The New Computer


Saturday morning, Kelly finally won the war with my electronic devices when she pushed my laptop off the bed onto our hardwood floor while the lid was open. The first noticeable problem was the screen. The computer sounded like it booted, but my screen stayed black. I shut it all down and took it back to my office. I promptly attempted to boot it again… this time the screen worked, the hard drive made some strange noises and then the ear shattering blast of a critical error.

After another try it booted to the BIOS menu and I ran diagnostics… sure enough, hard drive damaged. And then my screen went black twice while diagnostics ran. By noon, I had the laptop open…

The cord connecting the screen to the computer “appeared” fine… but the screen comes and goes and of course, the BIOS scan found hard drive issues.

Needless to say, I panicked. I use specialized writing software and it has RAM requirements beyond the basic 8GB RAM. I’m in the middle of editing a novel… I can’t be without a laptop for months and the secondary laptop we have (Jason’s) is a basic model that doesn’t have the RAM requirements to run my writing software. And so I began laptop shopping… I decided some months ago when my Dell bit the dust this time, I’d switch to a Lenovo. I’ve had terrible luck with HP and Asus, so those weren’t options.

I hate the new trend of small hard drives in laptops. I know a lot of stuff is now “app” and therefore doesn’t require a lot of hard drive space, but writing software is still a program, not an app… as is QuickBooks. My 256GB hard drive isn’t big enough to hold Windows, QuickBooks, and writing software… That’s not counting the JPGs of book covers or the files of books. I require more than 512GBs of hard drive space. My 1 TB hard drive is about half full now… The only Lenovo I could find “off the shelf” ready to ship had hard drives of 512GBs or smaller and customizing it, said it would take 4-6 months to ship because there’s a microchip shortage.

I can probably limp my laptop along for a few days, maybe even a week. 4-6 months would be impossible. Also, I’m not spending $2,000 on a gaming laptop. I don’t need the graphics and sound enhancements included with gaming laptops like Alienware. It took a couple of hours, but I found another Dell on Amazon that has 32GBs RAM, a 516GB SSD, and a 2TB HDD for about a $1,000. It will be here Tuesday.

Now for the thing I despise. I hate changing laptops almost as much as moving all the physical shit in my house. I have to transfer all my files, all my old emails, all my bookmarks… and holy Hell… I have to install updates and patches and then I have to install all my software. Oh and since everything is now a “download” I have to find all my license keys in emails.

Which is what I’m doing now… Printing out license keys for all my specialized software programs. Oh and passwords, I need to scrounge up all my passwords because I’m going to need to log in to everything all over again… crap.

Also, I always “lose” something…. I have no idea how.

I got to thinking about it during my despair, this will be my 5th laptop in 18 years. I can’t decide if this is a good record or not… I bought the laptop Kelly broke in the spring of 2015 and had reached the point it was going to require a RAM upgrade as well as a hard drive update (the now damaged laptop had 2 hard drives one SSD OS hard drive and one HDD hard drive for actual storage). Considering I average 10 hours a day, 7 days a week working on my laptop, I think I get pretty decent use out of them….

Anyway, I’ll be down most of this week getting the new laptop prepared for use. PS: if Kelly could destroy all our phones and tablets, she would. She does not approve of us using electronic devices when she’s around.

And finally, all this comes on the heels of mass destruction. July 9th a tornado hit my in-laws’ campground where our camper sits. Several of the campers were flipped over. Luckily, ours was not flipped. However, wind and hail damaged our slide out and we have some interior weather damage. I’m waiting for the insurance adjustor to schedule the appointment to come look at it… My frantic laptop purchase was done while I waited for J to get off work so we could go see the damage in person for the first time.

6 thoughts on “The New Computer

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