Spinning Wheels

I have a laptop I purchased so that I could manage websites and hosting accounts while I was traveling. The computer runs Windows 10, not my choice for the operating system, by the way.

The system was not very expensive and I did not fill it with memory as I bought it off the shelf at a computer store just days before a trip.

Recently every time I booted it there were Windows Updates and security scans and the system took perhaps 7 to 10 minutes from initial boot until I could actually do usable work. The other problem was that the hardwired LAN connection is capped at 100Mbs. I prefer hardwired connections over Wifi however on this system I use WiFi to get the greatest Internet speed.

To fix the slow system I opted to switch the disk from a regular hard drive to a SSD. A SSD is essentially a disk made of just memory with no moving parts. Think of it as a memory stick, but inside the computer. I have swapped these out before so I know that it will help quite a bit.

Although I could do all the research of what drive I should get, I opted to go to Crucial.Com and use their software. It scans your system and tells you which memory and/or disk to buy which is compatible with your system. In fact they guarantee that their suggestion will work. I ran the software and found the SSD and ordered it. Now, in hindsight I should have paid for different shipping or bought it on Amazon. Here is why:

Crucial, like many other electronic stores will not ship to a PO Box. It doesn’t matter that the credit card I use has that same PO box as my address. I had to use my street mailbox which is quite a distance from my house. These companies also tend to have a deal with certain shippers, in this case UPS. UPS does not ship to PO boxes. So my disk which is the side of a cellphone is coming by truck. Well, kinda by truck and kinda by UPS.

A few days after I ordered the drive it shipped by UPS. It got as far as California where it was assigned to “Shipping Innovations”. This means that UPS got tired of being the shipper and turned the package over to (drum roll) the USPS, yes, the Post Office. By the way, THEY deliver to PO boxes…

Since Innovations is a cut rate service it appears that my envelope (not a box) was then placed on a ship adding another 5 days here. The envelope finally reached Honolulu Sunday and was shipped overnight to my island for Monday Delivery. You would think that I would get it Monday then.

The package hits Kailua-Kona and is placed in a truck. That truck takes the package about 10 miles south to Kealakekua where mail to Captain Cook Hawaii is offloaded. You see, the drivers for the Post Office now work out of Kealakeklua which is a sorting location. The driver drives South and around 1 pm attempts delivery to my street mailbox. It turns out that my previous carrier retired about 6 months ago. The new driver could not identify my mailbox. Although we have received mail in that same box just a couple days earlier, she couldn’t find it. I’ll admit that the address on the box is faded, but it was just barely readable. So she took it back. Since they do the deliveries, my local Post Office does not get the package because it was a failed delivery (address unknown). I know this because I stopped by the PO Monday and the clerk said so. By the time I found that the package was undeliverable and returned to Kealakekua, they were closed.

I was hoping that they received it back late enough in the day that the truck would not be expected. You see, that truck from Kona comes down the west side of the island stopping at every Post Office dropping off mail. Then it turns around and comes back north, stopping at every Post Office to pick up the outbound mail. It then heads to the airport where the mail and packages are placed on the plane and sent back to Honolulu where they then head to the mainland.

The Kealakekua Post Office opens at 9 am so I headed there this morning with all my tracking paperwork and got there 45 minutes early. I stood by the door so I could be the first in line. Hoping that they have my package.

At exactly 9 am they opened the door and I immediately asked if the Postmaster/Postmistress was in today. I was told no, but when I told her what I needed, she call someone from the back to help me so the clerk could help others. The woman listened to my story and looked at my street address. She said “There are 3 mailboxes there?” but I told here that one was recently taken away. Understand that this Post Office is a good 10 miles from my house. She then said “Don’t you have a mailbox at the Captain Cook Post Office?” and then she guessed correctly the number. She used to work in that office years ago. I don’t doubt that people remember me because I shipped about 30 large boxes here (50 pounds each) to that Post Office. That is how I kept from having to rent space in a container on a ship. I moved via the Post Office!

It seems that regular driver just retired 6 months ago and new drivers were on the route, plus it was the holidays with temporary drivers. Although I could not remember the name of the driver, I do remember that she worked at the Royal Kona Resort when I first visited the islands and is friends with some of my friends. We call it the Big Island, but it is in a very small world.

The clerk went into the back and rummaged a bit and found my envelope. Because of the holidays and reduction in staffing my envelope was delayed in being sent back. I was relieved because I don’t know if Crucial would have gotten it back any time soon and I didn’t want to have to wait for another delivery.

When I got home I put the SSD in an external USB case and plugged it into the laptop. I downloaded the software and cloned the drive. I then had to remove the keyboard and back of the laptop to get at the hard drive. Swapping it in and reinstalling (most) of the screws I was ready to boot the computer. The once screw I lost is a very tiny one and even though I was super careful, it just evaporated.

I plugged in the power supply and pressed the power button. The boot time dropped from about 7 to 10 minutes down to about a minute or two! The speed increase was impressive. The cost for the 1 terabyte SSD was about $80 and worth the frustration.