I seem to upgrade my computer in bursts – I’d go through a few-weeks-long period where I upgrade a bunch of things, and then go into an upgrading slump for a couple of months (maybe years). I just went through an upgrade streak recently, although it was a whimper compared to my previous one (which my wallet is thankful of).

The first thing I upgraded, on a whim, was my network connection. In the past, I didn’t want to run network cable from my router on the main floor to our office on the second floor, so I just used a USB wifi dongle. I actually put the dongle on an USB port on my monitor because the USB slots behind my computer had a lot of interference (wires, obstructions and other clutter) and I use the front ones for other things. Since around Christmas time, the reception has been sporadic – I think some neighbours received a wireless router for Christmas or my second monitor started causing more interference.

Before settling on a wifi dongle, I had considered using powerline networking, but the cost was a little bit too high ($80-$100) and I wasn’t sure about the reliability. Then I saw that you could get a pair for ~$30 with free shipping, and with the recently whimsical nature of my wifi connection, I bought a set and tried it out. It works, and is more reliable than my old wifi; but I didn’t really get a substantial increase in speed. I’d say this was a lateral move at best and only an improvement because my wifi no longer worked reliably.

To wrap up my computer upgrades, I also upgraded my mouse. Yes, it was uneventful but also a necessary upgrade because the mouse that I had been using was not recognizing clicks reliably anymore. This actually happened once before, which I fixed by pressing really hard on the left button (seemed like something was stuck under it, or something got unstuck). That didn’t fix it this time and I figured it was time for a replacement – I had been using it since probably 2004/5 and a lot of dust and grime was embedded in it. I went out to my corner computer store and lucked out when a $25 one was on a weekend sale for $10. I didn’t want to spend $60 on a gaming mouse but I wanted one with a larger palm profile than the typical laptop ones that they sell now, so there wasn’t much of a choice.

I’m guessing that that concludes my upgrade streak – and it was kind of a lame one. It’s a streak of second assists in 2 consecutive games; not really worth mentioning but still a streak!