Thor is Dead – Well, Maybe Not

Way back in 2008 Pam​ was outgrowing her computer, a P4-based HP laptop. Yeah, right. Remember those ‘desktop replacement’ laptops? Lots of power (well, for its day) but it must’ve weighed ten pounds. With a power brick that was about the size of a real brick. Yeah, you remember.

So I built her a desktop. Kick-ass (well, for its day) dual core Intel processor, three huge hard drives, gobs of memory, rockin’ graphics card to drive the bleedin’ edge HP monitor she saw at a Digital Life show… She named it Thor, and it was good.

Over the years Thor got his share of tweaks and minor upgrades. New drives here, more and faster memory there, but substantially the same old box. Fast-forward to today.

hqdefaultThor’s been feelin’ the weight of the ages, actin’ flakey, a little unstable.

The guy in the brown truck brought some stuff yesterday afternoon. Motherboard, CPU, memory, power supply rated for the Intel Haswell chips… Almost a quarter of the cost was covered by rebates and other incentives. Free shipping. No sales tax.

Pam named it Kermit.

Kermit’s just burning in now. In a couple of weeks I’ll start messing around. Clocks, timings, and so on, tuning for performance. But for now, so far, so good.

So where’s my geek hat… Windows 10 activation/licensing was an issue, for a while. I was a little worried going in. Thor was on Windows 7, caught the free upgrade to Windows 10 back in July. No Key. What was gonna happen when the box booted? Kermit booted to a non-activated state and subsequent boots loading drivers and such remained non-activated. But after loading chipset drivers – the motherboard was WAY different – Windows 10 came up fully activated once again. Symantec activation and licensing was another hurdle. (Disclosure: We run their security product on our Windows desktops here, I recommend ’em and buy OEM licenses in bulk.) What happened was the existing license pretty much evaporated and jumped to an unused license in my pool of unused seats. I had a conversation with the folks at Symantec (online chat with ‘Ace’, actually – ‘Ace’ probably has too many consonants in his real name) and put the licensing right. No other gotchas so far.

So, what of Thor? Probably… clean him up a little, pull a chassis out of the back, stuff in some drives, install a Linux server image, and put him to work. No rest for the weary here; earn yer fuckin’ keep!

One thought on “Thor is Dead – Well, Maybe Not”

  1. Great article! I don’t understand more than about 25% of what you wrote — no techie, me — but I admire your expertise as a techie and your mastery of breezy English as a writer.

Go ahead and say it.