The disaster was the breakdown of my computer. It all started when I tried to upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit. I then installed another 4 gigs of RAM bringing me up to 8 gigs. I did this so that I could run 64 bit Firestorm the Second Life viewer. It just didn’t work, I kept crashing. I then did a battery of tests and the machine passed them all. I tested the CPU (CPUID) and there was no fault which didn’t surprise me. I tested the video card and it passed. I tested RAM using memtest86 which tests RAM from boot and it found no problem initially however I only ran the program once. From my research this should be run multiple times. I swapped RAM around and it made no difference. I ran 64 bit Firestorm with 4 gigs of RAM and it still crashed. Then things got worse and the machine started crashing when watching YouTube, I tested the RAM again and there was no fault. I tried 2 gigs of RAM and this didn’t work either.

Nearly 2 years ago I had similar problems when trying to install Linux. I used to get a blank screen crash and I actually gave up on the PC and started using a laptop, RAM failed its test. I discarded the old RAM and installed new sticks 2 x 2 gigs and this seemed to work fine. About 6 months ago i bought a new video card, more powerful. It passed all the tests I could throw at it. The problem began again when I upgraded to 64 bit Windows. So what was the problem? It had to be RAM. I bought 2 x 4 gigs of premium RAM still had the same problem. All in all it was a terrible month, I tried everything.

Conclusion: The ram sockets on the motherboard were faulty. Solution: Buy a new computer.

Dilemma: I could save up which would take 3 months or I could get it on credit. Decided to go for credit but needed ID which meant I would have to get my passport renewed. Sigh. So I sent off the application which would take six weeks.

Now six weeks without Second Life is a bit of a lifetime. I host Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. I could try and find a replacement but that’s not really acceptable. Also of course there was my girlfriend Storm, we Skype but spend a couple of hours a day together in Second Life. So I bought an ASUS tablet.

Lumier: This is the software to access sl using a tablet. The 3D view was a bit taxing for the poor tablet but it was possible to have chat. It was difficult for me to give out tags but would pass them on to the DJ if I couldn’t do it. However it brought home how sl is more than a chat room, visuals are important.

After six weeks of this still no passport. The Passport Office web site showed no reason for contacting me so I double checked my email and found one from them a week before. The problem was my old passport was in Philip Bryan and I was now Philip Finlay-Bryan and had to prove it. After an exchange of emails and documents they finally accepted it. Sigh this had taken nearly two months.

In the mean time I had exhaustively researched my new system and ended up with the top of the range PC far more spec than I needed but hopefully future proofed. I ordered it and it arrived a week later and it is superb.

When I bought my Dell some 5 years ago it was about the same price, the spec of this new system is awesome you can read about it here . I always pay particular attention to the monitor and I wondered if I had gone over the top in spending 400 euros on a 27 inch monitor. My 22 inch was fine apart from a large blemish on the bottom. However as I guess people realise the computer IS the monitor. And this monitor is awesome. Its very bright even at 75% brilliance and contrast. And its huge!! Second Life looks amazing and watching TV series and movies is a treat! Good decision!!!

So I am a happy bunny. My two monitors are linked and I can stretch programs including sl over both.

Here’s an example:

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