So, the hard drive on my laptop was more than 2/3 full, even after the Snow Leopard upgrade that freed up about 10 GB of space. I tried using an external NAS drive for my music, but the problem with that is if it is not actually spinning when I open iTunes, then the software creates a new directory on my internal HD and any music I buy ends up there if I don't notice (which I didn't).
A little bit of research online revealed that swapping out the HD on a MacBook is easy-peasy. Some very nice folks (on Instructables) have done some great step-by-step instructions. So I started shopping and learned that just over $100 could get me a 640 GB HD...wow. WD Scorpio Blue, a well-reviewed drive with a good reputation. I opted for more space rather than going with a 7200 RPM drive.
Right about the same time, DD discussed with me some plans she had for getting an external drive and a tablet. So we decided on some swapping. I would get the new drive for my MacBook. She gets my old 250 GB, my 1TB external NAS drive and our old wireless router that has been sitting unused for two years. I get her old 120 GB drive (which I would put in an enclosure), her BlueTooth keyboard and some cash. Everybody's happy.
So, some online research reveals that my best deal for the HD is NewEgg. By the time we got back to the city after our cottage visit, it was waiting for me. A few more days of research, to make sure I was all ready, then I started. That's when I learned the smallest Phillips screwdriver we have (size 0)was one size too big to do the job. Off to Canadian Tire to buy one the next day. I get the drive out only to learn that the smallest Torx we have (9) is also one size too big. Back to CT again.
Finally get the new drive in...works like a charm. Over 300 GB of empty spac :-)))) Wait a few days to make sure all is well...yup. Do the process all over again for DD. She's happy too.
So finally, I buy a copy of XP and load it onto BootCamp. It takes me a couple days to get Myst (Masterpiece) running, but I do. That was my primary goal for loading XP: being able to play the entire Myst series. Uru is iffy, though: my on-board video may or may not be supported. Depends on who you talk to. More on that later, though.
So then I start looking into upgrading the HD on the iMac. It's a little more complicated, but not rocket science by any stretch. I also start thinking about increasing the RAM on my MacBook. Although not at their lowest, prices are quite good.
'Round about the same time, DD asks me to make another CD for her. A couple years ago, I did up a collection of songs that I found inspiring and contained messages that I wanted to pass on to her. The idea was triggered by the song 'I hope you dance' by Lee Ann Womack She loved it and later told me she played it a lot when she and her beau broke up. Now, she wants another one.
I start thinking about what songs I might put on it, and don't really have any inspiration. One day, while following a link from one of the blogs I read regularly, I find a song that I had never heard before and I know that it will be on the CD: Do I Make You Proud by Taylor Hicks. A couple days later, while driving, I hear another: Second Chance by Shinedown. Same thing. From no inspiration to two pivotal songs without any effort at all on my part. Life is serendipitous.
So, the CD gets burned onto a LightScribe disc, but it's not ready yet. I want the disc to be a total package, great graphics included. Problem is, DS and I have been without home 'fun' publishing software for several years now. We had really enjoyed having PrintArtist when we first got our first PC, so I start looking into that again. I found a very reasonably priced one, fully loaded, able to do CD labels and family trees, two projects that are important to me right now.
Then, out of the blue, DS starts talking about upgrading our Bell receiver to an HD dual-receiver PVR. A few clicks later and voila! It's on sale at BB and they're offering a year interest-free. Well, while we're at it, why don't I just buy my RAM and get it done?
So I start shopping. Out of curiosity, I ask DS to check the iMac's RAM situation. It has 1GB, as a single stick, which I find odd. But it's the same RAM as my MacBook uses. Which means that I can take one of the sticks out of my MacBook and slap it into the iMac, doubling the RAM. DD also wants to upgrade, but she has two 512MB sticks. So I can sell her one of my used sticks and she can buy one new. A little research shows 1GB sticks are....$30!!??? WTF? Then again, 2GB sticks are about $50 to $60, so that's right. My problem is that I need 2 x 2GB which I must buy new. Everyone else benefits from my tech addiction. Though well under control, it's still an addiction.
Some on-line searching says there's some to be had at FS and BB, but it'll cost me more than if I order it online. I was ready to pay the higher price in the interests of having it now, though. Luckily, despite the website inventory, there is none to be had. We get the dual PVR receiver, and the publishing software. The other software that I have been wanting to get for quite some time is Adobe PhotoShop Elements 8 for Mac. Seems it's hard to find in stock, and neither BB nor FS have it.
Back to NewEgg. This is a good thing, my impatience must be tamed. Two sticks of Corsair RAM ordered, total cost $110, taxes and shipping all in. I would have paid $131 had I bought it locally, either from BB or FS, or even the local computer shop. The bigger shop downtown, 'though they had better prices, didn't have it in stock.