By Richard Peterson
We had quite a time at the Farmers Press office the last 10 days or so.
I decided it was time to upgrade our computers and Dell had a sale on the computers that would fit the bill for us.
Over the years we’ve had many computers, but I’ve found that Dell computers are very reliable. I suppose we’ve had 15 Dell computers and I had a problem with only one. The Dell people figured out the problem on the phone and they sent a new card which I installed. I never had another problem with that machine.
Oh, they need a certain amount of maintenance, as do all computers. But this maintenance is done primarily with software. You also need a good anti-virus program and we’ve found a good one — F-Protect, headquartered in Iceland. We’ve never had a virus get by F-Protect.
Anyway, one of the computers that was replaced was a Dell XPS Pentium 4 computer which was installed in June of 2003. It was a powerhouse of a computer with Windows XP, a gigabyte of DRAM at 400 megahertz and 120 gigabytes of hard drive memory. That one computer set me back $2,677.
The three new computers are Dell Studio Slim models with six gigabytes of memory at 800 megahertz and 1000 gigabytes of hard drive memory (one terabyte). Each computer is much faster and more powerful than the 2003 powerhouse computer. Each computer cost $899 with tax and freight. The new computers are less than half the size of the old ones and the monitors are 20" high definition flat screens.
We have six computers in our little office and they’re all connected by a network, so I can get into every computer and every computer can get into every other computer. We have five printers and every computer can print on every printer.
The new computers with Windows 7 resulted in a lot of tweaking to make everything work right. Jay Howard put in a lot of overtime getting everything to work. Whenever I sat down to do something at the computer last week, another glitch was found for Jay to fix. It was a tough week, but we’re getting back to normal now.
We also installed four new versions of Adobe CS4 Design Premium on the three new computers and on one year-old computer. Those four versions of CS4, which contain Indesign, Photoshop, Acrobat and a bunch of programs we don’t use, set me back almost $2,500!
We’re set for the immediate future. Our two remaining computers for the mailing list and bookkeeping are 2006 models and they should be good for a couple years more.
That’s enough bragging for now.
Here’s an e-mail I received from Ellie Light:
A year ago, if we had read in the paper that employers were hiring again, that health care legislation was proceeding without a bump, that Afghanistan suddenly became a nice place to take your kids, we would’ve known we were being lied to. Back then, we recognized that the problems Obama inherited as president wouldn’t go away overnight.
During his campaign, Obama clearly said that an economy that took eight years to break couldn’t be fixed in a year, that Afghanistan was a graveyard of empires and would not be an easy venture for us. Candidate Obama didn’t feed us happy talk, which is why we elected him. He never said America could solve our health care, economic and security problems without raising the deficit. Instead, he talked of hard choices, of government taking painful and contentious first steps towards fixing problems that can’t be left for another day.
Right after Obama’s election, we seemed to grasp this. We understood that companies would be happy to squeeze more work out of frightened employees and would be slow to hire more. We understood that the banks that had extorted us out of billions of dollars were lying when they said they would share their recovery. We understood that a national consensus on health care would not come easily. Candidate Obama never claimed that his proposed solutions would work flawlessly right out of the box and we respected him for that.
But today, the president is being attacked as if he were a salesman who promised us that our problems would wash off in the morning. He never made such a promise. It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything.
And this from Denzel Levett: It’s time for commentators everywhere to air their complaints about our Failed-Superhero President: Obama caved in on health care, or went too far. The stimulus package was too ambitious, or not ambitious enough. He broke his promise to be bipartisan, or tried too hard to court any Republican who’d listen. His Afghan policy is too harsh, or maybe soft. He was broker for a bad deal in Copenhagen. He didn’t do enough to create jobs. No, scratch that. His attempts at creating jobs made matters worse.
Here’s one thing the president did: face up to issues that, if ignored any longer, would render America a second-rate power within a decade.
The president’s attempts at revamping health care, climate and economic policies are flawed, but they are essential starting points. At least he got some balls rolling. That’s more than his predecessors were able to accomplish.