The Dell has met it’s match

My new work PC has a 40GB hard drive, 2Ghz processor and 512MB of RAM. I’ve processed thousands of records from our membership database without so much as a blink’s worth of drag on system performance. I’ve run 6-7 memory intensive applications all at once without the slightest delay in switching windows. In short, I’ve never managed to need enough processing power to even come close to taxing the available processing power of this machine. Until today.

I knew I was in trouble when I saw the number of records involved. I was downloading a voter registration list with over half a million records. The zipped archive was 50MB by itself. Unzipped we were talking about over 350MB worth of a .csv file. The process of downloading it, unzipping it, burning it to a cd and then importing the cd file into Access (the only program I could think of off the top of my head that would allow me to see whether all of the records had indeed transferred over to the cd, since Excel has that 65 some odd thousand record limit when opening a .csv file) brought this baby to a screeching halt. It accomplished the task at hand, but there was definitely a noticeable drop in system performance while it was trying to process all of that data, and Access even froze on the import, though it did complete the import before freezing. Even when it was finished the system dragged quite a bit. I wound up popping the cd out and restarting the PC to get things back into proper working condition again. I’ve never had to do that before.

I assume the mail house that the cd is going to will be able to handle it, probably even better than I did. I’ll be glad when the election is over and we stop with these sort of mailings.

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