The ol’ work box hadn’t been that much of a sluggard up to that point. At the heart of it is an AMD Sempron 2800+, despite its name a 1.6-GHz CPU, not a speedster but not a boat anchor either. And usually it runs with some small degree of enthusiasm: for some reason it opens one database (this particular solution is based on FileMaker Pro, not that that should make a difference) substantially faster than my P4 dual-core box at home ever does.
In an effort to diagnose the problem, I first fired up Control Panel / System, with the intent of poking into Device Manager. The usual System Information stuff fell into place at subsonic speeds, and it ended with “192 MB RAM.”
One ninety-two? Holy substrate, Batman, did someone steal a DIMM? This box, when I got it, had two units of memory: a 256-megger and a 512. Total 768, minus 64 for the integrated video. The only explanation: the 512 stick was stuck.
I powered down, spat in the general direction of the power switch, and restarted. BIOS screen shows 768; all is well. Until the next reboot, of course.
Under the circumstances, I did what any reasonable person would: I whined to supervisory personnel. New RAM should be arriving presently.