Friday, February 22, 2008


I am stunned. It's not like I haven't done it before; I have. I've done it lots of times. And I still remember how afraid and daunted I was the first time. I had a vague idea of what to do, and I certainly wasn't afraid to ask for help -- and even instructions -- but I was still nervous and afraid. What if I did it wrong? What if it went in wrong? What if...? That's when I stopped wondering, took a deep breath and just did it.

Okay, get your minds out of the bedroom, or off the kitchen table and counters, out of the sink and shower. I'm talking about installing my first RAM chip. For the non-geeks who read this, that is the little chip that is your computer's memory and allows your computer to work faster and more efficiently the more you have.

My laptop came with 512K of RAM (Random Access Memory). That is more than my first computer had years ago, but not enough for my computing needs. When I had more than one task running the slow down was obvious. Not any more. Although I haven't opened up a laptop before, I bought 2 Gigabytes of RAM for my laptop and they arrived this morning. I opened the panels on the back of the laptop with my handy dandy tool kit, the one I keep in my purse (similar to the one Security took from me when I flew to New Jersey three years ago), and opened up the panels on the back to find where the RAM chip was. I found it, took a few moments to puzzle over how to get it out, removed it quickly and easily, and inserted two brand new 2 Gigabyte RAM chips. I screwed the panel back on, popped in the battery, plugged in the power cord and started the computer. Voila! Speed and efficiency. It took one-third as long to boot up and be ready for use. It's early in the morning and I didn't want to startle my neighbors or I would have yelled, "yesyesyesyesyesyes," instead of typing it here.

Not allowing fear to control me has taken me all sorts of places and I have learned a lot since the first time I nervously asked the salesman for assistance in how to install a RAM chip. This time, I researched the best prices and found I could get two RAM chips for less than it would have cost me to buy one a few months ago. I only have two slots, but they are full and they work like a dream. I'm happy.

Of course, my mother would chide me -- if I told her -- for messing around with something I could break or destroy, "And then you wouldn't have a computer," she'd say with a certain sense of eager relish with that I-told-you-so tone in her voice. She is certain I'm going to ruin my computer by downloading programs and shows, but she doesn't understand and fear controls almost all of her actions. She has not had to fend for herself or live alone in the whole course of her 77-year life. She doesn't know how to be self sufficient or to dare to fly in the face of fear and figure something out. She still has a fit over me driving a moving van and towing my car from Cleveland to Columbus in an snow and rain storm. I wouldn't have missed the experience. Come to that, I wouldn't have missed the experience of opening up the panels on the back of my laptop and installing the new RAM chips with my handy dandy fold-away tool kit. I bought it so I would never be without a few tools in an emergency, although I'm sure the FAA has me listed as a terrorist who was determined to take over the Delta 727 with my little tool kit, manicure set and antique embroidery scissors. Then again, had I set my mind to being a terrorist, I am sure I would've found a way to hijack the plane by using what was on hand. Airplane food in the hands of a determined terrorist can be lethal.

In the meantime, if you know anyone who would like a 512K DDR RAM chip for a 533MHz laptop, let me know and I'll send them the one I pulled this morning. That's my idea of recycling.

That is all. Disperse.

No comments: