My main workstation has been crappy for months, the motherboard is a crappy Via chipset and it constantly crashes or kernel panics or hiccups of some sort, prefering to exercise its reset button more than the enter key on the keyboard. Thank goodness for Reiserfs.
And despite the fact that it's only 500mHz with 128MB (the rest of the RAM was so buggy and unreliable that I might as well have been playing Russian Roulette with an automatic...I would have had better luck) it was a good system and I don't usually need more power than it has.
But, eBay, my everlasting weakness, reached up and grabbed me and I found and bid and won a new system, Athlong XP 2200+ 1.8GHz, Gigabyte GA-7DX+ motherboard, 400w Black ATX Midtower case. Very nice, very shnazzy. $400.
I really, really could have spent that $400 somewhere else. It's a good deal, don't get me wrong, but I have other uses for that sort of money right now...bills, bills, uh...bills, and things like that. I didn't really need to do that, but damn these people that wave flashy hardware in front of my face. It'll be obsolete before the darn thing gets shipped to me and I'll drool all the same.
And to add insult to injury, I'll have to buy RAM and a new NIC before I can use it. (no RAM came with it, and my current NIC is ISA) I'd love Crucial registered DDR, but I'd like to keep my left nut, too. What does a guy do?
I've done my best to console myself and justify this system in my mind. "Your other machine is a chunk of shit, you'll get more work done this way, you'll forgive yourself when you're playing games and full-screen movies. TRUST ME." I think I'll get over it in time. For the moment, I'm miffed and overjoyed and annoyed and ecstatic.
Oh, the anguish of hardware.