computer would be fine if only I had a bit more RAM but that is not good enough for the PC industry, which obviously wants me to buy a new machine at this point.
I can understand manufacturers upgrading their products but, when the product is already good enough for most people who will use it, it seems underhand and manipulative to make incremental improvements and change slots and plugs, just for the sake of driving sales.
Entry-level PCs for the past few years have been pretty potent and sufficient for the needs of most users, except when it comes to RAM. Some of the systems I see advertised still come with only 256Mb, which is barely enough to run Windows properly.
I’d advise asking for an upgrade to 1Gb of RAM, but don’t forget to tell the salesperson that you’ll be checking the price with other retailers and that you’ll be buying from the one which gives the best deal on the upgrade. If you bought a PC recently, and you think you might need more RAM one day, I advise investigating an upgrade before it’s too late.
I’d appreciate it if you left a comment by clicking the link below, especially if you know of where I could get some PC333 DDR RAM.