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At last, Jenny had found the special mailbox and had posted her letter to Father Christmas. She set off on the long journey back through the snow to Trevelver Castle, her heart filled with hope and joy. She had found new friends in the woods and promised to visit them again with gifts of food. She also promised herself to tell the other 'Chelsea Girls' about her adventure and thank them for giving her a reason to meet her animal and bird friends.

Jenny had been walking for hours through the snow-covered woods of Cardinham. She had been so focused on finding the mailbox she had not realized how tired she was. It was not until she left the woods and her friends that her exhaustion hit her. She was completely drained, her legs felt heavy, and her feet were throbbing. She realized it was many miles back to Trevelver Castle and was unsure if she had the strength to make it. She felt fear rising in her chest. She could feel the cold wind biting at her cheeks and nose. She knew that she had to be careful and save her energy. She took a deep breath and kept walking, taking small steps and resting often. She felt a sense of growing desperation as she walked, listening to the rhythm of her snowshoes on the snow. Finally, Jenny lay down in the snow, just for a little rest, she told herself, although she seemed to hear her small brown bear, Teddy, warning her not to. She let out a deep sigh; she was so tired. She felt the bite of cold snow against her face but no longer cared. She was too tired to move. Then, just before she closed her eyes, she saw a ghostly figure rapidly approaching out of the falling snow.
Computer Help / Re: Do I need a new laptop? Ad...
Last post by RBTKraisee - Today at 02:06:18 AM
Stay far away from upgrading this laptop to Windoze 11. Updating any version of Windoze to the next one is tricky at the best of times, and is an absolute living nightmare if it ever goes wrong - and upgrades go wrong so, so often. My rule for laptops has always been: Whatever the laptop comes with originally, is the best version of the operating system for that set of hardware, and you'd be very wise to leave it that way.

Your CPU has been fine for the last three years, so I do not believe that is your problem.

More memory always helps. The original 4Gb (soldered to the motherboard) is very, very limiting on Windoze 10. When PC's run out of RAM memory they try to use "virtual memory", which is a block of space located on the Hard Disc Drive. Unfortunately, HDD's operate about 1000 times slower than memory does, so things really slow down when virtual memory gets used. You can use CTRL-ALT-DEL > Task Manager to see exactly how much memory your computer is using at any given time.

The 8Gb Crucial memory upgrade that Railwaygun mentioned should work perfectly in this laptop.

Here is a video that shows you how to get inside your laptop. You don't need to mess with the HDD or the battery, so ignore those bits. But the memory slot you will need, is located in the top right area and is shown clearly, later in the vid.

Warning: Always take full precautions to prevent Electro-Static Discharge when opening up any computer!

Next, I would download the free version of CCleaner (do not bother to pay for the full version, it isn't worthwhile):

Run it to clean up your old files, which may be slowing the system down. Don't get distracted by the other features in the program, they're really just trying to up-sell you a pay-for product that you don't really need unless you're a "power user".

Then, you should take a look through your list of installed applications (Start > Settings > Apps. I would get rid of any programs that haven't been run in over a year. BE CAREFUL not to uninstall something critical - so make sure you get advice from someone who knows PC's when you do this. If in doubt, leave it alone.

Next up, you should figure out what applications are starting when Windoze starts. Most of them aren't needed and they're just slowing the machine down. Again take advice from someone who understands this. I use the old version 1.6.2 of SpyBot ( which can show a nice simple list once you enable the Advanced Mode. For a comprehensive list of programs starting in the background Autoruns ( will find everything, but it is a complex and powerful program that you really need an expert to use it safely.

Finally, once your machine has sufficient memory, replacing your Hard Disc Drive (HDD) with a Solid State Drive (SSD) would certainly speed up the loading of all your programs - including booting up. But it comes with the headache of having to transfer the operating system and all your files over to the new drive. That may be more of a bother - and more expensive - than it is really worth. Do the memory upgrade and the software suggestions above and see how things are running. Only then go check with your local shop for the costs involved in getting a new drive and transferring everything over before committing to this. I suspect the labour costs involved may be close to that of just getting a newer, more powerful machine. Macrium works pretty well if you want to try it for yourself - but be aware that if the program fails for any reason, it could be a nightmare to fix.

If you don't have a trust-worthy under-20 in the family or in the local neighbourhood who can easily assist, I can probably give you some remote assistance on the trickier bits.

Computer Help / Re: Do I need a new laptop? Ad...
Last post by Railwaygun - Today at 01:11:34 AM

The laptop can take 12gb RAM - you have 4gb. An extra 4gb would be useful, but you are limited by your processor, not RAM.

The local shop should be able to give you a quote ( get a quality SSD as I suggested earlier)

Computer Help / Re: Do I need a new laptop? Ad...
Last post by davidinyork - Today at 12:42:52 AM
Quote from: keithfre on December 05, 2023, 06:16:59 PMWhen I said 'disable updates' I was assuming, from what you wrote, that you're using a separate firewall and antivirus. If you're using the Windows Defender + firewall I agree it would not be a good idea to disable updates.

