Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Think Its Time....

.....for me to spend some bucks and buy a new laptop. After all, prices of lap tops are ridiculously low; I could get a decent one for as little as $500, although I'd surely be tempted to spend more.

My current laptop is at least ten years old (gasp!) and how it has held together for this long is anyone's guess. On the lower right front and around the back, it now sports bright red and traditional grey duct tape, to cover the cracks in the case that appeared after it was mysteriously dropped recently. I did my best surgery repair job with super glue and wonder tape, but there is still a pinky-fingernail-sized piece missing, which I later found on the bedroom carpet, and an even smaller piece of plastic that I can hear rattling around inside the laptop whenever I move it. The laptop's storage is limited and it has no wireless access, although I've been told those defects can be corrected with a few outside gadgets. I do not have it set up to receive automatic updates, the fact of which the machine constantly reminds me. But, in return, I believe not being constantly updated has innoculated my laptop against the seemingly ubiquitous computer viruses. On the other hand, a few outside programs, such as Facebook, and, have threatened to cease being available to me unless I upgrade my browser. SOON. Which, of course I can do, but anytime I add anything to this old dinosaur, it slows it down, so I try to wait as long as possible before changing anything.

I fear that one day the old machine will just cease to work, or to function in a useable manner. I already have periodic failure with the built-in mousepad, which is loose in a way I don't think its supposed to be. And the machine freaked me out the other night, by going into a blue screen coma.

When I left California in August, in a hurried frenzy, I dumped what seemed to me to be "extraneous" computer parts in my bedroom closet for a friend to handle. Since I no longer have some of those essential external gadgets, I am pretty sure I dumped both my wireless modem and my external storage device, the one that contained all my digital photographs. Fortunately, I have all of my digital photos saved on a CD...well, truthfully, photos that are more than five years old have been saved on the CD. And, being the lazy person that I am, or maybe its just my technological ineptitude, all of my photos from the last two or three years are still in my camera. (I obviously don't take a lot of pictures.) So, there is a backup gap of perhaps a two or three years, and I am pretty sure these photos have permanently disappeared. It could have easily been much worse.

(My son once asked "how is it possible that I am in any way related to someone so technologically deficient?" He was obviously thinking "switched at birth". Since he was not born in a hospital, the switched at birth theory is highly dubious, but I can understand the reason for his thinking.)

So, where does all of this discourse leave me? Slackard that I am, I will probably wait until the machine dies, or becomes unstable or otherwise unusable before I make a new purchase. All of my saved files will evaporate into the ether, unless I make a concerted effort to back them up soon on a CD or other external device. (I do have the old backup photo CD and other old CD backups somewhere, but as I am currently in limbo with 90% of my stuff in a storage unit, exactly where this stuff is right now is a total mystery.)

Having been a fairly recent HP employee and seen the latest-and-greatest HP laptops in action, I am partial to the HP brand (even though they no longer treat their employees very well) but will consider others. Opinions regarding your own laptop experiences? Highly encouraged.

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