So I spent... well, the time starting around March of the year until very recently not doing much shooting, not doing much editing, etc. Now, some of this was because of silly drama completely unrelated to photography, but I had some conversations, made some daring moves, etc. and took care of that stuff but photography was still not happening.
And then, while sketching some vector art with Illustrator, I'd realized what was wrong.
Applications have been getting bigger. Not at a giant clip, but little things like my IM client and my Email client and my web browser and Spotify and stuff were all eating up RAM. And so, the 2GB of RAM that I was using, which used to be fine, was full. So I would have to quit out of other stuff if I wanted to edit. It was a memory consideration to simply listen to music while editing photos. It would just get slow.
And it's doubly worse when I can't tab over to something else while it's doing time-consuming operations because I have to shut everything else down to just have enough memory to work. And then what happens is that, once I realize that I've got a lot of photos that are just waiting for me to get around to editing them, I'll stop trying to anything new. I'll stop trying to book model shoots, I'll stop taking my camera places, etc. The whole system shuts down.
That would not do.
The main reason why I was at 2GB was because I was still running Windows XP because, at the time of my last rebuild, going 64 bit was a compatibility headache. But it's been enough time and there are enough 64 bit machines out there that I have a pretty good chance that everything's going to just plain work.
So I plunked down some money... not too much, just enough for a pair of new hard drives, a Windows 7 install disk, and some more memory... and rebuild my desktop. Which, of course, takes a long long time to do because there's not an 'upgrade' option available and I've got a lot of software and hardware to configure. One should also remember that I do a lot of other stuff, so it's not just like I'm done when I've got email, a web browser, and photo editing software installed. There's also the music software and hardware... and software development stuff... etc.
The real problem, as usual, ends up being that, as somebody who does purchase every single app that I use (or I find a free alternative or do without) I always seem to have more problems getting everything installed than the people who pirate everything. This included me having to wait until the morning to call Microsoft tech support so I could get my copy of Windows actually activated, unsure if they were going to play nice (which they eventually did) or try to force me into starting the whole install cycle over from scratch. Because all of the drivers were easy to find and everything seems to be stable.
So, now I've got 10 gigs of RAM instead of 2. And if I want to spend $40 or so more, I can take it all the way to 16GB. But... as I'm writing this, I've got music playing (always makes editing more pleasant) and my various photo management applications running and it's pretty hard to use up all of the RAM with that.... at least right now. I'm sure that will change soon enough.
I wasn't, of course, sitting doing nothing in my spare time but watching TV and surfing the web. I'll spend my recreational time doing nothing when I'm dead. It's just that I found trying to get better at cartooning in Illustrator and working on my piano and a bit of recreational writing to be easier to move forward with.
Although there was some meh involved as well. Which I really don't feel like going into. One of my coworkers has a nice picture of a car on fire with the caption "I think we've all learned a valuable lesson here".