Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – May 12, 2008: MOVING TO A NEW COMPUTER IS AS BAD AS MOVING TO A NEW HOUSE.

My last computer was purchased 5 years ago, and as my video editing work moved to high definition, encoding speed was so slow, I could go to lunch just waiting for a few minutes of video to be completed.

So, it was time for a new computer. I ended up building one from scratch – with the help from one of our staff, Sandy Bird – and it cost a lot more than the usual system that I used to purchase from Dell.

The parts included a Quad-core Intel 3.2 GHz processor, 4 GB of DDR3 1600 RAM, five 500 GB SATA hard drives, Adaptec RAID card, Gigabyte motherboard, Asus video card, 750 watt power supply, and a huge case. At least I thought it was huge. The Asus video card was so big though, it was still a tight fit. The monitor for video editing has to be large too, so I picked the new Gateway 30″. The OS is Microsoft XP. I thought about Vista, but just about everyone I know hates Vista. So, XP.

Anyway, it had been so long since I last upgraded to a new computer, I forgot what a living hell it is to do so. Not so much building the computer. That was easy and fun. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Sandy Bird has built dozens of them. We had a new staff member, Josh Samet, over to help out. He will be writing some reviews for gaming.

And, no, the hard part was not re-installing all the programs. That is pretty much an automated thing, although digging up all the installation keys was annoying.

The nightmare was transferring all the data files. It’s like moving to a new house. You have to buy a new refrigerator, maybe some new rugs. But, you have to move all your stuff. Tons and tons of stuff.

Here is a photo of the living room after the computer build was finished. It looks just like a room being packed up for a move to the new home. The box for the video card was as big as a receiver. What a waste of paper!


Anyway, to the data file transfer. First, I copied the data files to an outboard USB hard drive. I needed a 250 GB drive because video files take up lots of disk space.

So, after waiting an hour or so for the data files to be copied, I unplugged the USB drive.

Whoops!!! What a mistake that was. Unplugging a USB mouse, keyboard, camera memory card, and lots of other things, while the computer is still on, never caused me a problem. But, when I unplugged that USB hard drive before officially “dismounting” it, kapoof went the sectors that list where everything is located. I could not get any computer, not the old one or the new one, to recognize that drive.

So, after re-copying the data files to another USB drive, and making sure to click that “Safely Remove Hardware” button on the bottom menu bar of the desktop, I was able to transfer my data files.

In the old days, I had maybe 250 MB of data files. They were things like e-mail addresses, manuscripts, spreadsheets, etc. No video files.

Now, there are hundreds of GB to transfer. Music, video, and just a little bit by comparison, of text.

If and when we go to 4k resolution video, let’s see, what is the next step up from Terabyte?