The first is a Vantec AeroFlow Lap Cool 2. The laptop I acquired from Rose has been overheating and this seems to be the solution. It has great airflow underneath the laptop, keeps the hot thing off my lap and also has a USB hub (2.0 but my laptop only supports 1.1 unfortunately). Definitely well worth the purchase price!
The second is a pair of PC3200 512MB DDR RAM modules. I've just doubled the amount of RAM in my PC and it's faster RAM too. My machine's not swap thrashing anymore, which is great. :>
The third item is a dud. I made the mistake of buying a new video card without doing ANY research on it. I thought, "Hey, anything could be better than my GF4 MX440, right?" so I bought an nVidia GeForce 5200. This card is crap. It may have 128MB of RAM (my last card had 64MB), but it's crippled and so far doesn't appear to be any better than what I had. Worse, in fact. The movie at the start of Battlefield 1942 grinds to a halt and it takes about 10 minutes to get through to the main menu. Fortunately the menu can be skipped with the command line option +restart 1. The question is, what other issues does this card have? I might cut my losses and buy a GF 6600 on the weekend. (Anyone want to buy a video card?)
I'm feeling very tired this morning. I didn't get to bed until 1:30 last night and didn't actually get to sleep until much later because various noises kept waking me.