It had been a few weeks since I'd signed up with my telecom provider for high-speed internet, but my DSL modem had yet to show up in the mail. I called them to inquire about that, and they told me it had been sent but the delivery had been refused. Having no explanation as to how that could be, but knowing that my dial-up connection was about to dry up, like, any day now
, I asked them to please, please re-send my DSL modem For Great Justice.
Afterward I continued to pirate adult entertainment videos with my newer computer, and happened to notice that my download speed was a bit higher than usual. A look at the modem's entry in Device Manager revealed that this was a Winmodem V.90 and it was bringing in data at ~4.8 KB/sec, but the best was yet to come. I updated the modem driver and now, lo and behold, it was listed as V.92, capable of bringing in data at a screaming 5.6 KB/sec. That amounts to an increase of ~12-15% in speed over my previous modem, which is quite noticeable on dial-up. If I'd realized that it could be this good I'd have bought a new Winmodem years ago!
While preparing to upgrade my older computer's RAM, I recalled the many times I'd dreamed of maxing it out, getting a high-speed connection, and hitting the web in style. After popping the RAM modules in place and reconnecting the cables, I loaded a Memtest floppy, hit the 'on' button and... nothing
. It wouldn't pass even a single test. I tried re-seating the RAM, and then everything that I could think of, including cleaning the connectors, to no avail. It appeared as though my motherboard had failed after all. With a heavy heart, I powered down the rig for the last time. It had served me well for over six years, my loyal companion and willing accomplice on literally thousands of internet adventures.
Things went better with my newer computer. After outfitting it with 2 GB of RAM the machine took right off and had a snappy response the likes of which I'd never experienced before. And at some point, logic once again asserted itself.
It occurred to me that if my older PC's motherboard had been the cause of all the problems, then the 320 GB hard drive might still be alright. Hooking the drive up to my newer PC, it turned out that three of its partitions, including the 'sluggish' partition, were now accessible. The former C: partition was detected as RAW. Using a shareware recovery application I was able to get in to the former C: boot drive and recover the most important of my files, including my extensive list of games that I've beaten. I planned to try restoring function to the entire drive at some future date, but for the moment this was good enough.