Subtitled: Everything I forgot to mention in the previous post due to time constraints and memory overload.
I did lend a hand, at least temporarily, with reviewing and tweaking the old Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop. I manually removed over 10,000 files from the temp folder after which my dad showed his brother how to use Window’s built in Disk Cleanup utility. The laptop has only 512 MB of RAM, but could probably benefit from a memory upgrade to 2 GB if possible. Both dad and uncle are pricing RAM this week. The hard drive is anemic at 30 GB (and Office 2007 is fully loaded on it) and is using compression (ugh!). Without more time and some of my normal utilities, I couldn’t accurately predict if turning off compression would result in a fully utilized hard drive (i.e. no free disk space for Windows to operate ‘normally’). Granted, the laptop is over seven years old, so I’m not much that gone be done to improve performance without dumping too much money into it. As with most electronics, it’s sometimes better to cut your losses and jump to new and improved hardware. I suggested a netbook if 90% of their needs involve internet access (webmail, Googling, weather, news, etc.).
My uncle and I (both avid readers and he’s also an aspiring author) swapped several pounds worth of books. I’ll do the inventory this evening and start sorting for swapping and trading via BookMooch and my local used book store. My dad gave us both the evil eye, since I somehow ended up with about twice as many books on the return trip to squeeze into his car, along with the telescope and me.
I spied and watched some local fauna, including a large woodchuck, a small green and gray toad and a pasture of self-shedding sheep and their well trained unsupervised sheepdog. On the ride down to Winfield, we saw many red tailed hawks in the pre-dawn life puffed up like owls, but later in the morning they were sleek or fast as the glided over the planes in search of breakfast.
And we ruminated squeaky floors and their cures and the consensus became you must pull up your flooring, use screws (not nails) and possible some glue to quiet those squeaks.