Earlier this year, I bought a Dell XPS1210 laptop. Generally speaking, it’s been well-behaved, but in late-June, it developed a problem with the memory. I had always thought that when a computer has memory problems, it is simply unable to use the faulty part. However, this isn’t always true.Â It turns out that computer memory problems can actually cause mistakes. For example, the statistical package that I use began arbitrarily recoding certain variables. A little disturbing, to say the least. I feltÂ like a writer who suddenly learns that his child has been randomly changing words inÂ his manuscript.
Anyway, after a few false starts with Dell tech support in Australia and then in the US, I’ve now replaced the bodgy memory. A week later, IÂ decided to go the whole hog and get 4 gig of memory.* My computer is now gleefully zippy, even when it comes to running regressions on million-observation datasets. In fact, I feel rather silly for not having maxed-out the memory from the outset.
* Reading this note from Microsoft, it may be that the 4th gig isn’t doing me much good.