Trying to disable updates on any computer used on the internet is a really dumb idea - and fortunately it's quite difficult to do in recent versions of Windows. Third party antivirus and firewall software cannot be relied on to prevent exploits involving unpatched flaws in the operating system.

Yes, I do have firm views on this as I manage a computer network and it's irritating to see people actively advocating this sort of silliness. Open target computers which are missing updates serve to make it easier for malware to spread which is a risk to everyone.

As regards the original question, as others have said more RAM and an SSD if it doesn't already have one are likely to make a big difference. I'd suggest trying to find a small local computer shop and asking them to have a look. They maybe able to clone the hard drive onto a new SSD so all files and settings remain.

One of that age can probably also run Windows 11 - if so it will probably be showing as an option in the updates section of the settings app.
N Gauge Discussion / Re: Is it daft to buy rolling ...
Last post by GlenEglise - Yesterday at 10:58:41 PM
Quote from: ntpntpntp on Yesterday at 07:09:38 PM@Firstone18 (your link is not correct) says  on the banner "UK designed 3D kits".  I'm sure the owner is/was a member of this forum.

Doesn't seem to be showing wheelsets on sale at the moment - could be they are batch produced and out of stock at the moment?

Contact person    Bob Davies
N Gauge Discussion / Re: Is it daft to buy rolling ...
Last post by ntpntpntp - Yesterday at 07:09:38 PM
@Firstone18 (your link is not correct) says  on the banner "UK designed 3D kits".  I'm sure the owner is/was a member of this forum.

Doesn't seem to be showing wheelsets on sale at the moment - could be they are batch produced and out of stock at the moment?
Computer Help / Re: Do I need a new laptop? Ad...
Last post by Papyrus - Yesterday at 05:20:09 PM
Thanks for the offer of help, @Railwaygun . As I live in Sussex, I'm too far away to take you up on it.

Quote from: Railwaygun on Yesterday at 07:03:41 AMWhat is the Acer Model number? ( look on label on bottom ( of laptop! ))


There is a laptop repair shop in town which I have used before. I will take it there and see what they would charge to do the job.

Quote from: GrahamB on December 05, 2023, 07:52:24 PMGo into settings and check all the updates are actually updating.

Just checked it, and they are all up to date.

AS an aside, is it worth upgrading to Windows 11?


N Gauge Discussion / Re: Is it daft to buy rolling ...
Last post by Firstone18 - Yesterday at 04:04:35 PM
Quote from: Portpatrick on December 04, 2023, 02:17:17 PMAs other suggest there is little intrinsically unwise in  buying "old" models.  They are unlikely to be up to modern standards of detail.  You must decide if that matters to you.  If buying locos it is best if you can see it running, but, say, older Farish are like old Triang/Hornby in 00.  The mechanisms are simmple, robust, easy to get at and maintain though check you can source new brushes - these  may be badly worn.  But I have had some mechanisms going on for 30 years plus.  With rolling stock I would advise being ready to replace wheelsets with modern all metal ones.  Plastic wheels tend to pick up muck and deposit it on the track.  Metal runs better and with finer flanges looks better.  Older Farish wheels are easy to replace with current versions.  Peco are now producing replacement all metal wheels for their wagons, though NTrain axles fit Peco wagons well.
 As with remaining older coaches, I have over time made a full replacement.  AS others have said, Minitrix have proved very reliable and long lasting.  with the exception of the ex GWR Syphon G which is quite impressive, I would avoid Lima.
Is N Train a UK or European company? I found a N site but couldn't see any wheelsets?
N Gauge Discussion / Re: Is it daft to buy rolling ...
Last post by Firstone18 - Yesterday at 03:33:59 PM
Quote from: Railwaygun on Yesterday at 06:36:26 AMYou can't go wrong with Kato!,
I don't have any Kato, but have worked on one of the class 800 power cars for a friend. he dropped it and thought he'd wrecked it, but handed me a bag of bits and asked if I could try and put it back together! I was impressed with the quality of the Kato and the way it all fitted together without screws. Very easy to see how things were arranged and fitted it all back together, amazingly no missing bits! It runs as good as new again.
Having seen some of the new Bachfar and Dapol offerings when fitting decoders for various club members, I doubt they would have survived a drop like the Kato 880 did.
Bachfar and Dapol need to up their mechanical quality and QC considerably to match Kato IMO.
General Discussion / Re: Happy thread
Last post by AdeV - Yesterday at 09:56:20 AM
This is a shout-out to forum member Ozymandias - Last week, I bought a couple of locos which have been refurbished/restored; they arrived at the weekend (nice and quick), and to say I'm blown away by the quality of the paintwork & lettering would be an understatement. They're fantastic!

So, thank you Ozy! I just wish I could have stretched the budget to the Coronation loco.... but that went for "real" money!

Now... to persuade the mrs to increase the model railway budget so I can buy some more...
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