Thursday, April 12, 2007

In Case You Don't See Me...

The silver laptop with all the blank keys

No, I'm not going anywhere, not sick, not in danger, not planning to be any busier than usual. But I'm a little bit nervous. You see, my computer's going into the shop.

Note the open CD tray. That's as closed as it gets.

I've probably been complaining about the thing for at least a year. Only 9 of the 26 letters of the alphabet are still readable on the keyboard. < > and " have also disappeared. The CD burner / DVD player has been acting up for some time; as of night before last, the CD tray won't close due to a screw sticking up somewhere inside the cavity. Despite all the RAM, I have a lot of nights when nearly all the programs stop responding, especially when someone pops up in IM. Shutting down is almost always a struggle. I've learned to empty Norton Protected Files before I try it, and if that's not good enough, to shut down processes manually until it deigns to get on with logging off.

John is annoyed that I insist that I want a laptop. But heck, we've really used it. I've taken this computer or its predecessor to school, to the cafe at Barnes & Noble (which doesn't fool Scalzi, apparently), to Disneyland several times over, to Las Vegas NV, to Tempe and Sedona, AZ, Los Alamos and Socorro NM, Wilmington NC and Colonial Williamsburg VA.

We can't afford to replace my computer every two and a half years, though, so I'm taking it in to a place recommended by the Best Buy people. For a fraction of what Best Buy charges, these highly experienced techies will do what Best Buy doesn't like to do: fiddle with the inside of a laptop. Replacing the internal keyboard would be $200, unfortunately, so I'm back on the hunt for lettering decals, or one of those roll-up external keyboards, or both.

The old computer looks pretty good about now,
but it also has a dead CD drive, some missing letters,
and some indications the hard drive is in iffy condition.

Meanwhile I have to make provision to stay online during the four days or so that the silver laptop will be gone. I spent part of tonight backing up the entire hard drive (give or take a few emails) onto the external hard drive I bought last week. For the last two hours I've been downloading one of the newest versions of AOL so I can put it on the external hard drive as well, and install it on the old laptop. If I can get that up and running and online, I'll probably drop the other one off tomorrow at lunchtime. Gulp! If I'm not ready by then, I'll do it on Friday instead.

So anyway, if it all falls apart and I can't get online for a few days, you'll know where I am: home, going through computer and/or Internet withdrawal.



deslily said...

Oh man.. that's not good news! I sure hope they can fix it for you, and not cost close to what it would to buy a new one! geez.

maybe we all need to write an essay: Life before the computer. I wonder if anyone can remember?

julie said...

Good luck with the computer repair.www