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April 21st, 2009

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12:37 am
This weekend I decided my computer could stand to use a wee bit more memory so after work I went down to Ye Olde Computre Store and perused their racks of RAM until I found the right 2GB DDR2 stick.

Or so I thought. When I got it home and eagerly tried to install it, I discovered much to my dismay that the notch just sliiiiightly further to the left than my motherboard's RAM holder. (Yes, I turned it the other way, and the notch was quiiiiite further to the right.)

I had never encountered this problem before. It was the same width as my other memory chips and had all the right notches and holes in the right place, but that dang notch meant I couldn't seat that bad boy and I wasn't about to use brute force on the thing (not if I want to take it back and exchange it for a piece that fits.)

Am I so behind the times that I didn't know that memory comes in different, uh, notch measurements now? I feel incredibly embarrassed, to tell the truth. Here I am, supposed to be Mr. Smart Computer Mans who knows enough about his system to go all Frankenstein on it, who once resurrected a dead AlphaServer by merely staring at it with enough intent (and fiddling with wires and other fiddly things) and yet here I am, foiled by a heretofore unknown standard in notch calibration.


I don't want to ever feel Out Of My League when it comes to this stuff. But somehow I feel slightly like I was. Am. Were. Whatever. The humiliation is almost palpable. Probably even the cat knew what I'd done wrong, and I'd chased him out of the room when he thought he'd be helpful and snag some of my baked beans while I was otherwise occupied with computer innards. Oh, who's got the last laugh now?

At least I know enough to keep all the original packaging and receipts, and to shop at a nice store with a generous return policy. And at least my other buy this evening works wonderfully, even if I'm scared that it's a removable USB drive with quadruple the storage space than the one I bought two years ago at the very same price.

Jeez-o-Pete. Such a world we live in.

And if you're going to try to school me on whatever it is I missed here, be kind or by god I'll sock you one in the snoot.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:April 21st, 2009 05:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, I had this problem with the old computer -- DDR1 vs. DDR2. I think the number of connector pins is actually different, and the reason for the notch alignment is to impede you from trying to shove the wrong number of pins into the slot. The problem is that it looks SO similar you do it anyway, figuring you're just a moron (that's what I did, anyway).
[User Picture]
Date:April 21st, 2009 05:57 am (UTC)
this. almost definitely the problem. you can check exactly what you need by going to crucial.com and running their scan (or just entering your computer's model and whatnot into their little checker).
[User Picture]
Date:April 21st, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
Having gotten myself schooled on the wrong memory many years ago, I normally use one of them-thar online memory testers that tell me precisely what I need and then offer to sell it to me. Otherwise I'm furkin GUARANTEED to buy the wrong damn thing.
[User Picture]
Date:April 21st, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Dear Mr. Smart Computer Mans:

I would gladly help you calibrate your notches.

--Another Computer Fixer

(p.s. I too use the helpfulness of crucial.com when it comes to finding out RAM requirements, but then again, I see a metric fuckton of different machines around this office.)
[User Picture]
Date:April 21st, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
I feel this pain. I spent my adolescence and just afterward being the dude who knew all about this hardware shit. I would read PC component catalogues for kicks. Then I got distracted for a few years in the early-to-mid-00s and when I looked back I was like... what is all this? How do you know how fast a processor is now? What do these different RAMs mean? Why didn't GHz go up at the rate one might expect (I felt SO stupid when someone had to point out to me that dual core was like, you know, a 486-DX2!).

I kind of gave up my delusions of expertise and started trusting punks in stores. I also don't upgrade my system as often anymore since all I care about is that my laptop uses the Internet and junk and that my desktop is sufficient for powerful music applications. Games? I play my Wii about once a month, or haul out old SNES cartridges. I am not the dude I was.

I guess that is the thing.
[User Picture]
Date:April 21st, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Here's how out of my league this whole conversation is. My only reaction to this post is this:

"Notch Calibration" - heh heh heh - dirty! - heh heh heh.
[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2009 07:08 am (UTC)
Dude, I would have whipped out a knife and cut a hole in whatever it was that was stopping you from getting that bit into the notch properly.

Then I would have cursed at wrecking my motherboard. Then I would have taken the knife and robbed my local convenience store, and used the money to buy a whole new computer.


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